Engayne Primary School, Shade Sails Case Study

Case Study

Engayne Primary School – Upminster, Essex
Product: Shade Sail Array
Size: Various from 6.3m x 3m to 6.1m x 4.9m
Fabric Colours:
4no. Aquatic Blue sails
2no. Yellow sails
2no. Bright Green sails
2no. Cherry Red sails
Installation Date: Posts – February 2024; Sails – April 2024


Engayne Primary School is a local authority managed school in Upminster, Essex that caters for 630 pupils from the ages of 4 – 11 years old. They provide exceptional learning environments and experiences for their children which create life-long learners and academic success.

The school is an existing customer of Able Canopies Ltd., having previously invested in a 26.3m x 4m Coniston Wall Mounted Canopy to provide shade and shelter along a number of their classrooms. The school’s Site Manager got back in touch with us and explained that they were keen to add shade and shelter above their amphitheatre to protect pupils, teachers, and visitors from the sun.Proposal


The school’s staff loved the idea of our shade sails as they wanted something that was bright and colourful, to match the multicoloured steps they already had in place. Our Area Sales Manager therefore got to work and designed a shade sail array based on their criteria.

Using the images provided, he mapped out post positions to mock up a design (as shown to the right) using 11 posts and 8 sails with an array of triangular and square sails at approx. 3m x 3m. This was a draft design, and the final design would be finalised once we had been to site and took all measurements required.

We felt this was the best design to cover the steps and the school could choose either the dual colour fabric, or an array of standard colours to create the bright, colourful outcome they were looking to achieve.

Upon receiving our design proposal, the school told us they loved the design, so we therefore arranged a full site survey so we could provide them with a firm quotation.

Shade Sails are very popular within settings that would like shade and shelter from the sun, whilst creating a fun and colourful design that creates a striking focal point. The shade sail fabric offers up to 96.5% protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays however, they do not provide shelter from the rain, so they are predominantly shade structures. This isn’t a problem as many schools and businesses opt for shade sails because, just like Engayne Primary School, they plan to use them during the summer as a cooing, shaded area only.


Once the full site survey had been completed, the design was altered slightly to ensure the array would fit the area perfectly, covering all sections as required and making sure the posts fit around the steps of the amphitheatre (as shown above).

The school loved the design and went ahead with the order. The posts were installed first in February 2024, with the installation of the sails being completed in April 2024.

The reason we install the posts first is because they need time to set. When we install the sails, they are tensioned firmly to ensure they do not sag, and the posts therefore need to be firmly set within the concrete padstone in the ground.

The school were so pleased with the end result, they left us a glowing review:

“I had to write to Able Canopies to thank all staff.

I would fully recommend Able Canopies. 5-star service from start to finish.

On behalf of the school and our fund raisers a BIG THANK YOU for a job well done from start to finish. Your communication from the office staff, surveyors and all installers have been an absolute pleasure to deal with you all.

Our Headteacher and all staff are very impressed with it all finished and cannot wait to use the area.

Parents and children have all said how wow and how good it looks and cannot wait to use the steps again with the shade in place.”

Keith Kendall

Site Manager

If you would like to add Shade Sails to your outside area,
contact us on 0800 389 9072, or email sales@ablecanopies.co.uk

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