Outdoor classrooms are more important than ever

16 September 2020

We understand that everyone is struggling at the moment with social distancing and how to get the best for children, in reduced circumstances. But we think your outdoor space is often a missed opportunity… If there’s one thing we think you should consider introducing to your outdoor space this autumn, it’s an outdoor classroom. And don’t forget… we’re taking bookings for term-time installations, so get in touch to get your slot and your children could be enjoying the space in just a few weeks!


Here are five reasons to consider designing shelter or shade into your outdoor space:
Taking indoor time outside - This might seem like a bit of an obvious one but we’re always amazed how many teachers complain about having too little space and forget that their outdoor space can be used as ‘indoor’ space. Our timber rectangular shelters with polycarbonate roofs create extra space, linked to your building, meaning that play and learning can spill out in a wonderful free-flow way. Best of all the roofs let in light, creating a bright, engaging space. For those with a bit more space, though, considering building a standalone shelter creates a totally separate ‘building’. Our Extended Octagonal Shelter can seat up to 55 children in non-social distancing times… but around 20 even with, providing a wonderful space for lessons, activities, performances, assembly and lunch - as well as lots and lots of play! Most importantly, in all of these spaces you’ll have extra space for storage, as well as new play equipment!
A space for parents, staff and children as they wait - We know that the drop-off and pick-up can be a challenge for any school, particularly now we have to think about social distancing. Having somewhere safe and comfortable (whether it’s sunny or raining) shows you care about your parents as much as their children. It might just be a Shade Sail… or perhaps a Waterproof Parasol. We have something to fit every size of space.
Helping to develop social and communication skills - We don’t need to tell you that learning about social boundaries, communication and friendship starts early - and forms valuable foundations for later life. Quiet, comfortable space outside can help with this, encouraging children to talk and play together. Several of our shelters include benches - like our wooden hexagonal shelter - but if space is a problem, we also have lots of options for benches, designed to fit into pretty much any sheltered or shaded spot.
Taking lunchtime outside - We think one of the best ways to use your outdoor space is to take lunchtime outside. Come on… who doesn’t like a picnic? Our metal rectangular shelter is not only really roomy but can be installed alongside your building, available with a totally clear or multi coloured roof. It’s a wonderfully bright outdoor space to have your sandwiches in. But don’t worry, if you’re worried you can’t have a picnic in the rain… we’ve got you covered… literally. Our Hexagonal Shelter with Timber Roof and Detachable Roll-Down Panels is weatherproof and keeps your sarnies dry!
Small groups and storytime - When lunchtime is over and everyone is quietening down for the afternoon, one of the most magical uses of outdoor space is to drag the cushions out under the shelter and listen to a story. But for those with a bit more space, we even do a shelter with benches built in - why not consider our Octagonal Shelter with panels and two rows of benches? It really is designed with storytime in mind!
 And don’t worry… If you don’t think you have the space for an outdoor classroom - or indeed the time to have it installed - we have a speedy solution for any outdoor space. We have a whole range of ready to play outdoor furniture - like this Project Table -  that can be delivered for immediate use, with very little ‘putting together’ required. And if you have a bit more time (or are looking for something a bit more integrated in your design - take a look at our larger installed range of outdoor tables, desks and benches.


For more information about this or any other ways in which you might want to redesign your outdoor space, contact us today.

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