Outdoor Storage Solutions for Schools – What are the benefits?
May 1, 2014
Storage is a common problem for schools. With many staff and pupils all in the same place, there is always a huge amount of equipment that needs to be put somewhere. Schools are often restricted on space, so smart solutions are hard to come by and much needed. Whether it’s in the class room for children’s work or outside for the caretakers, you have to think smart for effective storage.
Storage for School Groundskeepers
For any school, keeping the grounds and sports fields in good shape and ready for any matches take a lot of time. It also usually involves some sizeable items of grounds keeping equipment as well. Kit including lawn mowers, line marking equipment and sprinkler systems are expensive and often represent a considerable investment for a school, so secure storage is a must-have. On top of that, it’s heavy and difficult to move around, so having it stored close to the areas it will be used is another essential.
A shed is going to be your best option, ideally one that is around three-metres wide. This will give you a generous amount of storage to fit ride-on mowers as well as various other bits of equipment. Ideally, try not to pick one with windows, as this gives thieves the opportunity to see what’s inside. An easy to install shed can normally be put on any flat surface, allowing you to build it in a convenient part of the grounds. Ultimately, your priority is keeping your grounds keeping equipment safe, secure, dry and handy.
School Sports gear Storage
Storing sports equipment can be a massive headache for schools, especially when it comes to bulky kit that might only be used for part of the year. Indoor space is at too much of a premium to be given to storing these items but they have to go somewhere. On top of that, the storage has to be secure; sports equipment doesn’t come cheap.
Outdoor storage could be the answer. After all, mud belongs on the pitch, not indoors. Keeping sports equipment close to the playing fields and outdoor courts also avoids unnecessary cleaning because it won’t need to be carried in and out of school buildings. On top of that, it’s less of a headache if it avoids carrying heavy equipment like tackle bags back and forth.
Again, a decent sized shed or a large crate is an ideal solution. Make sure you pick something well ventilated so that the equipment can dry out after being used in heavy rain or on a damp pitch. Of course, you’ll want to consider security as well; replacing several hockey sticks and cricket nets won’t come cheap so take precautions to keep everything secure.
Storing Children’s play equipment
Making the most of outdoor play opportunities can help a school secure an improved Ofsted rating, so it’s clearly a good idea to look for ways to make this possible. However, with indoor space hard to come by, storing bulky play equipment isn’t the easiest problem to solve. On top of that, getting all that outdoor play equipment set up in the morning and back indoors at the end of the day can be time consuming for staff.
Whether you need a big container or something larger like a shed, pick a solution that will comfortably fit all of your children’s equipment. The last thing you want is something too small and having to waste more space by installing a separate storage container. Install these units outside and reserve them for outdoor equipment, making it easy to access but also encouraging children to have fun outdoors.
Get your gardens growing!
The great outdoors presents loads of learning opportunities for schools. Initiatives like Growing Schools and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening recognise this and aim to get schools growing their own gardens and allotments! With urban areas in particular, any small plot can be useful to turn into a resource for gardening, growing, insect-watching or even pond-dipping. Outdoor space is so ‘fruit’-ful in supporting learning across the curriculum!
Of course, don’t forget that all these activities need lots of equipment. Trowels, spades and forks, wheelbarrows, pond dipping nets… there’s all sorts of kit needed to help students get their hands dirty! Having these items stored close to where they’re going to be used is handy. Not only does it save having to carry the equipment back to school, but the tools are likely to be wet or muddy when they’re put away at the end of the lesson. On-site storage will keep mess away from school buildings – a bonus for the caretakers and cleaners. A small storage unit is ideal for the little tools like trowels, but a medium-sized shed might be more suitable for bulkier items, allowing schools to keep their garden equipment in the great outdoors!
Here comes the summer!
As the end of the school year approaches, it’s time to celebrate another year of growing, learning, and achieving. Fairs, barbecues, prom nights and sports days all take place at this time of year, offering great reasons to get together and let your hair down! Of course, once the party’s over, you’ve then got to figure out what to do with the BBQ grills, inflatables, bunting, tables and chairs, and everything else that has helped make those summer events a success.
Outdoor storage can be just the thing, whether you need a small unit or a larger shed. You can keep it close to buildings, without wasting valuable indoor space, ensuring everything stays secure and dry until the next event, even if that’s not until the following summer!
If you run any kind of outdoor facility where educational opportunities are on offer, chances are you have to think about secure storage for schools’ property when they visit. Outdoor activity centres, nature reserves and wildlife parks all have school parties turning up on a regular basis. Not only that, but they all have coats, bags and lunches that need to be stored securely while the visitors are off making the most of learning outside the classroom.
These centres need to have smart storage solutions that will keep bags and backpacks safe and dry, without encroaching on the natural environment. All of the belongings of a typical school party will need to be comfortably held, ready for when the adventurers return. At the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s London centre, visiting schools certainly appreciate the storage units made available for their use, which also avoid the need for the centre to provide lockable indoor space. So visitors can let their imaginations fly, without worrying about their belongings!
Take exam gear outdoors
When it comes to storage in schools, indoor space is usually hard to come by. Giving over precious indoor areas to storage for a school’s larger items of equipment is often impractical, especially when the items may be used infrequently. If there’s indoor space going spare, there’s a host of more productive and interactive ways to use it instead of storage such as additional ICT stations, art display areas or reading corners.
That’s where secure outdoor storage is ideal. As an example, exam tables and chairs are used for only a few weeks each year and yet can take up such a lot of space. An outdoor shed would be perfect to get these out of the main school, yet still handy and easily accessible. If you invest in a shed that has air circulation vents in the construction, there’s also no risk of damp and condensation. If your school has bulky items or furniture that is only used occasionally, why not look at freeing up some space? Stick it all in an outdoor shed and give yourself some more room.
Preparing for winter
It may seem the least of our worries in the summer months, but when the colder weather returns, keeping walkways and car parks easily passable and clear of snow and ice is crucial. Readily- accessible stores of grit and salt around the estate are a must, especially if there are any inclines or steps. However, when not required, these supplies need to be stored securely and also must be kept dry, otherwise they will become useless.
Several small units are ideal for strategic installation around the school site. Robust and weatherproof, the stores will keep your grit and salt at hand, completely dry and ready for when bad weather hits. So why not be prepared for winter and think about installing them during the summer break?
Schools have so many different bits of equipment that need storing and it can be hard to keep track of everything. The outdoor grounds often give ample opportunity for storage so taking full advantage of them is going to free up valuable space inside school buildings. Buying a range of large and small sheds, storage units and ventilated stores will allow you to keep everything secure, dry and out of sight. Think smart with your storage solutions and you’ll be able to make the most of the limited amount of space on offer within your school.