The first port of call was the parents. We had a Dad kindly come in and saw the metal legs off 2 of our tables, as per the kids' requirements.
The goal was to create some lower learning areas so the kids could kneel around them or sit on cushions while they work. Here's what they looked like when they were done:
We had some parents doing refurbishments at home, who kindly donated a big square of carpet (to cover our tired old mat space) and some large pieces of plywood which we used to create some quiet, distraction-free individual spaces. And (ironically) we found a reason to dig out a couple of old-school desks. Turns out there was still a use for them!
We took every item of furniture out of the room and our school caretaker kindly disappeared all of the unwanted stuff for us (like 75% of our desks). Then we put it all back in again according to our plan. It took some reshuffling as our design wasn't quite to scale, but this all went fairly smoothly.
(At this point I'm kicking myself for not taking any 'before' photos. Grrr!)
Anyway, here are the 'after' photos:
Happy kids. Happy teacher. :)
Next steps: Using the environment, reviewing and adapting it as we go, and working on the finishing touches - Painting, art work, finer details.