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Benefits of Outdoor Learning

Classrooms have long been the environment of choice for many schools, but the benefits of outdoor learning are quickly being realised. You may think that it’s not possible or practical, especially with the unpredictable British weather, but with a canopy, teaching outdoors can become a reality. With various sizes available for different applications, any school can install a canopy to transform any outdoor area into a new type of classroom.

For children, new environments can inspire and excite, leading to an increased capacity to absorb new information. At a young age, standard classrooms can provide little stimulation for students and educational growth can become stunted. By exploring the use of outdoor teaching, children can find new and interesting ways of learning. Fresh air, and the ability to teach in a much larger space, can open up new doors to the way that lessons are taught and the activities which can be conducted.

To get started on planning your school’s brand new outdoor learning canopy, call us on 01743 444100, or email us at [email protected] with your message and enquiry. We’re based in Shrewsbury and the nearby areas of Telford, Oswestry, Market Drayton, and often work on various projects across the UK, in areas such as Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Essex.

Outdoor Learning Experiences and The Curriculum

Canopy with sides we designed for Monksmoor Park Primary SchoolMoving lessons outdoors can broaden the methods of learning and the way in which children are taught. The curriculum doesn’t have to hold teaching back, it can be adapted and integrated into classes that are taught outside. It’s been proven that fresh air and time spent exploring the outdoors can promote positive mental health and cognitive development.

During the summer, canopies can provide much-needed shade over the area beneath for a designated, sun-protected workspace. Having lessons outside in the summer can encourage a healthy relationship with nature for young children and help them focus. All children want to do when it’s warm outside is go and play with their friends on the playground, so by teaching outside, you’re giving them half of that experience. When children are outside, they’re not thinking about going outside to play instead of a lesson, making them more engaged with the teacher.

Teaching subjects on the curriculum outside may prove a challenge for some teachers as they think about where the students will write and put their books. But outdoor teaching is all about adapting teaching methods and using new ways to communicate information. Part of the bonus of teaching outside is the ability to carry out new activities which are not only more engaging for students but also keeps them active and healthy as a result.

Skill Development & Team Work Skills

Conducting lessons outdoors allows teachers to deliver more lessons than what is simply included in the curriculum. Of course, those lessons are important, and they won’t get neglected, but by taking a class of students outside you’re able to get them to communicate and work with each other in brand new ways. With a school canopy from A&S Landscape, you can create an outdoor space for activities that can improve student’s teamwork and social skills.

Changing a lesson plan from reading textbooks and absorbing information from a page to teaching new skills outdoors, can help keep teaching patterns fresh and exciting. Engaging the students in physical activities which include problem-solving encourages them to work together and increase their team working skills. These types of skills are crucial in the real world and will massively benefit them when they leave school, which is why it’s important to teach these skills at a young age.

Taking students out of the classroom and putting them in a new, outdoors environment changes the way in which they interact with one another. Facing them with different learning opportunities will cause them to change the way they view education and social environments. There will be times when educating a class of young children outside will prove difficult and may not fit with the curriculum plan, but it’s a learning curve for both the teacher and the students. When in a more natural environment, children will change the way in which they approach certain tasks and issues. Dividing a class into separate groups and presenting each group with a task will help the children develop their problem-solving skills and increase their confidence as they tackle each task.

What Are The Benefits Of Outdoor Learning?

There are many benefits of learning outside which help children as well as teachers. A factor that is often overlooked is the teacher’s enjoyment of teaching lessons and how the opportunity to teach outside can be just as exciting for them as it is for students. Being in an outdoor environment is healthy and breeds positivity for teachers which is often reflected in their lessons and the way they teach. Naturally, if a teacher is uninspired, that lack of enthusiasm can carry over into their lessons but putting them in contact with nature can completely change the way they view teaching.

A happy teacher is a good teacher and one that is passionate about educating children. Introducing a canopy into a school gives both teachers and students a chance to explore this together and brings with it a positive sense of freedom. Increasing engagement in school is something every teacher is looking to do and with an outdoor canopy from A&S Landscape, it’s made much easier. The more engaged students are with their learning, the more their skills develop and the more confident they become in their abilities.

Being outside rather than inside a building, or mundane classroom, all day encourages a healthy relationship with nature and helps children grow up with an appreciation for living things. Educating children on nature is not necessarily something that is included as part of a curriculum, but it is part of life and an important part of their development as a human being. Through this appreciation for nature, children develop an understanding of how to care for nature, and how important it is that we look after our surroundings.

Not only do outdoor lessons excite and engage young children, but they also open up new possibilities in terms of their cognitive development. Inside a classroom, there’s not much stimulation past whatever tasks the teacher presents, however, when compared with the outdoors, there is an endless amount of stimulation from trees and greenery to animals and insects. Learning in these stimulating environments helps children focus their attention while dealing with other exciting distractions. The more time students spend outdoors the more comfortable they become in their surroundings, and the more chance nature has to positively impact their development.

Why Invest In A School Canopy?

Curved roof playground shelter we made for Covingham Park Primary SchoolWe’ve mentioned the benefits of conducting lessons outdoors and how they can promote a much higher engagement, but do you really need a canopy at your school? In short, yes. Introducing an outdoor canopy to your school is essentially adding a new classroom to the grounds at a fraction of the cost and with a much larger learning capacity. If you’re working with a budget but would like to add more learning spaces to your school grounds, canopies are the perfect way to do that as they transform pre-existing spaces into new learning environments. Building new classrooms or introducing temporary blocks can be extremely costly and in the case of the latter, they can look extremely dated and, frankly, boring. Canopies, on the other hand, look modern and can give your school a much fresher look than a dull grey classroom.

Canopies are the cost-effective, modern way of increasing the number of learning spaces on your school’s grounds and offers new opportunities for learning. Teaching lessons outside is possible without one, but you’ll be dictated by the very unpredictable Great British weather. With a canopy, you can teach outside no matter what the weather is. And with the addition of some side panels or even a door, you can keep your canopy warm throughout the winter months too.

School canopies aren’t limited to just teaching, although that is one of their most effective uses, they also provide a sheltered area for other activities too. During breaks and lunchtimes, they provide more seating opportunities for both children and staff to be protected from the elements. If you’ve opted for a canopy to be built in a certain area and find that it would be better extended, it’s cheaper, quicker and easier to extend it than it would be to extend a classroom. The canopy can be extended to incorporate either a larger learning space or useful space such as a covered walkway or a bicycle shelter.

School Canopies From A&S Landscape

At A&S Landscape, we have a range of different canopy options with applications depending on where it’s due to be installed. We’ve worked with nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, academies, universities and colleges nationwide to deliver affordable and reliable canopy solutions. Different materials suit different situations and can provide a versatile outdoor learning solution in any space.

Our range of Maxima shade sails offers an attractive and dynamic shelter option as they’re situated above a designated area. Rather than having a square, dull shape of a shelter, shade sails look the part as much as they play the part. Protecting against harmful UV rays, and keeping the temperature regulated beneath the shelter, shade sails offer as much shelter in the summer against the sun as they do at other times of the year when it’s raining or cold.

The Maxima shade sails are made from a strong and stable shade cloth which is supported by four posts. The shade cloth can also be made with a waterproof fabric, providing full shelter during even the heaviest rainfall. Due to the shade sails being a unique shape rather than simply being flat, they offer the most coverage and best protection against the elements. As the material is also designed to be bold and bright, the sails are able to give your school a positive boost in aesthetics, too.

As specialists, installation of the shade sails is a smooth and easy process. We’ll begin by carrying out a risk assessment of the area and identifying the best place to erect the sails. Once our thorough and thoughtful planning process has been carried out, we’ll identify the most effective anchor points for the sail to ensure maximum safety once the structure is in place. Our ability to quickly and safely implement these structures in a range of different applications has led to us forming strong, long-lasting relationships with our clients.

Cycle shelters and storage are another one of our offerings as outdoor shelter providers here in the UK. Bike shelters provide a safe space for students to keep their bikes during school hours and ensure they are protected from rain, other potential weather damage, or vandalism. By having a cycle shelter onsite, students know that they have a secure place to keep their bikes and are more likely to cycle to and from school, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. Our durable and modern cycle shelter designs will integrate seamlessly into your school’s grounds to create a stylish solution for bike storage. Assessing the area you wish to insert a bike shelter, we’ll identify the best way to implement the shelter to provide maximum space and access for all students.

How A&S Landscape Can Help You

As a family-owned business, our heritage is deep-rooted and with over 44 years of experience supplying for a range of clients, we’re experts in our field and consider ourselves the best at what we do. This experience makes us ideally suited to implement a brand new outdoor learning space to enhance your school and improve your ability to educate. We pride ourselves on being approachable and being able to instil confidence within our clients as we demonstrate our creativity through effective outdoor solutions.

Part of our values as a respectable company is being honest and keeping processes uncomplicated. By this, we mean we won’t beat around the bush or try to attempt anything without you being on the same page as us. We’re on hand to refurbish or upgrade your school’s ground with a fast and straight-forward process that will prove much easier on your budget than a new building.

At A&S Landscape, since 1976, we’ve been providing all of our clients with an efficient, reliable and thorough service no matter what the project is. We’re always on hand to help you with all of your outdoor school canopy needs and are available to contact anytime. Simply call us on 01743 444100 or email us at [email protected] with your enquiry.

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