Dining Area Canopies
Widest range of outdoor dining and covered seating solutions
“I had no hesitation going back to A&S for another canopy, because I knew I was going to get value for money.”
Business Manager, Our Lady’s RC High School
“The way in which A&S work is really superb. I am very pleased with the quality of the design and the construction.”
Deputy Principal, Blackpool Aspire Academy
“A&S Landscape gave us the care and attention that we required. The team’s communication was excellent.”
Assistant Headteacher, Claremont High School
St Wilfrid's Catholic High School
The cost of an extension can be prohibitive to a stretched school budget. This was the challenge facing St Wilfrid’s RC College in Featherstone, West Yorkshire. Guaranteeing the health and wellbeing of their students during lunchtimes was a priority that they needed to address. The school’s existing facilities could only accommodate half of the required student capacity. This is where A&S Landscape came in. They designed an alternative structure to support the required dining capacity. Using the features of the curved roof canopy of the Motiva Duo range as the basis for a new dining area canopy, A&S Landscape then added glass panelling and a door to enclose the facility so that it could be used all-year-round. With the addition of heating and lighting, the space became a comfortable eating area. As an additional bespoke flourish, A&S Landscape added St Wilfrid’s logo to the glass panelling. To read more about the dining area canopy at St Wilfrid’s RC College, click here.
Rhymney Comprehensive School in Tredegar is surrounded by rolling green fields. Even on the rainiest days, there’s nothing better than taking in the fresh air and the views. So when the school decided that an outside canopy would enable their pupils to be outside more, A&S Landscape knew that there’d be an option to suit. Initially spoilt for choice, the school eventually settled on the Motiva Duo model, adding an opal effect roof and finished in Squirrel Grey. This created a space that the students immediately embraced, and the shelter is in demand even on the rainier days. The school now plans to add seating and tables so the space can be used for outside dining. The benefit of an outside dining canopy is that the space will be used even more, and we’re sure that there’ll be plenty of competition from the students to grab a seat at lunchtime! See why the students at Rhymney Comprehensive School will be flocking to use this canopied outside dining space here.
Wellbeing is at the heart of the values of The Perse School in Cambridge. A lot of thought went into how they could complement their existing external areas by providing an outside dining area canopy that would blend with the lovely surroundings. The school’s chosen option was for two Maxima StarSail canopies. The real beauty of the canopied outside dining area that the school created was not just the aesthetic effect of the elegant sail-shaped awnings, but the shade that was achieved from the sun in summer. Not only that, but with the use of waterproof fabric, the area is also the perfect shelter from the rain. The ability to configure this particular type of dining area canopy to suit the space available also meant that the school was able to create a bespoke look that fits perfectly into its grounds. This project is a great example of the versatility of outdoor dining canopies for schools. To read more about The Perse School’s outdoor dining area and its lovely fabric shade sail canopy, click here.
This was a real makeover project for A&S Landscape! From an ugly duckling in a sorry state to a swan sitting pride of place in the former quad area of the school. When Rushcliffe School in Nottingham approached us for a solution, they already knew that they wanted to revamp the area which was unused and a little bit drab. The main aim of the project was to increase the amount of dining space for students, and the school was keen to create an outside eating area, protected by a dining area canopy. As the school had grown, they needed to bring in to use areas of the building that simply were not adding value. The Motiva Duo dining area canopy range was just perfect for this refurbishment project. The area was turned quickly and efficiently into a usable space that provided students with a quality outside eating area. Find out more about the dining area canopy we installed at Rushcliffe School here.
It’s a mealtime double-whammy at Meole Brace Secondary School in Shropshire! Not only have they created a fabulous canopied outside dining area, but they also decided to add a dining pod to alleviate pressure on the main dining hall. The school had wanted to create an outside seating area that would allow the students to use the space year-round. But the addition of this all-weather resource doesn’t just give students an outside dining shelter, it also offers an opportunity for teachers to use the space to deliver lessons outside. What set out as a canopied outside dining area has become an all-purpose space that has added value to the school on many levels. This shows the creative ways that additional dining area canopies can be used. Better still, it’s easy to show to governors the cost-benefit analysis of a school dining area canopy because the popularity amongst the students speaks for itself. Read more about Meole Brace Secondary School’s outside dining shelter here.
What was the project brief?
Our Lady’s RC High School in Blackley, Manchester recognise the key part a comfortable environment plays for the well-being of their students. While a large amount of a child’s school day is usually spent within the confines of the classroom, the school wanted to ensure that their students had access to outdoor space in their breaks – all year round. It was important to Our Lady’s RC High School that the children were able to appreciate the fresh air, while also enjoying a good dining experience.
They realised that the best way to achieve this was to transform their unused outdoor space, into an outdoor covered dining area – complete with all the dining facilities such as tables, chairs and rubbish bins. As the school canopy expert, A&S Landscape was called in to help them with the entire process. This meant discussing the wide range of canopies on offer, how the canopy could be designed to better suit their needs, and once the school were happy – the manufacturer and design.
What was our outdoor dining canopy solution?
The school canopy that was selected as the best solution was the Motiva Duo™. Measuring at 12000mm x 8000mm, this was to be a large dining area canopy. The Motiva Duo™ has a genuine polycarbonate roof, and a Dura-coat™ finish, offering excellent quality weather protection at all times of the year. The addition of side panels formed an enclosed area and created the much-loved outside eating area for the students of Our Lady’s RC High School.
What was the result of outdoor dining canopy?
The new dining area canopy has gone down a treat with the children, who are happy they can now enjoy the large outdoor dining area – eating outside and socialising with their friends. The staff and teachers are also much happier now that dining capacity has increased, and the area is essentially used as the over-flow canteen. Now with the additional dining space, there is less pressure on the canteen and other indoor eating areas. No longer are children using valuable time during their lunch break waiting for dining tables to become free, nor are they having to rush their food to ensure they are back to their classes on time. This means the children are using their lunch break for what they should be used for – to relax!
Testimonial / Client Feedback
“I’d heartily recommend A&S Landscape to any other school or any other potential customer and we have done so. I’d very gladly work with them again.”
-Ian Gosling, Headteacher at Our Lady’s RC High School
About the client
Our Lady’s RC High School is a catholic school located in the suburban area Blackley, within the city of Manchester. The school is made up of a lovely team of individuals who were friendly throughout the process and were extremely helpful when it came to discussing the options with them. They certainly made our job easier by being so efficient with communication. We are so pleased we could help them create their outdoor dining area.
Why invest in a dining area canopy?
Outdoor dining canopies are beneficial to you whether you are a school, University, commercial business, or a public attraction, or any other business or organisation that requires to accommodate eating. Also exquisitely named outdoor dining and social canopies, they can be a hugely valuable investment. Here are a few reasons why they are worth investing in:
Why choose A&S Landscape?
We have been helping our customers to find the canopy that is special and unique to them for over 44 years. In this time, we have developed a wealth of knowledge, but have continued to offer a friendly, reliable and trustworthy service as part of our family-run business. If you need some inspiration, feel free to look through our product gallery, and at our other completed canopy and shelter projects.
When you’re designing (or re-designing) your dining areas to meet the changing needs of your school, there’s a lot to take into account. From the statutory minimum dining area you need to provide, to the welfare and happiness of the children, the challenge of balancing your responsibilities with your budget is not going to be easy.
The Department for Education provides a technical document for project managers (Area Guidelines for Mainstream Schools, Building Bulletin 103, June 2014), which, for those of you with a technical mind, you can access here.
We’ve looked at the whole thing and extracted the relevant information on outdoor dining areas. So whether you’re doing the planning yourself or overseeing your main contractor while they complete the process, you’ll remain informed and assured that your plans are fit for purpose and will meet the needs of your school.
You’ll see that even outdoor dining spaces need to meet strict guidance on accessibility, space, capacity, H&S and other regulations.
The total area of spaces used for dining should allow an amount per cover, or dining place. The number of covers should be based on the predicted number of pupils who would eat lunch on site (including packed lunches) divided by the number of ‘sittings’ or equivalent (if continuous flow) in the lunch break. Crucially, the number of sittings will depend on the time available for lunch.
You can request our graph which shows the range of area needed, depending on the time available and therefore the number of sittings possible. It is important to note that the lower recommended area for dining is only sufficient if the lunchtime available is at least an hour. This may be achieved by a single lunch break for all pupils or by a ‘split lunch’ break.
“A good dining experience gives schools a happier and calmer population of children, supports an increased uptake of school meals, and makes a significant contribution to your Health and Wellbeing inspection”
Department of Education, Northern Ireland
When designing your dining room facilities whether indoors or outdoors, you need to ensure:
In secondary schools, there can also be opportunities to create a much wider range of eating spaces within the dining area allocation, such as cafés and buffet areas that also become social spaces. The area may include further provision for cold meals or snacks, for instance from vending machines.
Social spaces specifically for sixth form pupils may be used for eating cold food, from vending machines or a satellite servery.
In addition to these specific requirements for dining areas, the Department for Education document also outlines the minimum space required for the area designated for ‘Halls, Dining and PE’, regardless of pupil numbers. You can request this here.
Away from the ‘Area Guidelines’ document, the Government’s ‘Output Specifications Generic Design Brief’ document also contains instructions for the design and build of dining areas. Our Condensed Guide Number 4 contains general advice for the use of this document, or you can request the whole thing here.
Specific to dining spaces, it states the following:
188.8.131.52 The Contractor shall ensure that the areas of any dining space(s) provided are as identified in the School-Specific SoA and ADS and are designed to accommodate any catering arrangements of the School set out in the SSB. Specific requirements, including whether dining will be dispersed around the School, rather than in a single location or, may be given in the SSB. Where required, the dining area shall be designed to allow other functions to take place, with the internal environment designed to cater for any different activities specified in the SSB
184.108.40.206 As well as responding to any specific requirements in the SSB, the Contractor shall ensure that any area provided for use as a dining space shall:
220.127.116.11 Where a specific dining area is required in the School-Specific SoA and ADS, the contractor shall ensure that it is designed so that there is adequate space for till points, where required, and serving areas to service the number of diners in any sitting, as given in the School-Specific SoA and ADS or SSB. Where required in the SSB or the School-Specific SoA and ADS, the Contractor shall also design the space to facilitate the requirements for distribution of food to dining areas in other areas of the School
18.104.22.168 In dining areas, the Contractor shall ensure that the FF&E [Fittings, Furniture and Equipment] used, and the associated FF&E layout meets the following requirements.
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