How important is sound in the classroom?

How important is sound in the classroom?

24 May 2021

Since children have returned to the school environment, many academic professionals have reflected their concerns over the impact that lockdown had on learning. In fact, a survey by Young Minds revealed that almost three-quarters of teachers feel students’ mental health has been affected.

Communication is key to a smooth and positive transition back to the classroom. This blog explores how important sound is in the classroom, to ensure this happens.

Classroom Communication


While children benefit enormously from flexibility and comfort, they also need strong acoustics. This partly came down to classroom design – for example, 30% of students learn less if they are sat in the back row.

Sound absorption eliminates distractions and gives children the chance to immerse themselves in their environment. According to a Euronoise study, bad classroom acoustics can lead to ill health, vocal disorders or hearing damage in teachers, and concentration and behavioural issues in students.

Acoustics and Additional Needs


Myriad studies suggest that children with additional needs may benefit from better acoustics. For example, children with autism may be prone to anxiety when there are too many audible distractions. Softer surfaces help to absorb this sound, while designated ‘quiet areas’ with different carpet designs may help with individual learning.

In particular, sirens, whistles, bells, alarms and machinery can cause “sensory overload” for these children. This can affect their behaviour and inhibit their learning. Many traditional classrooms have considerations for disabilities such as wheelchair ramps, but overlook the importance of acoustics.

A Sound Decision


Flooring of a high standard can help to prevent “reverberation time”, which is a measure of the time it takes for volume to drop to 60dB after the noise has been made. Traditional classrooms with high ceilings and hard surfaces tend to bounce sound around, which can be distracting for students and can affect their ability to hear their teacher. Quite simply, if students cannot hear, they cannot learn.

By installing an absorbent carpet like our Supacord range, schools can naturally eliminate loud noise. Tested to BS EN ISO 140-8, Supacord delivers a 19dB reduction in impact noise across both sheet and tile ranges. Further to this, the range is available with acoustic backing, which delivers a 22dB reduction.

Heckmondwike FB is one of the UK’s leading commercial carpet manufacturers with over 40 years experience in the education sector. To learn more, or request a free carpet sample, please contact 01924 406 161 or email