See how schools are making more room for the future

Posted on | Posted in Education

Increasing numbers of pupils are leaving many schools feeling short on space. With average UK secondary school class sizes increasing every year for 5 years, and many primary schools oversubscribed, headteachers are looking for practical ways to make more room.

The pandemic has shown the importance of having enough room. School buildings need to be adaptable and accommodating spaces that make everyday activities safe and secure. Break and dinner times are where having the right set up makes life easier for staff and kids.

Schools are making more room for the future with outdoor canopies

Outdoor canopies are less than half the cost of building extensions. Installed over a series of days, they cause minimal disruption and can be installed during term time. Enclosed canopies are fitted with lighting, heating, and electrics, meaning they can be used as additional interior space all year round. Open sided canopies provide shelter and get more use from outdoor areas.


EXAMPLE 1: Bay Primary School

This primary school has an outdoor classroom they use to run play and leaning sessions with younger kids. In wet and rainy conditions, this wasn’t possible, and the kids missed out on play time. To provide shelter and get more use from the space, they asked us to fit a Connekt canopy. The kids can play outside even in the rain and the toys and equipment are protected from the elements.

outdoor dining for schools

EXAMPLE 2: St Michael’s High School

This secondary school had outgrown its dining space and pupils struggled to find somewhere to enjoy their lunch. St Michael’s recognised the time had come for it to create some extra space. The problem wasn’t going away and would only get worse each year.

We created a multi-use area suitable for dining, studying, meetings, and socialising. The all-glass bespoke atrium has a hot food station that caters for up to 1,200 pupils and provides an extra 125m² of covered space. See the full case study here.

school umbrella canopies

EXAMPLE 3: Wellington School

Wellington School in Manchester has over 1,300 pupils and 80 teaching staff. The school needed shelter for lunch and break times. Kids were having to each their lunch outside in all weathers due to a lack of seating in the main dining hall.

We installed our Connekt umbrella canopies to create the much-needed additional dining space. The school’s business manager, Susan Byiers, said: ‘We are so happy with how the canopies look. When I saw them in place, I was blown away. They are brilliant.’ See the finished canopies here

dining extension

EXAMPLE 4: Winstanley College

School catering company, Caterlink, wanted to create space to serve more students during break and lunchtimes at Winstanley College. There wasn’t enough seating at lunchtime and the college had identified a need for a multi-purpose room that students could use during their free periods.

We installed a Cantabria canopy, that the college can use come wind, rain, or shine. The school call it the ‘Garden Room’ and use it for parents evening and other events, in addition to dining. The roof is fully retractable at the touch of a button and can be opened up in summer. See the Garden Room here.

entrance door canopy

EXAMPLE 5: John Scurr Primary

The school’s headteacher wanted to create an outdoor area where pupils could play and learn outside in every season. The headteacher was clear that she didn’t want to encroach on playground space, but instead make use of the space at the edge of the yard against the building.

Our team specified a Connekt canopy spanning 3.6 metres. The cantilevered design means there are no supporting posts getting in the way of the playground. The canopies provide sheltered space for lessons to be brought outside even in undesirable weather. See the results here.

Find out about outdoor classrooms and outdoor dining canopies. Contact us on 01254 777 002 or