As the national conversation moves to how we get back to work, one of the most important factors to consider is the school day. It is still unclear how and when pupils will return to their classrooms and there are many things to consider such as:

  • How do pupils arrive at school and into safe waiting areas before the school bell?
  • How to provide catering for those pupils requiring their first meal of the day?
  • What is the impact of smaller class sizes if social distancing measures need to be maintained?
  • How will lunch and break times work?

We have over 30 years experience manufacturing and installing fixed outdoor shelters in schools for covered playground areas, sun and rain canopies, outdoor classrooms & safe freeflow areas, queing areas and covered dining shelters.

Over the last 2 years we have seen a growing trend for outdoor dining with food pods as “grab & go” service outlets for breakfast and lunch times. This has been driven by social (what the pupils want) and economic reasons ( a cheaper alternative to operating multiple sittings). Maybe this type of meal provision in schools can also provide a safer alternative …

Modular Shelters Covered Outdoor Dining Area Social Distancing
18m x 12m Outdoor Dining Area, Nottingham Bluecoat Academy

The US’s version of “Stay at Home” is “Shelter in Place” and as we in the UK start to leave our homes again perhaps we should start to consider how to create more “Safe Place Shelters” in our every day life. Shelters allow us to embrace the safe and healthy environment of the outdoors while being protected from the weather.

A final thing worth considering is the school environment. Most pupils will have spent half of the academic year away from school so why not consider welcoming them back with something new.

If you are an education professional and are starting to think about how best to use this ‘unusual’ time right now here are a couple of thoughts:

  • Start thinking about social distancing for when pupils return – pupils want and need to be outside, especially after weeks inside …
  • With less pupils on site at the moment, you might be able to get works completed more quickly than usual too …

Recently, a leader of head teachers’ stated that 1 June would be the earliest that schools could return and that “planning would need to begin very soon.” We are offering a Remote Site Visit Service and can provide you with a full quote within 7 days. Our leadtime is currently 4 weeks. Please contact Simon on 01204 522 424 or simon.harrison@aquila-shelters.co.uk for more information.