Why Your School Needs A Covered Outdoor Learning Area

Outdoor learning is nothing new. By now, most people are aware of the benefits it can provide students and teachers, but certain situations aren’t practical for outdoor learning, such as bad weather. The unpredictability of the weather can ruin a whole lesson plan if you planned on taking your class outdoors. But there is a simple solution to counteract this and other problems: a covered outdoor learning area (COLA). You may be thinking, why should I invest in a COLA when I have perfectly good classrooms? It’s a valid point; that’s why we’re here to tell you how a COLA can benefit you.


Weather Protection

The first obvious answer is weather protection. As COLAs are essentially a big roof that covers an outdoor space, they provide excellent protection from the rain and the harsh sun, allowing you to teach in the outdoors regardless of what the weather is doing. Granted, the outside temperature should be taken into consideration as an outdoor class isn’t going to be too productive if it’s freezing cold or boiling hot.



While they are called covered outdoor learning areas, they can be used for so much more than learning in the outdoors. They can be used to create covered outdoor eating areas or sports courts, such as a covered basketball court, creating a versatile, weather-protected outdoor area. Most kids struggle with being cooped up indoors all day, unable to burn off their energy, and when the weather’s not great, such as when it’s raining, this forces them to be stuck inside. But with a COLA, they don’t have to be. Covering your basketball court or another outdoor space with a COLA gives students a space to go outdoors and burn off energy without being affected by the weather. It also means that you don’t have to cancel that all-important PE class just because it’s raining.


If your school has a large number of students that you find hard to fit into one room, a COLA can be a great solution. Covering a large outdoor area at your school can allow you to create a weather-protected space that can hold all your staff and students for things such as assemblies and other large school gatherings without trying to cram everyone into a room that you know they won’t fit into.

Enhances your lesson plan

Taking your class outdoors under a COLA allows you to bring nature and the outside world into your teaching and link your lessons to the fun that can be had in the outdoors. This can then help to make your outdoor spaces more stimulating and desirable to your students and make them excited to be and learn in the outdoors rather than confined to the four walls of a classroom, which can help increase the engagement and productivity of your class.


These are just some of the many benefits you can get from adding a COLA to your school grounds. If you would like more information on COLAs and would like to know how we can help you enhance your outdoor space with a COLA, contact our friendly team today!