Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Outdoor Areas


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Just got in from a meeting with all our FS staff re the outdoor area.

 

We're lucky enough to have a large Nuresry/Reception area which is part concrete, part grass. We have a climbing frame, slide, swings, even a hill. But what we don't have is a shaded area. Our meeting this evening was about how we can develop it and add somewhere for the children to go in the summer when it's very warm.

 

We talked through a number of possibilities and decided that the best idea would be to have retractable awnings all along the side of the classrooms. I'm wondering if anyone here has done this, what it cost and where you got the awnings from. We also want some kind of 'living' gazebo (not a canvas one). We need a shed to house all the extra outdoor equipment needed plus we have to have an extra area concreted.

 

Of course this is all going to need money - lots of it! So our next thought was how we're going to raise the money as the budget this year is too tight to provide any money for this project. What are the rest of you all doing?!

Any ideas, suggestions, descriptions of what your outdoor areas contain gratefully accepted!

Thanks,

Jess

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jessica

 

We have pop up gazebos for outdoor use in the summer only as our setting is not sole use for us.

 

You are correct to say permanent ones will cost you but there are lots of web sites with lovely ones for sale. a good one for raising money is an auction.

 

we did this last Nov only had 60 children on register but raised over £1000 for a computer with donatations from local companies and parents of gifts, products, babysitting, ironing etc . It was fantastic and everyone wants to know when we are doing one again.... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

only had 60 children on register

"only" we are lucky to ever have 30 on the register.

 

Hali I am sorry that I haven't PM'd you about the grant we have applied for, for our garden.

 

No news as yet about whether we have been successful. I asked my supervisor about it and she said it's a local community grant. (I'm in West Sussex).

But I'm sure other districts will do something similar. I will find out who exactly we have applied to and let you know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have just had our outside area renovated , it's so lovely, like a whole new room! This was paid for by our Local community Forum (£5000). It was renovated with our pre school in mind and has been made child friendly, but we are not sole users of the church hall and grounds, so it can be used for other things also.

we had our snack outside today and had circle time sitting on the crash mats! We had a great time :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our outside area was just a pile of old weeds, broken walls, mud pits and overgrown bushes, plus uneven ground! ..... not good :( But what the community forum have done, is to level all the ground, put in new drainage channels (all covered) and an outside water tap, to save me carrying bowls and bowls of water outside! The old walls have been knocked down and a lovely low level wall has been built, up against a higher wall (very hard to explain!) so we have a ledge to put equipment boxes and suncream boxes etc. There is also another lower wall to the side which the children can sit on, as this too is built infront of an existing wall, so they can lean back, this is our circle/story area. There is a six foot fence and gate at the entrance which leads into an area 12ft x 12ft and then another 3ft fence and gate, this I call the 'holding area' :o this is where I count the children to make sure they are all there, and where we keep coats and any paperwork i.e registers and observation boxes. I like the double gates as it means if a child manages to open the 3ft gate there is no way they could reach the top bolt of the 6ft gate, and we are not overlooked by anyone, which is so much better than the carpark we were using, where people were walking by and stopping and chatting to the children!! They were all probably nice people but I am so paranoid! now they can only hear us! xD We also have a brick built shed which houses all our outside play equipment.

I would have liked an area where we could plant things, but we have made do with a large tub that we are going to plant in in the coming weeks.

It's hard to explain the layout without drawing it! :( To some it may just look like a large concreted area and not very interesting, but to our group it's the little things like the low wall and gates that make it very useable and interesting to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Trea, your outdoor area sounds brilliant! And how great that you were funded by the community forum.

 

We have so many things we want to do but are constantly being held back because of lack of funds. We had someone come out yesterday to give us an estimate for the retractable awning but he told us that it couldn't be done due to a lack of brickwork space to attach it to (we're mostly windows along the classroom). So today we had a canopy salesman in who said it could be done - this would be like a huge carport all along the side of the classrooms. His quote was £6000!! And we have NIL! So we're looking at a lot of fund raising. I liked Hali's auction idea, what a great total you raised for such a small school!

 

Any other ideas for fund raising anyone? Anyone heard through the grapevine of any government funding coming through for the foundation stage?? Why the heck are we having to fund raise for something that is becoming mandatory? The NLS and NNS got extra funding but so far we've had exactly nothing! Maybe we should all lobby our MP's to ask for money to provide an outdoor curriculum!! Lol, can you tell I'm a little fired up by this?

 

I've been looking at a couple of websites which claim to assist in funding the improvement of school's outdoor areas:

Global Education and ltl.org.uk

Anyone here had any experience of these?

Thanks!

Jess

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Trea your outside area sounds wonderful. :D

 

Jessica, I agree with you wholeheartedly- we can fail Ofsted for insufficient use of the outside but no money for resourcing.

I am quite lucky in that my head recognised that we needed better provision and addressed it to an extent but of course there are always improvements you could make and my little budget as coordinator goes nowhwere near addressing our needs.

Like you we also need a covered area, shelter from sun and rain to make use easier but no money. I was promised a large "umbrella" but still waiting 1 year on! xD

We have no grass either so can't pin gazebos down anywhere.

 

The Featherstone Book "Little Book of Outside Play" has some great ideas for improvisation etc. :) I gave the site controller a shopping list but when he asked for permission to go shopping it was refused and I was told it would look too "bitty" or words to that effect. Shame really. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trea -

If you ever have access to a digital camera and wouldn't mind taking some shots, it would be great to visualise it. I could post them for you if you'd prefer.

 

So many people post here wanting more ideas and information on outdoor play, it would be a great resource to have pictures from various settings to give inspiration!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sooo envious Trea. :o We don't have access to an outdoor area at all. Even the carpark is not suitable for use. xD Sounds fantastic for you and all the children though. :D:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)