Innovative play happens underneath sails for shade
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Innovative play happens underneath sails for shade

  • Education
  • Projects
- June 23, 2022

Creating a functional and fun space for your school with smart weather protection

Sunshade has been featured in Term 2’s School News magazine. We were delighted to share our experience and advice for anyone looking to improve the quality of shade cover for tamariki in New Zealand schools. Here’s an excerpt from the article if you missed it:

Outdoor play is the pinnacle of joy for kids at school, however even sunny days can have a dark side!

Looking at a recent JAMA Dermatology Study, Melanoma cases are set to skyrocket, increasing by 50% over the next 18 years. This does not bode well for New Zealand, which already has one of the highest mortality rates for Melanoma in the world.

And it is not just our skin we need to look after from our harsh New Zealand sun, but also sunlight. Did you know strong sunlight can also affect our focus, stamina and our longer-term wellbeing? This becomes very apparent to teachers in schools; students can become fatigued and lethargic in the heat and the glare can impair their vision.

Child hugging shade sail pole pad

This places shade as a critical part of any school’s health and safety mitigation strategy.

Why are shade sails the solution to sun protection in NZ schools?

UV Protection and Safety

Shade sails are a highly effective solution to create a safe and shady space for play, as they provide high UV protection and shelter from the sun and heat. At Sunshade, we use textiles with at least 50 UPF and a UVR block of no less than 90 percent. Our fabrics are also strength-tested, fire-tested and certified by structural engineers.

Sunshade NZ custom shade sails solution for ECE centre play area

Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne Owner/Operator Mark Hannan describes some of the worst shade structures that he has seen in some schools.

“Aside from inadequately durable fabrics, probably the worst thing I see in schools is loose shade sails. These can be an accident waiting to happen or at least degrade shades more quickly; another problem arises where the shade sails have not been fixed correctly and could cause damage to property in an extreme weather event. If it is not attached to something seriously strong or it is sagging or visibly damaged in places, it’s time for a repair or refit.”

What are the latest trends in school shade sails?

Sunshade sails also create a striking effect and come in a wide selection of colours and styles, turning a sunny space into a functional and fun space. It also enables opportunities to escape the classroom and participate in outdoor learning which not only improves the well-being and resilience of students, but also contributes to their mental and physical well-being. Not to mention reducing the spread of viruses within our schools.

Mark has the current trends for Sunshade at schools.

“Awesome shade sail fit-out requests lately have been for playground space designs without centre poles, allowing for uninterrupted play in the space underneath. Others use rectangles to cast strong blocks of shade when the sun is at its highest which also ends up looking cool. It really depends on the space and the needs of the school, so custom designs are a strong trend. Shades can be an opportunity to bring the school colours to life too; Primary schools tend to choose some fun colours. In areas where graffiti or damage might be a concern, some schools are also opting for more forgiving colours like black and charcoal and pole pads continue to be a standard requirement for knock prevention too.”

Needing quality shade + shelter protection at your school or kohanga? 

Talk to your local expert, or fire us a quote request today.

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