A Practical, Multi-Use Space That Can Be Used Throughout The Seasons
Jacky Halton from Crofton Hammond Infant School, Hampshire, contacted us as they wanted to create a large covered area in their outdoor learning environment.
Our excellent outdoor learning consultant, Donella Felton, worked alongside Jacky and Crofton Hammond to discuss what the best solution would be to create a practical, multi-use space that could be used throughout the seasons.
A sheltered area for lessons and playtime
We installed a 12m x 8m L Shaped Wrap Around Timber Canopy that also covered the doorway over the classroom, ensuring the children can walk between buildings in the shelter and shade.
With glazed sides and internal seating, the children can sit comfortably and actively participate in lessons outdoors whilst being protected from the elements.
Underneath the huge canopy, we surfaced the space with our all-weather artificial grass surfacing to ensure the space would be a cosy area to sit and relax and play in.
"We have all said we don’t know how we would have managed without it!..."
With the installation taking place and completed just before the first national Covid-19 lockdown, Jackie explained to us how fantastic having the new area was:
“We have all said we don’t know how we would have managed without it! As it’s a covered space but still outside it meant that we had shade when it was really warm, but we had shelter when it was raining. We actually ended up using it as a base for our key worker children, so they came out here and spent their days out in the fresh air.
It also meant that we could get all of our other children back into school, which we hadn’t thought we would be able to do because we didn’t have to have a space for our key worker children. It had lots of benefits from that point of view."
"It was also a really good space over lockdown when we had loads of staff in. It was used as an outdoor staffroom and it’s still used as an outdoor staffroom now as we can’t let everybody in the staffroom at the moment. Even though it’s pouring with rain today, the staff still had their lunch out here because its sheltered and warm enough.
I’ve also used it to meet my new parents. I didn’t see any of the new parents when they were coming into school and that was quite hard for them, so I’ve set up one to one meetings and we’ve sat outside under the canopy and that’s been really successful."
"Also, my young governors meet out here. So, they have to be in their bubbles of two so we spread out so they’re more than two meters apart and we can have our meetings here. That’s one of the things I thought we wouldn’t be able to do because the hall is always in use, there’s nowhere for us to meet and my office is too small.
What I really wanted was to keep school as normal as possible for the children so things like the young governors, they really look forward to doing that and I thought it would be awful if we couldn’t do it. We’ve been able to do that as well.”
Are you looking to create a covered area in your playground? View our huge range of Outdoor Classrooms here and create your own wish list.
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If you would like to view more examples of our playground projects in Hampshire, visit our Hampshire page here.