Walkways and Canopies: The benefits of outdoor classrooms

Around the country, many primary schools and nurseries are looking beyond a traditional classroom and exploring the option of an external shelter placed within the natural environment since they provide plenty of benefits to the children, staff and the school.

Outdoor classrooms will become more and more popular as they provide primary schools and nurseries with practical, covered spaces for outdoor learning, socialisation and play all within the current Covid-19 guidelines.

Here are just some of the reasons to encourage outdoor classrooms in the school environment:

Walkways and Canopies make learning a multi-sensory experience

By learning outdoors there is the opportunity to engage the senses of touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight. This helps children to retain a physical memory of activities that are long-lasting.

Moves learning away from traditional textbooks and resources

Outdoor classrooms allow children to learn from direct experience rather than more passive resources such as textbooks, lectures and the internet. By engaging with nature and the physical world it can bring learning to life.

Children learn from the process and not just the outcome

Outdoor classroom teaching encourages more hands-on, inquiry-based learning in a real-world setting. The process is something the children will learn from (often working in groups) and not just the answer or outcome.

Encourages the teaching of multi-disciplinary studies

Outdoor classrooms lend themselves to the teaching of multiple academic subjects in one task (often without the children being aware of it). The creation of a vegetable bed, for example, requires maths skills, biology, writing and observation skills and creativity (if there is a scarecrow making to be done).

Walkways and Canopies accommodates different learning styles

People have different learning styles and preferences – visual, aural and kinesthetic. For children who thrive in a more experiential approach, outdoor classrooms provide the environment in which to learn in this way, which is often difficult to replicate in a traditional classroom setting.

Outdoor classrooms can be flexible spaces

Tradition classrooms tend to only have one purpose – as a classroom. But an outdoor classroom space can be used for teaching and learning, but it can also be used as meeting places, quiet places or as shelters and waiting areas.

Walkways and Canopies: What are the options?

Although not essential to have a structure, the UK weather means that have a sheltered area is preferable. There are decisions to be made.

  • How are you planning to use the space?
  • Does it need to be near nature areas or as part of the playground?
  • Do you want it to be attached to the classroom or away from it?
  • Do you have unused areas which could be converted and made some use of?
  • Is it a space the children will be allowed to use themselves at break times?
  • Do you need integrated seating?
  • What is your budget?

Depending on how you answer these questions will depend on the type of structure you opt for.

Having a canopy at school can be extremely enriching. They are impressively versatile and can make a child’s experience at school much more fun and fulfilling. Not only are they an exciting and different social space for children to enjoy at playtime, but they also provide a convenient learning space that can be used in all weather conditions. Furthermore, canopies and covered walkways are extremely useful when it comes to social-distancing, helping staff and pupils by creating more learning space.

High-Quality Walkways and Canopies for Your School or Workplace

Shelter Store’s covered walkways and canopies cater for all budgets and needs, whilst retaining the highest quality and standards. All of our covered walkways are made bespoke for you and can be finished in a wide range of colours and finishes including powder coating and 316 stainless steel for that premium finish. Perfect for schools, offices and public spaces alike.


Call our team today on 0800 612 7503 to discuss your walkway project.