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Social distancing canopies create an extra outdoor covered space that supports your social distancing efforts in schools.

Like it or not, social distancing is an important aspect of school life now and probably for the long term. The government’s coronavirus guidelines outline a long list of actions that schools need to take to stay open and safe. This means that schools around the country need to jump into action to establish social distancing protocols quickly and in line with their budgets.

Fortunately, most schools have plenty of outdoor space to allocate for social distancing canopies. And since it’s possible to install social distancing canopies in any outdoor area imaginable, your options are endless. You may also be surprised to discover that you can often install social distancing canopies for a fraction of the time and cost it would take to build an extension. They’re the perfect social distancing solution for schools.

But that’s not all …

Spending more time outdoors creates the perfect environment for decreasing the risk of catching COVID-19. Mostly because the virus doesn’t transmit as prolifically in outdoor, open spaces. Plus, outdoor learning has many advantages over learning indoors both for the students and the staff.

This guide aims to show you how you can use school canopies for social distancing during key times throughout the school day.

Can School Canopies for Social Distancing Be Used During Breaks?

The biggest issue with social distancing during breaks is the challenge you’ll have with keeping the students focused on following your school’s social distancing protocols. It’s critical that you create enough space for your students to spread out into their ‘class bubbles’ during break time. It’s the only way that you will keep the children in your school safe while still providing space to exercise or play.

But you need to have the option to spread out in all weathers.

Taking advantage of the space outside your school all sounds so easy when it is summertime. But if it’s rainy or cold outside and you have to keep students indoors during break time, that’s where a school social distancing canopy can help. 

Social distancing canopies will give your students a place to go to stretch their legs in all weathers.  They provide the opportunity for the students to enjoy a change in scenery. And will give your staff an opportunity to disinfect your classrooms ready for the next school session. 

Can Social Distancing Canopies Become An Extra Classroom?

The short answer is yes, social distancing canopies are ideal for creating extra classrooms. They are perfect fulltime classrooms too. 

Most social distancing canopies are fully customisable. You can order them in almost any size you want and in any specification. For example;

You can choose whether to have the sides open to the elements, closed, or adjustable. And if you fit side panels, you can add lighting and heating making it the perfect environment for learning. 

Installing a social distancing canopy is just like adding another warm, dry classroom to your school.  But one that can open up to the elements when the weather allows.

Adding individual classroom furniture and anti-microbial coverings to your furniture creates the perfect combination of solutions to aid social distancing. It’s a solution you can create without having to formally extend your school by adding expensive extensions. 

When you use a social distancing canopy to create a new larger classroom, you have the opportunity to maximise the use of your existing classrooms. Perhaps you’ll split one class into two rooms or change the furniture in these classrooms to save space.

These individual desks with their own storage included will help to reduce the risk of contamination in communal areas and give each student their own space to store their belongings. It’s a great solution for smaller classrooms and for reducing the amount of cleaning your staff may need to do throughout the day too.

Don’t forget that your social distancing classroom can become a multipurpose room too. One that can adapt to suit your school’s needs, perhaps you’ll use it for:

  • Break times when it’s cold, or raining
  • Exams
  • Morning and afterschool clubs
  • A dining canteen
  • An extra classroom

Can Social Distancing Canopies Support The Lunchtime Rush?

A school canopy can be the perfect solution for creating a social distancing dining canteen. Again, you can build it to whatever size you desire, and even build more than one to aid your social distancing efforts. You can learn more about school dining canopies here.

How Do Social Distancing Canopies Support Before And After School Clubs?

The challenges you face with social distancing in before and after school clubs are that your ‘class bubbles’ can be broken and exposed to risk. Which will be counterintuitive to your school’s social distancing efforts.

Adding a social distancing canopy will give you the space you need to create enough distance between students in before and after school classes.  So that they can stay in ‘family bubbles’ or small groups of children. You can use room dividers or even transparent room dividers to keep students in their allocated space. Giving you the opportunity to supervise them without increasing staff.

There are plenty of social distancing games your students could play in their after school clubs, here’s a helpful list of 15 social distancing games to get you started.

Can Schools Use Social Distancing Canopies For Parent Waiting Areas?

In a time not too far away, parent waiting areas with shelters were more an aesthetically pleasing bonus for schools. One that you may have been lucky to get if you’ve managed to save enough budget throughout the year. But now, parent waiting areas are necessary. They reduce the health and safety risks that the coronavirus exposes us to.

Social distancing canopies in parent waiting areas protects your staff and children by subtly managing the parent’s movements. They can encourage the parents to follow social distancing protocols while waiting for their children, or while waiting to access the office. And can provide shelter for the times where you need parents to wait outside for longer than they would have done before coronavirus.

Most parent waiting areas are in the playgrounds of schools, which means you can use the waiting area for children to play and social distance in. Even in bad weather during break times. 

The practical uses of social distancing shelters are endless. You just have to choose the right one for your school.