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Outdoor Planning


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Hi, just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has shared their knowledge, expertise and experience on this forum, I really dont know how I would do this job without such levels of support. Cheers guys,..... Here is another question to pick your brains. With an ofsted fairly imminent, I really wanted to get my outdoor planning tweaked. After several courses I am hoping that the general message regarding outdoor play is that it is more about using the natural environment to deliver the EYFS than it is about setting up an outdoor classroom reflective of that inside. This is fantastic news as it means I can really work with my colleague who is forest schools trained and really develop the childrens love and excitement of learning outside. I have a long way to go until I am fully resourced with class raincoats and wellies but I will be begging parents to donate. However, I just wondered if anyone could share their outdoor planning, long term, medium and short term??? do people do a half termly outdoor plan and then highlight enhancements???? would really love to see others who have got this thing started and could help me begin. Would love to have something to begin from??? Do people write down what ELGS are being targeted for each area of learning??? etc etc.

 

Would really appreciate your help as I would like to be somewhat prepared for the looming visit and for my own professional understanding. Outdoor play seems to differ so much from one school to the next. I have a grotty tarmaced area that I use to religously set up every day and then at the end of the summer term I realised that the nature garden designed for whole school use was just sat there and so I began taking the children over there instead. Needless to say both adults and children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and to me were learning through the real outdoors and not a sand and water tray placed outside. As a result I have asked my HT if a shed can be put in this other area so children can self service. I also tend to plan activities that use real natural materials e.g. markmaking outdoors with twigs, making trails, natural musical washing lines etc etc. It wll be a slow job building resources but I hope the end result means the children and adult get to work in a far more inspiring environment????! memories of outdoor for me include den building, mixing rose petals with water, making trails, following paths, leaf rubbings etc etc. Have I got this right or do people think I should be setting up in the tarmaced area as well as??? would love some clarity about all of this before the big O arrives!!!

 

cheers guys xD:o

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Your ideas sound fantastic. My only initial reaction would be although the area you take your children to sounds lovely- does it mean that the children only go at set times. Perhaps you need to also use your tarmac area so that the children can free flow.

 

Ofsted now seem very keen (quite rightly in my humble opinion) to see children having continual, free and self chosen access to outdoor activites. Your tarmac area could still reflect the environment from the actiivites going on there.

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I don't have separate outdoor planning as learning outside is an extension of that indoors. We just indicate on the planning which activities will be outdoors by ticking a column headed outdoors.

 

Personally I would be inclined to provide continuous provision outdoors. I think Ofsted would be looking for this if you have access to an outdoor area attached to the classroom.

 

Your other area sounds lovely and will serve for "enhanced learning" experiences.

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Thanks for your reply.

Unfortunately my outdoor tarmaced area has to be supervised as it is round the corner of the classroom so I try to get as much free flow as I can when I have the staffing support to allow this.

in terms of setting up the outdoor tarmaced I have in the past used the limited resources i have to make the best, so we have alphabet tiles, water pipes etc that can be multipurpose, plastic milk crates and building blocks, mark making and creative tables etc. should i still set these up outside? what do you set up on a daily basis and do you know what ofsted would want to see?

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I would ensure that there is something available when Ofsted visit. I am lucky that we have a secure area which is used everyday freeflow but do realise it isn't always possible even though it is desirable.

 

Hi there I had an Ofsted just under 2 years ago what I do is have a rolling rota of resources that are listed under the areas of learning and i indicate on my weekly plans which week I am on. In addition to that I also let the children initiate their own play with other resources and have a focused adult activity. I have tried to upload an example for you, I hope it helps.

Nellie

Outdoor_Planning___Week_1.doc

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