Maintaining safe and protective environments for students is not just a nice to have but a vital component of the School Premises Regulations 2012. At Kensington Systems , we specialise in producing bespoke solutions for school shelters which can be used in a range of settings including cycle shelters, outdoor learning and play and dining canopies.
With budgets for schools and education set to increase during 2023, now is the ideal time to consider how you can enhance your outdoor areas. Keep reading to understand which canopies are suitable for your establishment.
What Are School Canopies?
Available in many different forms, school canopies offer a way to provide shelter in outdoor areas to improve usable space. You can choose from a freestanding canopy, or something attached to an existing structure to create locations that are always protected from the weather.
The various canopies and shelters available enable you to choose an option which complements existing structures, making for a seamless extension to any space. You can also create wholly enclosed spaces, using a solution such as our Spaceshade freestanding canopy, using panels or blinds to keep out the weather.
Whichever form you select, the same benefits remain, which include the following:
- Additional areas can be created to create more teaching spaces, weather-proof outdoor locations during break times, or even storage for equipment.
- The outdoor areas can also be used all year round, meaning that the temperamental British weather never impacts the student experience.
- Safety is guaranteed as all our playground shelters for schools boast built in safety features including hidden gutters and downpipes, and a certified non-fragile roof, and are built with top-quality materials which will stand the test of time.
- All these benefits also ensure the perception of your educational institution is improved, as parents can see that you are willing to invest in creating better spaces for students.
What Are the Different Forms of School Shelters?
If you are looking for a canopy, you will likely notice plenty of choices available.
School canopies and shelters
A school shelter or canopy is a freestanding or attached structure that delivers a viable, great value alternative to the costs and disruption of extending your school building.
Shelters are most often constructed from steel, aluminium or wood to make a robust, permanent covered outdoor space.
Why are they such a good option for schools?
- Create new year-round usable space for student dining, outdoor learning and play
- Robust, permanent solution without necessarily needing planning permission
- Aluminium is the preferred choice for many schools, as it creates less disruption when being built than pre-fabricated steel and provides corrosion-free, long-term low maintenance
Top tip: choosing Kensington Systems means the complete project is managed by one company, as we install the canopy and do all the groundworks for you.
And walkway canopies are other examples of usage, as they provide, robust solutions that will provide year-round, made bespoke to your requirements..
Playground & school shade sails
Sail canopies for schools are a cost-effective way to creating weather-protected outdoor areas. They can be installed in locations of any size and use steel posts with robust fabric pulled at high tension between them to create rigid structures.
Playground shade sails are available in square or umbrella designs, and can be made in a large range of colours to brighten up the school playground or create a colourful feature.
Awnings for schools
The word ‘awning’ is sometimes used to describe fixed canopies and shade sails. However the key difference between them is that awnings are retractable whereas canopies and sails are not.
Awnings are typically made from water-resistant fabric. These retractable structures are fixed to the side of an existing building and can be manually operated or fully motorised. Usually used as an outdoor teaching space, awnings are not as robust as a fixed canopy, so can only really be useful in the summer when the weather is good.
When Can School Canopies Be Used?
There are lots of ways to use school canopies which is why they are such a popular addition to many educational institutions.
- To create cycle sheds or outdoor storage. This type of storage boosts positive exercise initiatives such as the Active Travel England project. Enhancing playground spaces ensures that children have positive outdoor experiences and can better concentrate in class.
- Shelters can also be used to create outdoor dining areas and protected walkways to further improve students’ lives.
- Another widespread use of school canopies is to use them for teaching outdoors. Teaching canopies allow for more diverse education and more extra-curricular activities to take place.
The beauty of these spaces is that they are highly versatile and offer lots of new opportunities for your school.
Is a School Canopy the Ideal Solution for You?
With more than 30 years of experience, we can confidently advise any establishment on the best solution for school canopies available to them. Contact us today to find out more.