Children can benefit so much from outdoor learning – it can help boost their immune systems, increase their vitamin D levels, stimulate their brain and senses, and provide plenty of enjoyment too.
But what makes a great outdoor learning environment? A great outdoor learning environment fosters creativity and engagement among students while ensuring they remain safe outside. It can be difficult for nurseries and schools to offer outdoor learning because of a lack of space and unpredictable weather. That’s where our outdoor classrooms come in.
What is an outdoor classroom?
An outdoor classroom is a versatile and practical solution for schools looking for more teaching space. Our outdoor classroom canopies create covered spaces that protect students and teachers from the elements, allowing them to make use of their outdoor space for learning activities and play throughout the year. By utilising outdoor classroom canopies, schools can create covered spaces that shield students and teachers from rain, wind, or excessive sunlight.
Tailored to your requirements, our outdoor classrooms are designed to help the education sector deliver the outdoor learning experience, and proactively incorporate it into their curriculums, without being hampered by the weather.
Benefits of outdoor classrooms
Our outdoor classrooms for schools are delivered using our bespoke design, manufacturing and installation service and are based on our industry-leading site-specific calculations. This provides you with peace of mind that your outdoor classroom canopy is engineered to last and 100% meets your requirements. We also offer a colour-matching service too, so you can match your canopy to your existing school buildings or your school colours.
By creating an outdoor classroom, you can:
- Use your outdoor space in all seasons.
- Provide a stimulating learning environment all year round.
What’s more, our wall-mounted and freestanding outdoor classroom canopies are just as effective in the good weather as they are in the bad, thanks to the Melinex gel-coated roof, which protects against the sun’s harmful rays.
Wall-mounted outdoor classrooms for schools can be fitted directly to the side of buildings, eliminating the need for any obstructive vertical supports. With no supporting pillars or posts, these systems eliminate the risk of any potential hazards and unforeseen injuries taking place.
Our freestanding outdoor classrooms for schools are standalone structures, meaning they don’t need to be attached to other structures for support. They can also be designed so that the supporting posts are positioned at the back, minimising the risk of obstruction and fully opening up the space beneath.
The benefits of outdoor classrooms at a glance
- An enhanced learning experience for students
- Promotes physical activity that contributes to well-being
- Allows students to connect with nature
- A collaborative setting where students can work together
- Health benefits due to natural light, fresh air and vitamin D
- Offer real-world applications to lessons like science, geography and art
- Create a positive and inclusive atmosphere, reducing behavioural issues
Do you need planning permission for an outdoor classroom?
School canopies and outdoor classrooms are technically categorised as building extensions under Town and Country Planning Legislation, which means that schools must seek the correct permissions before installation. However, a school canopy can often fall under permitted development rules, in which case planning permission may not be needed.
We would always recommend reaching out to your local authority for confirmation about whether you need planning permission for your outdoor classroom. We have also covered this subject on our blog, which is a handy starting point for any further questions you may have.
Outdoor classrooms are increasingly being used by nurseries and schools to tap into the benefits of outdoor learning all year round. Take a look at these examples.
We worked with Caterlink to provide Winstanley College with a multi-use Cantabria canopy. Thanks to the versatile space, students can now make the most out of additional dining and study space.
Ysgol Gynradd Llanidloes Primary
We created free-flowing outdoor learning space for the school with the help of a personalised veranda system. The canopy means rain doesn’t hinder outdoor play and learning.
Brookfield Junior Academy
We created a sheltered space over a large soft play area outside the school’s Early Years classroom. Children can now use the space all year round, no matter the weather.
View more of our case studies and see how our canopies are helping so many organisations get more from their outdoor space.View more outdoor classroom case studies
Download a Brochure
For more information about our canopies and the options available to you, download our brochure.
Our Connekt canopy system is a modular system and can be any length – you can even add to it in the future. It is highly versatile and hugely popular, with no limit to how it projects. It is suitable for all outdoor areas, and the cantilevered option is 100% self-supporting.View system