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A green aluminium free-standing mono-pitch canopy covering the playground at St Peters School in Farnham

Using canopies for Outdoor Classroom Day

By: Oli Birch Category: External Solutions

Outdoor Classroom Day is fast approaching, with the first installment of the yearly campaign scheduled for Thursday 23rd May.

Running once in May and again in November, Outdoor Classroom Day aims to “inspire and celebrate outdoor play and learning.”

And following its introduction in 2012, over 12 million children have been able to experience the benefits of outdoor learning through Outdoor Classroom Day.

Ahead of the day, we’ve created a handy list of three ways in which schools can use their canopies to get creative for this year’s Outdoor Classroom Day.

Science experiments

The shade provided by canopies during the summer give teachers an excellent opportunity to create science experiments.

For instance, the experiment could focus on taking temperature readings in sheltered and unsheltered areas. This provides students with the chance to measure the difference and present their data in a table or as a group.

Alternatively, teachers could challenge students to study how the different temperatures impacts the melting time of various objects.

Literature lessons

While science experiments are a fun excuse to get outdoors, the outdoor learning could be as simple as a literature lesson taken underneath a canopy as a change of scenery.

A wide shot of Heltwate School's new building

For early years, the canopy could be a space for teachers to read to pupils in an environment outside the classroom.

Or for GCSE students, the lesson could comprise of an essay writing lesson.

While its a simple idea, just having the opportunity to learn away from the classroom has a profound impact on pupil productivity and wellbeing.

Art classes

Art teachers can use the space to create fun challenges for pupils.

Secondary school students could be tasked to paint the landscape surrounding the canopy in the style of a famous artist .

Meanwhile younger pupils can collect leaves of different shapes and sizes to draw the outline of and colour in.

While these are just a handful of ideas, we’re hoping this blog provides a snapshot of how schools can use canopies to celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day this year.

If you’d like to discuss a canopy for your school, get in touch with our expert team here.

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