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Outdoor Access And Staffing


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hi everyone :D

 

I know there have been several discussions about outdoor play provision - but any specific advice to my current dilemma would be very welcome!

 

We now have a fairly good sized outdoor area for our 2 Reception classes. Direct access to it is from one classroom only, the two classrooms are however adjoining. So far both classes have been going out altogether for about 30 minutes in the morning and 20 in the afternoon as a kind of extended playtime/ outdoor play session. We have been providing a range of equipment but have not yet been planning specifically for this time.

The area is used by parents for collecting and dropping off children so we are limited in what we can set up.

We really want to make more use of the area but are unsure how to do so. Allowing children free access is not possible a) because of the lack of access of one class, xD because the doors are too big and heavy for the children to use safely by themselves! :(

 

How do other people organise the use of their outdoor area?

 

Last year my nursery nurse tended to take small groups outside, however I feel that its unfair to always expect support staff to be outside and I would actually really like to be outside teaching. My nursery nurse has said that she would be uncomfortable remaining inside with the majority of the class if i was to take a group outside.

 

How do other people staff their outside area?

 

Help please! :o

Thank you

 

Lizz :(

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:o sorry lizz, you seem to be describing the proverbial problem --staffing compounded by access.

 

I didnt have the physical access problem but did find staffing a nightmare. I wanted free flow but couldnt get it up and running as I had envisaged.

The trouble with being in a school too seems to be the "playtime" supervision kicks in as soon as you go outside and staff often found it difficult to interact efficiently.

 

Perhaps someone without these problems will be able to help you.

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Hi Lizz

We have an outside area shared with the pre school, I have decided that we need to use it for all areas, eg firework painting - half the class with TA painting half class with me, teacher, playing on the equipment then change over. I often take the whole class outside for a maths lesson. I will be using the area for literacy too - I think we need to use the outside to do all the curicullum, need to think of it as extended classroom. I am fortunate that my TA is happy, confident and capable of taking the whole class not just some of class, our insurance covers her to do anything during school time.

Hope that helps.

Abi

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Hi1 I've just posted elsewhere regarding this - try here (see, Beau! xD )

 

We, too are working on free flow, but as we're based upstairs, it's a bit difficult! We are thinking of large scale painting. We have tried mops, buckets of paints - wow! :( and have decided to try paint soaked sponges dropped out of our windows on to paper spread below. Obviously, we'll have to make sure the babies and toddlers aren't outside!!!!! :o:(

 

Sue :D

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hi

 

thanks for the ideas. I think i need to check the insurance cover that the TA's have as that was their main worry.

 

Dropping paint from first floor windows sounds like great fun! You could fill balloons with watery paint and splat those :D

 

We have just found out that we have some money for developing the outdoor area which is a big inspiration.

Is there any thing we should definitely buy or not buy? any suggestions?

 

Lizz :o

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Again, I've just added a fairly lengthy post on the other 'Outdoors' thread, so have a look there, if you've got time. I would certainly invest in a gazebo-thing for the summer! I'm talking about the tent-y ones, here, of course!

 

Sue :D

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with the workforce remodlling bit we were told that TAs can sperivse children bec they are covered by the school's insurance. That's why they can supervise playtimes as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In our school we are very lucky because the nursery class and two reception classes have direct access to the outdoor environment whenever they want.

The reception classes organise their day into four whole class sessions and four 'activity' sessions.

The 'activity' sessions are organised into: one group carrying out an adult led task; one group an adult directed task and two groups doing child initiated tasks (either inside or outside).

The adult led task can be either inside or outside.

One adult takes the adult led task and the other adult supports the children doing their child initiated tasks and then they change around for the next 'activity' session - there's no distinction made between teacher and teaching assistant they both take an equal pro-active role in the children's learning.

So basically it means there's one adult inside and one outside!

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