We have learning covered!

By | 14 June 2021

Canopies and covered areas are an attractive and cost-effective addition to any school. Properly designed and installed, they can be eye-catching structures which provide additional learning space, sheltered eating space and play areas, they can be fitted almost anywhere and can help to extend classrooms, providing fit for purpose entrance covers or weatherproof covered walkways.

Bringing the inside outside

Canopies and covered areas are especially useful for providing outside eating and play areas, particularly in light of the unpredictable British weather. As the country looks to ease its way out of the Covid19 lockdown, more covered outside space has been and will be needed as we move forward. The mental and physical benefits of increasing the amount of daylight in our environment have been well documented. Indeed, numerous studies have shown that not only do we feel better as a result of more daylight, but we also concentrate better, we sleep better, we perform better, we recover faster, and we are happier. Daylight affects us unlike anything else, it is deeply rooted in our very souls and provides something that we desperately need. Studies show that adding daylight into design, results in a demonstrable increase in academic performance and the students are better behaved. Having a bright, open, versatile space which can be covered if needed, makes it not only exciting and fun to learn in this space, but makes a real feature of the outside.

Covering off the Design

Each school is different with specific needs which require bespoke solutions to fit with the existing structures, the students, the curriculum and desired uses. Having well designed, flexible spaces ensure that as requirements and demands change, the limitations are your imagination and not the environment you’re in.

Canopies and covered areas are a cost effective, low maintenance alternative to an extension, whilst still providing much needed outside space. Canopies can be used in conjunction with roller shutters or vertical glazing to provide multipurpose spaces, offering additional space with the benefits of being inside, outside.

Attractively designed, sympathetic to existing architecture and blending with surroundings, they offer significant benefits as learning spaces or covered multipurpose areas. Made from hard wearing, long life products such as aluminium and polycarbonate, which resist the damage of exposure to the British weather and are sustainable and environmentally friendly, due to their ability to be recycled, canopies and covered areas provide a real long-term investment. There is no substitute for having a flexible outdoor space that can provide somewhere safe and secure when required but can quickly and easily be opened up to allow the outside inside.

Every day is a school day

One recent example of good design was delivered by a leading manufacturer of canopies and covered spaces. They designed, manufactured and installed a free-standing mono pitch canopy with aluminium frame to complement a new classroom. The roof comprises of an innovative panel system, which meets relevant safety tests so a good safe choice for the school environment. Using polycarbonate glazing materials provided protection against UV to those using the canopy. It is also incredibly tough and will not crack or craze with use.

Vicky Evans, Director at Twinfix, commented; “I really understand the importance of helping schools to design bespoke, cost effective canopies and covered areas. Creating a style which suits each school site and location, is important. Having the ability to choose from a range of different materials, colours and products, depending upon your requirements gives each school something unique, but instantly familiar. However, should you want something a little out of the ordinary, our design team would be delighted to work with you to create a bespoke cover for your area. Looking at cost and longer-term investment for schools, we are able to provide a financing solution which allows them to spread the cost to suit their budget.

One of the Early Years canopies at the Gaer Primary School, Newport

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A school outside eating area

A school outside eating area