How biophilic Wall Art can foster wellbeing in school

Biophilic wall art designs for schools

Being able to see pictures of plants and nature can make pupils feel more relaxed and healthier

More than ever, schools have an increased focus on children’s mental health and wellbeing. Issues with mental health can manifest in various ways, including anxiety, depression, and social isolation, often leading to disengagement with school and studies.

Whilst many schools offer a range of initiatives to support their pupils’ wellbeing, schools can also proactively create supportive physical environments that nurture students’ mental wellbeing. Schools are now starting to explore the benefits of biophilic design and introducing its principles into their learning environments.

What is biophilic design?

Biophilic design is most commonly used in architecture and construction. It refers to the practice of using natural resources to create a sense of harmony between modern architecture and the natural world.

“Research has shown the effects of biophilia to be: Improved physiological and cognitive performance through exposure to biophilic environments.”
Yin, Zhu, MacNaughton, Allen, & Spengler, 2018

The theory of calming the mind sits at the heart of biophilic design. It promotes creating a natural and harmonious environment which will stimulate the alpha brain waves (high relaxation) and lower the high beta brain waves (high stress). The aim is to calm the mind to improve attention and create the space for the imagination to thrive, making it an ideal approach to be taken by schools.

The impact of biophilic design in schools

The team at Putney High School have spent the past few years applying biophilic design to their classrooms. Putney High School’s headmistress at the time, Suzie Longstaff, worked with Clare Bowman at RCZM Architects to carry out extensive studies, applying this practice to classrooms and shared spaces.

 The study began with the transformation of three otherwise similar sixth form classrooms. First, they modified a maths classroom with an extensive array of indoor plants. They then introduced full-size photographic Wall Art of a woodland to the English classroom, and finally, left a psychology classroom unchanged.

Promote Your School proudly played a part in Putney High School’s BREATHE project. We created a large design, using stunning nature photography by Matthew Cattel. We then printed the design and installed it in the test English classroom at Putney High School.

“The impact of the photographic mural demonstrated change through a more animated environment, whereby students choose to move to a seat with a view of the mural, and the teacher expressed ‘I love teaching in this room’ while facing the mural to address the students.” Clare Bowman, sustainability advisor at RCZM Sustainable Design.

A total of 96 per cent of students at Putney High School expressed positive attitudes towards the new design of the classroom. While 78 per cent of pupils expressed that they “felt healthier”.

In 2021, this research and the Biophilic Classroom Exhibit was awarded a Gold Medal by RHS Chelsea Judges. They described the study and results as “ground breaking”.

We’re looking forward to delivering more biophilic designs for schools as this form of Wall Art continues to grow in popularity and deliver such positive results.

Biophilic wall art design for schools

The benefits of investing in Wall Art

By harnessing the power of creatively designed Wall Art, schools can transform their learning environments into supportive and nurturing spaces that foster student wellbeing. This, in turn, can empower students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Tangible benefits of Wall Art include:

Reduced anxiety and stress: A calming and positive environment can contribute to improved emotional regulation and reduced anxiety levels.

Boosted self-esteem: Uplifting visuals and opportunities for self-expression can contribute to a more positive self-image and increased confidence.

Improved learning outcomes: A supportive and nurturing environment can indirectly lead to improved focus, engagement, and academic performance.

How we work

At Promote Your School, we have over 20 years of experience in education and design, and are experts in delivering effective designs that meet your school’s individual needs.

We offer a free site visit to all schools to understand your goals and review your available space before creating a bespoke quote. From there, we’ll guide you through the design process. We offer unlimited amends to your artwork, against the original design brief. We then install your Wall Art at a convenient time, including weekends and holidays, to minimise disruption to teaching time.

Find out more about Wall Art by Promote Your School

We’d love to chat to you about how Wall Art can help you improve your students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Biophilic design is just one of many types of Wall Art we create. In fact, we design each artwork in-house, bespoke to every school – we can achieve almost anything on your school’s walls, floors, windows, ceilings and doors.

Email us on or call 020 7404 3400 to arrange a free consultation.