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Security/free Flow With Nursery In School Building


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Right, this is bothering me, and I need to find out how others manage it....

 

We are currently a preschool operating from our own purpose built terrapin. We are in partnership with the school whose site we are on, and have outdoor areas the children share, and have taken the sessions over to the Reception area as it currently is for their sessions. With lots of staff on hand, a smallish area, and being new to the children, we have had no problems.

 

But the good news is come September, we will have a new terrapin with an adjoining corridor attached to one of the Reception rooms. Our terrapin will be the preschool aged base room and the creative/messy zone, and the other rooms will remains as base rooms for reception and the other zones for free flow, role play, finding out room, number room etc. However, this means our staff will be deployed over all areas, including the extra space our new terrapin will bring, the children will become more confident with the areas being their own and not just visiting, and from a risk assessment point of view, I am concerned with how to manage wanderers in an open plan school. The only way year 1 and 2 can access the hall/office/all other parts of the school, is through wandering through our area. Which is great in PSED, but not so good for risk assessment. There is one door which is currently never shut, which goes to the corridor towards the hall/office etc, which will have to be permanantly shut when we are there all the time, as our rising 3's could easily go wandering off down the corridor. But how can this be secured/managed for the year 1 and 2 children that independently access other areas? Also the way the year 1 and 2 children come from, is a shared area, it is the year 1 library area and the reception computer area. It is a wide corridor type area, and no real way of securing it. So potentially, we could have nursery aged children wandering off up into infants....

 

Just wondered how other nursery classes manage free flow in a school environment, or other Foundation Stage units operate within in a school if not a purpose built closed unit.

 

I am worried as we will still be a preschool within our own rights, so I will be accountable for risk assessment withinin a very relaxed school, of which I think I will have a battle to make any changes, but as a preschool I still have to answer to ofsted on my own, not via the head master if that makes sense!!

 

Clare

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This may not seem very helpful, but was this not thought about earlier when the plans were drawn up? If so, what was the intention then and if not what was proposed?

 

How is this managed in the school already? I cant imagine there is so much freeflow as to allow the children just to wander?

 

You may need to get your EYAT on board to negotiate with you and the HT?

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I have to say if it anything like our experience the building will change during the building and the end result will not resemble in the slightest the one agreed upon in the planning stage and two years after completion you will still be trying to resolve security issues.

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I agree Marion. There seems to be untold liberties taken with LA money when it comes to building work and what you expect is not what you get. We had a new nursery with a kitchen with no units or fixtures in it because everyone assumed they were included. Windows which open outwards into the playground at child eye height.Outside storage and veranda around the corner of the building. Automatic sensor doors which are a safety risk nightmare.The worse crime to me was that all the issues were raised at planning meetings before building started and were totally ignored and we are still addressing them 4 years down the line.

 

Remember plans are drawn up by someone with NO experience of the needs or requirements of very young children.Please don't feel you are banging your head against a wall you are not alone. I suggest you document and date any meetings you attend with details of discussions and concerns. At least you will be able to have a reference for the future and something to show OFSTED that you tried. I wish we had to avoid the 'you never said anything' when I'm confident we did!!

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Yes they decided to replace two doors with windows (because they were cheaper) without a though about how the children were going to enter the unit or access the outdoor area to the rear of the building.

I agree keep records of all meetings and who attended .

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This may not seem very helpful, but was this not thought about earlier when the plans were drawn up? If so, what was the intention then and if not what was proposed?

 

How is this managed in the school already? I cant imagine there is so much freeflow as to allow the children just to wander?

 

You may need to get your EYAT on board to negotiate with you and the HT?

 

 

The initial plans from many years ago were for a brand new purpose built building. But suddenly the money allocated from the council had to be spent, or we would loose it, and now we are getting an add on terrapin instead.

 

Thanks for the advice!

 

Clare

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