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Pre-school Pond


Guest Chubby
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Guest Chubby

I would like to install a Pond in our garden. I Have it, it is less than 3' diameter and approximately 2' or less deep.

We are lucky to have access to two gardens, the second of which is a gated area.

Are there any rules and regulations to follow and if so, are they available for me in writing. I have already saught advice from forrest school, who have encouraged me. The pond would have no guard on it and children would not be in the area unsupervised. Forrest school encourage children to talk about dangers, agree barriers and monitor the safety of the pond.

What do you do?

 

I feel I have to be ready to discuss and promote the positives of this. (that could just be to the other staff)

Help.

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As long as there is no physical possibility that the children could get unsupervised access to the pond I think it is a lovely idea. We have access to a beautiful wildlife area in the school we are in, with a large pond with waterfall, and the children do love it (although we only use it with a few children at a time). As for written rules and regulations I am unsure. You will have to complete a risk assessment and contact Ofsted. The one thing that was picked up when the school had their Health and Safety inspection was there needed to be a pole with a hooked end for scooping children out in case there was a fall in.

 

Have you tried googling to see if any info comes up? Good luck and would love to see pictures when you get it up and running!!!

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I seem to remember seeing a video of some children accessing their pond (possibly early years, but no older than reception/year 1). I'm sure they were only allowed to look at the pond whilst laying on their tummies (the thougt being that they couldn't fall in if they were horizontal). Perhaps it was a dream... :o

 

Maz

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Some years ago I installed a very small pond at a Scout HQ used by a playgroup. I had to fence the area to a minimum height of 1 metre with no horizontal struts that could be climbed. I also displayed a poster at the entrance warning parents of the existance of the pond. I think I took advise from RoSPA. OFSTED were were happy with it then.

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I run a nursery using half of the ground floor of our house and our garden. We have an uncovered pond, about six feet in diameter and about four feet deep in the middle. The area is unfenced, but we have very strict protocol about using the garden. One member of staff is designated the pond monitor, and she wears a brightly coloured hair scrunchie around her wrist. She does not leave the pond under any circumstances. If she wants to move, she calls over another member of staff, passes the scrunchie to her, and she, therefore, becomes the pond monitor. There is no confusion of who is responsible because the scrunchie is used. We wanted to avoid any verbal handovers for obvious reasons.

 

We have had three Ofsted inspections over the last ten years, and every inspector has been happy with our procedures which are of course documented in our health and safety policy. One day, an inspector turned up at the door unexpectedly to say that someone had called them to complain that our pond wasn't covered. We calmly (!) showed her our policy and invited her to stay until the children were taken outside so that she could see how we keep the children safe. The complaint was not upheld and we received a letter stating that Ofsted were comfortable with our arrangements.

 

We explain our procedures to all prospective parents: I guess they choose to go elsewhere if they have strong views about it. One parent sticks in my mind, though, when he said he thought it was a great idea not to cover the pond because we could teach the children how dangerous water can be. He said if you cover it up with a metal grid that they can stand on, they'll think they can walk on water! :o

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that interesting as a childminder there were very strict guidlines and ponds had to be fenced. Can I just say dont forget toddler siblings of your pre-schoolers would they beable to get to the pond if parents were not watching them properly because if they drowned god forbid! you may be liable. i watch with interst though cos it is a lovely idea and something I have been thinking of although we are lucky enough to have a pond in the envirronmental area of school and that is fenced.

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Andreamay makes a good point. I know Helen's outdoor area is not accessible unless staff are present and parents with younger children don't arrive or leave passing through the outdoor area where the pond is.

 

I think it's all in the risk analysis and the health and safety policies, which need to be explicitly stated. Each setting is therefore unique and needs a thoughtful and experienced evaluation before deciding to go ahead. Not just with water, of course - but then I'm talking to people who could probably teach me a fair few things about how hazardous almost anything can be for children...

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We had to cover our delightful pond in my previous school, it was really disappointing, we had ducks visit every year and the children used to love watching the ducklings in the playground. We did all sorts of things from pond dipping to boat floating, all safely supervised, the pond was fenced off anyway, but no its wasn't enough and then it got covered, you couldn't see the fish, no ducks, now I hear they are having it filled in.. devastating as we found a large number of newts in the garden too.

 

having a pond put a few people off from buying our house too, yet the grandchildren learned complete respect for it from a young age.. funnily enough it was me that fell in it!!!! (I was chasing a watermelon at the time...).

 

Chubby, I would go ahead, look carefully at where and think of all the access and supervision issues mentioned by Helen, and go for it!!

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hello, I have recently done a variety of research into health and safety issues with regard to ponds and enabling an exciting and safe outdoor environment. I found a hugely helpful document from CLEAPSS www.cleapss.org.uk an organisation that suppports science and technology in school environments. unfortnuatly I can't remember the name of the leaflet, I will try and dig it out this afternoon to lets you know, however you can contact CLEAPSS and they will send you any leaflets/documents...and you maybe able to download these on their website. good luck x

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funnily enough it was me that fell in it!!!! (I was chasing a watermelon at the time...).

So .... you were chasing a watermelon??!! Was it running very fast? Did you catch it? Was it like the Gingerbread man?

 

"Run, run as fast as you can ...

You can't catch me I'm a watermelan"

:oxD:( :( :(

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We had to cover our delightful pond in my previous school, it was really disappointing, we had ducks visit every year and the children used to love watching the ducklings in the playground. We did all sorts of things from pond dipping to boat floating, all safely supervised, the pond was fenced off anyway, but no its wasn't enough and then it got covered, you couldn't see the fish, no ducks, now I hear they are having it filled in.. devastating as we found a large number of newts in the garden too.

 

having a pond put a few people off from buying our house too, yet the grandchildren learned complete respect for it from a young age.. funnily enough it was me that fell in it!!!! (I was chasing a watermelon at the time...).

 

Chubby, I would go ahead, look carefully at where and think of all the access and supervision issues mentioned by Helen, and go for it!!

 

 

If there are newts in residence, get the school to check if they are allowed to fill the pond in.Some(if not all) newts are protected species by law, so their habitats cannt be disturbed!

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thanks narnia, I did tell them that the newts were protected. I no no longer work at that school and it would be sad if they did go ahead and fill it in!

 

Shiny, yes it was going very fast...

Actually I was fibbing, it was a a marrow, you can read about it.

 

here

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