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Hi all,

 

Just wondering how everyone staffs and timetables for the outdoor curriculum?

 

We are a three form entry with 90 children and currently we open our small outoor area on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, with 1 adult outside (either teacher or TA on a rotation system). But we have found this very hard to maintain and it has not really worked. On your focus day outside we take 10 of our children out and rotate them so your full class gets an opportunity to go outside.

 

Any suggestions / ideas / experiences are welcome

 

ABC2009 x

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Guest heleng

Our outside area isn't huge but we open the doors about 9.30-11am and than 1.30-2.50pm or so and any child can chose to go out there. There is always 1 member of staff outside and if most children are outside (up to 56 AM and 43 PM) than the member of staff who is floating also goes outside. Sometimes the adult focus activity is run outside.

 

I think the first thing you need to do is think about why it isn't working and what problems do you have with maintaining?

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Slightly different here as we are a Day Nursery - but we also offer free flow for a large chunk of the AM and PM sessions, 2 staff on duty outside unless it's really quiet ( it never is !) and we have a maximum number allowed out - usually about 12-14 depending on age - we have 2 , 3 and 4 year olds using freeflow, so up to staff to monitor. It works really well, and allows for sponaneous activities , some children need to 'just do' when the thought pops into thier heads - not wait for a focussed or planned session. :o

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we have free flow to the outside all day everyday except for register and phonics time (i am a 2form entry yr r so 60chn and we work completely as a unit sharing the 2classroom space and outdoors) and it works really well. our outside space is quite good and relatively well resourced. we have good visibilty from our classrooms so we dont always have an adult out there, although obviously if a large amount of chn are out however many adults r needed will go - we just take it as its needed and have no adult timetables etc. we are also careful to ensure on those really cold days with only a few chn out someone goes out every now and then so valuable observations etc aren't missed. we also have no restrictions on number of chn etc as we feel its really important for them to have that constant access and to be able to take any resources outside as and when they like.

 

hope this helps :)

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Hello ABC - Nice to know that there are two of us out there!

 

I have had first had experience of manageing outdoor play in a 3-form entry setting although it sounds like I might have had a bit more space!

 

I am a great fan of the 'why' question and am sure I annoy many of the settings that I visit by constantly asking it (rather like an annoying 3 year old!!)

 

Why do you do outdoor play at all? Would be my first 'why'.

 

If you do it because you know that all children learn differently and some learn best outdoors then your reasoning is telling you that you have to do it all of the time, making the most of what you have got in terms of space and resources.

 

Ideally your door will be open from the minute your children arrive and stay open until they go home. You will plan your outdoor space in the same detail as your indoor and you will use it for teaching and not exclusively for free play.

 

When I work with settings on delveloping their outdoor space the main reason why it is not working is usually that the practitioners who are out there don't want to be, it is under planned or wrongly resourced. Obviously having not seen your setting I don't know if this is the case.

 

My advice would be:

 

First - ask your staff the 'why do we do it?' question and if they cannot answer it then your first step is going to be some staff training on the MASSIVE impact that outdoor learning can have on attainment.

 

Then - look at your resources out there and ask 'why have we chosen these?' Sometimes you put things out just for the sheer experience, giving children something they have never had before. All too often we fall into the trap of everything being pop-up and plastic or boring children to death with bean bags, hoops, wheeled toys etc... The resources that are out there should be different from the ones inside and you should be able to tell me why they are there. Who's particular needs are they meeting and how did you identify those needs?

 

The BEST resources are the ones that cost you the least. Children will have HOURS of fun with a cardboard packing box, it is so non descript that it forces them to be imaginative and creative - it really develops their higher order thinking skills.

 

After that - look at your planning. If a good number of your children prefer to be outside and learn better out there then are you taking advantage of that and planning an outdoor activity daily? Does your outdoor planning mirror/enhance your indoor planning? If not WHY not? (there I go again)

 

The bottom line for me is that we know conclusively that some children learn better outdoors and that the outdoor environment offers opportunities that you just CANNOT get indoors therefore there is no choice but to use it. In my experience it is adults preferences that get in the way (especially if they have spent 40 minutes straightening their hair with their GHD's and don't want it to get damp and 'fluffy'!!)

 

It does not need to cost a fortune. The more natural and simple the better.

 

If you want some inspiration for outdoor resources, have a look at the 'Mindstretchers' website it is full of really good stuff.

 

If you would like any more info about outdoor or would like me to send you some planning formats etc send me a message and I will sort that out for you.

 

Don't abandon it, it is one of the BEST resources that you have got to inspire learning - even if it is a patch of concrete!

 

Good Luck

 

Alistair

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Thank you everyone for your advice and comments, they have been really helpful.

 

Alistair, if I could have a planning format that you have used and works, that would be great. Think the reasons for it not working are as you suggested and we need to make it more of a learning experience instead of free play.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you soon, and thank you for the inspirational message :o xx

 

ABC xx

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can you send me outdoor planning ideas please on 's.kumar@manfldgn.bham.sch.uk' thanks

Hello ABC - Nice to know that there are two of us out there!

 

I have had first had experience of manageing outdoor play in a 3-form entry setting although it sounds like I might have had a bit more space!

 

I am a great fan of the 'why' question and am sure I annoy many of the settings that I visit by constantly asking it (rather like an annoying 3 year old!!)

 

Why do you do outdoor play at all? Would be my first 'why'.

 

If you do it because you know that all children learn differently and some learn best outdoors then your reasoning is telling you that you have to do it all of the time, making the most of what you have got in terms of space and resources.

 

Ideally your door will be open from the minute your children arrive and stay open until they go home. You will plan your outdoor space in the same detail as your indoor and you will use it for teaching and not exclusively for free play.

 

When I work with settings on delveloping their outdoor space the main reason why it is not working is usually that the practitioners who are out there don't want to be, it is under planned or wrongly resourced. Obviously having not seen your setting I don't know if this is the case.

 

My advice would be:

 

First - ask your staff the 'why do we do it?' question and if they cannot answer it then your first step is going to be some staff training on the MASSIVE impact that outdoor learning can have on attainment.

 

Then - look at your resources out there and ask 'why have we chosen these?' Sometimes you put things out just for the sheer experience, giving children something they have never had before. All too often we fall into the trap of everything being pop-up and plastic or boring children to death with bean bags, hoops, wheeled toys etc... The resources that are out there should be different from the ones inside and you should be able to tell me why they are there. Who's particular needs are they meeting and how did you identify those needs?

 

The BEST resources are the ones that cost you the least. Children will have HOURS of fun with a cardboard packing box, it is so non descript that it forces them to be imaginative and creative - it really develops their higher order thinking skills.

 

After that - look at your planning. If a good number of your children prefer to be outside and learn better out there then are you taking advantage of that and planning an outdoor activity daily? Does your outdoor planning mirror/enhance your indoor planning? If not WHY not? (there I go again)

 

The bottom line for me is that we know conclusively that some children learn better outdoors and that the outdoor environment offers opportunities that you just CANNOT get indoors therefore there is no choice but to use it. In my experience it is adults preferences that get in the way (especially if they have spent 40 minutes straightening their hair with their GHD's and don't want it to get damp and 'fluffy'!!)

 

It does not need to cost a fortune. The more natural and simple the better.

 

If you want some inspiration for outdoor resources, have a look at the 'Mindstretchers' website it is full of really good stuff.

 

If you would like any more info about outdoor or would like me to send you some planning formats etc send me a message and I will sort that out for you.

 

Don't abandon it, it is one of the BEST resources that you have got to inspire learning - even if it is a patch of concrete!

 

Good Luck

 

Alistair

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear Allistair.

 

I read your emsil with great interest, I find my staff go outside with bikes, sand and water, and stand with arms folded watcing the children go round and round on bikes. I have made up a plan for the gsrden for September, as I am forever repeating my self for staff to be motivated and make the outside more interesting and challenging. I would very much appreciate if you could send me some planning formats

Thank you

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Guest LornaW

While I agree Alastair that we need to plan as carefully for outdoors as we do for indoors it is as important to remember that preparation is also important. The format of the planning is not important for me it is the attitudes. I am posting some pictures from settings that have been in a project on developing the outdoors to promote children's deep level learning - just look at the faces!

 

You are so right about the adult attitudes and once these are changed adults enjoy the outdoors but they also need to be appropriately dressed as do the children. The snow picture is a great example of everyonne having the right clothes so everyone enjoys the outdoors regardless of the weather!

 

I love the outdoors!!!!

 

Lorna

post-9053-1281597091_thumb.jpg

post-9053-1281597140_thumb.jpg

post-9053-1281597178_thumb.jpg

post-9053-1281597404_thumb.jpg

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Guest tinkerbell

I love the pictures Lorna

 

we have wet weather gear too for all the class and come what may we use the school field on Thursday afternoon and the children do their own thing.Before we go out we go over the rules and they suggest stuff to take eg,TOPS bag (fullof balls,beanbags ,scarves etc),tent making,hoops,kites etc etc

 

once on the field we sit on the maze and they choose ,vegetable patch and guinea pigs (with adult)they know the focus will be watering ,planting,cuddling the guinea pigs etc

or field work,they choose and adult watches and supports.

 

it works for us and I write anything up later

 

occasionaly I may have pre planned something eg treasure hunt, leaf hunt,picking blackeberries so we can make a crumble, but I would let the children come across the blackberries and the idea would come from them!

 

Tinkerbellx

I love the outdoors too and I hope the weather is brill in September,can't wait to get my new classon to our wonderful field.

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Hi Ali

Its me again, Seema. Your outdoor ideas seems exciting but I would like to know more about it. So could you please send me an email regarding any

information/planning/ideas/links to make outdoor learning exciting for my children?

 

I would really appreciate it.

Seema x

 

Hello ABC - Nice to know that there are two of us out there!

 

I have had first had experience of manageing outdoor play in a 3-form entry setting although it sounds like I might have had a bit more space!

 

I am a great fan of the 'why' question and am sure I annoy many of the settings that I visit by constantly asking it (rather like an annoying 3 year old!!)

 

Why do you do outdoor play at all? Would be my first 'why'.

 

If you do it because you know that all children learn differently and some learn best outdoors then your reasoning is telling you that you have to do it all of the time, making the most of what you have got in terms of space and resources.

 

Ideally your door will be open from the minute your children arrive and stay open until they go home. You will plan your outdoor space in the same detail as your indoor and you will use it for teaching and not exclusively for free play.

 

When I work with settings on delveloping their outdoor space the main reason why it is not working is usually that the practitioners who are out there don't want to be, it is under planned or wrongly resourced. Obviously having not seen your setting I don't know if this is the case.

 

My advice would be:

 

First - ask your staff the 'why do we do it?' question and if they cannot answer it then your first step is going to be some staff training on the MASSIVE impact that outdoor learning can have on attainment.

 

Then - look at your resources out there and ask 'why have we chosen these?' Sometimes you put things out just for the sheer experience, giving children something they have never had before. All too often we fall into the trap of everything being pop-up and plastic or boring children to death with bean bags, hoops, wheeled toys etc... The resources that are out there should be different from the ones inside and you should be able to tell me why they are there. Who's particular needs are they meeting and how did you identify those needs?

 

The BEST resources are the ones that cost you the least. Children will have HOURS of fun with a cardboard packing box, it is so non descript that it forces them to be imaginative and creative - it really develops their higher order thinking skills.

 

After that - look at your planning. If a good number of your children prefer to be outside and learn better out there then are you taking advantage of that and planning an outdoor activity daily? Does your outdoor planning mirror/enhance your indoor planning? If not WHY not? (there I go again)

 

The bottom line for me is that we know conclusively that some children learn better outdoors and that the outdoor environment offers opportunities that you just CANNOT get indoors therefore there is no choice but to use it. In my experience it is adults preferences that get in the way (especially if they have spent 40 minutes straightening their hair with their GHD's and don't want it to get damp and 'fluffy'!!)

 

It does not need to cost a fortune. The more natural and simple the better.

 

If you want some inspiration for outdoor resources, have a look at the 'Mindstretchers' website it is full of really good stuff.

 

If you would like any more info about outdoor or would like me to send you some planning formats etc send me a message and I will sort that out for you.

 

Don't abandon it, it is one of the BEST resources that you have got to inspire learning - even if it is a patch of concrete!

 

Good Luck

 

Alistair

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Hello Alistair,

we are trialling a EYFS unit this year (30 Rec plus 1 teacher & 9 Nursery plus 1 teacher in 2 classrooms and 1 small shared outdoor area and 1 TA) and would be very greatful if you could email me a planning format/outdoor advice on how best to plan for the 2 classes together

thank you

moomin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello ABC - Nice to know that there are two of us out there!

 

I have had first had experience of manageing outdoor play in a 3-form entry setting although it sounds like I might have had a bit more space!

 

I am a great fan of the 'why' question and am sure I annoy many of the settings that I visit by constantly asking it (rather like an annoying 3 year old!!)

 

Why do you do outdoor play at all? Would be my first 'why'.

 

If you do it because you know that all children learn differently and some learn best outdoors then your reasoning is telling you that you have to do it all of the time, making the most of what you have got in terms of space and resources.

 

Ideally your door will be open from the minute your children arrive and stay open until they go home. You will plan your outdoor space in the same detail as your indoor and you will use it for teaching and not exclusively for free play.

 

When I work with settings on delveloping their outdoor space the main reason why it is not working is usually that the practitioners who are out there don't want to be, it is under planned or wrongly resourced. Obviously having not seen your setting I don't know if this is the case.

 

My advice would be:

 

First - ask your staff the 'why do we do it?' question and if they cannot answer it then your first step is going to be some staff training on the MASSIVE impact that outdoor learning can have on attainment.

 

Then - look at your resources out there and ask 'why have we chosen these?' Sometimes you put things out just for the sheer experience, giving children something they have never had before. All too often we fall into the trap of everything being pop-up and plastic or boring children to death with bean bags, hoops, wheeled toys etc... The resources that are out there should be different from the ones inside and you should be able to tell me why they are there. Who's particular needs are they meeting and how did you identify those needs?

 

The BEST resources are the ones that cost you the least. Children will have HOURS of fun with a cardboard packing box, it is so non descript that it forces them to be imaginative and creative - it really develops their higher order thinking skills.

 

After that - look at your planning. If a good number of your children prefer to be outside and learn better out there then are you taking advantage of that and planning an outdoor activity daily? Does your outdoor planning mirror/enhance your indoor planning? If not WHY not? (there I go again)

 

The bottom line for me is that we know conclusively that some children learn better outdoors and that the outdoor environment offers opportunities that you just CANNOT get indoors therefore there is no choice but to use it. In my experience it is adults preferences that get in the way (especially if they have spent 40 minutes straightening their hair with their GHD's and don't want it to get damp and 'fluffy'!!)

 

It does not need to cost a fortune. The more natural and simple the better.

 

If you want some inspiration for outdoor resources, have a look at the 'Mindstretchers' website it is full of really good stuff.

 

If you would like any more info about outdoor or would like me to send you some planning formats etc send me a message and I will sort that out for you.

 

Don't abandon it, it is one of the BEST resources that you have got to inspire learning - even if it is a patch of concrete!

 

Good Luck

 

Alistair

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love the photos of outdoors! We have just raised money for outdoor waterproof clothing. Can anyone suugest a good website for us to buy the clothing from that will not break the bank? Also Lorna, how many outdoor sets of waterproofs to you have? All the children are bringing wellies, but we cannot afford to buy clothing for all out unit!

Thanks

Anj x

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Guest LornaW

I would recommend you have enough sets per child - I know that sounds lots but there is a very good company that does really good quality very cheaply here

 

http://www.dickiesstore.co.uk/workwear/out...oofs/WP11000/0/

 

also you need to buy your adults waterproofs and then there will be no reason at all why you cannot be outdoors in all weathers!

 

One of the practitioners on my course bought thesre and recommends them to us all!

 

Good luck.

 

Lorna

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I would recommend you have enough sets per child - I know that sounds lots but there is a very good company that does really good quality very cheaply here

 

http://www.dickiesstore.co.uk/workwear/out...oofs/WP11000/0/

 

also you need to buy your adults waterproofs and then there will be no reason at all why you cannot be outdoors in all weathers!

 

One of the practitioners on my course bought thesre and recommends them to us all!

 

Good luck.

 

Lorna

Thanks! They look great, and we can afford a full set!!!!! x

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Guest katie84
we have free flow to the outside all day everyday except for register and phonics time (i am a 2form entry yr r so 60chn and we work completely as a unit sharing the 2classroom space and outdoors) and it works really well. our outside space is quite good and relatively well resourced. we have good visibilty from our classrooms so we dont always have an adult out there, although obviously if a large amount of chn are out however many adults r needed will go - we just take it as its needed and have no adult timetables etc. we are also careful to ensure on those really cold days with only a few chn out someone goes out every now and then so valuable observations etc aren't missed. we also have no restrictions on number of chn etc as we feel its really important for them to have that constant access and to be able to take any resources outside as and when they like.

 

hope this helps :)

 

Hi Alistair,

 

I would love a copy of your outdoor planning as it is something we are trying to develop in our reception classes! I hope I am replying to this post correctly as, although Ive been a member for a few years, I have never used the site properly!!

 

Thanks Katie84

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Hello ABC - Nice to know that there are two of us out there!

 

I have had first had experience of manageing outdoor play in a 3-form entry setting although it sounds like I might have had a bit more space!

 

I am a great fan of the 'why' question and am sure I annoy many of the settings that I visit by constantly asking it (rather like an annoying 3 year old!!)

 

Why do you do outdoor play at all? Would be my first 'why'.

 

If you do it because you know that all children learn differently and some learn best outdoors then your reasoning is telling you that you have to do it all of the time, making the most of what you have got in terms of space and resources.

 

Ideally your door will be open from the minute your children arrive and stay open until they go home. You will plan your outdoor space in the same detail as your indoor and you will use it for teaching and not exclusively for free play.

 

When I work with settings on delveloping their outdoor space the main reason why it is not working is usually that the practitioners who are out there don't want to be, it is under planned or wrongly resourced. Obviously having not seen your setting I don't know if this is the case.

 

My advice would be:

 

First - ask your staff the 'why do we do it?' question and if they cannot answer it then your first step is going to be some staff training on the MASSIVE impact that outdoor learning can have on attainment.

 

Then - look at your resources out there and ask 'why have we chosen these?' Sometimes you put things out just for the sheer experience, giving children something they have never had before. All too often we fall into the trap of everything being pop-up and plastic or boring children to death with bean bags, hoops, wheeled toys etc... The resources that are out there should be different from the ones inside and you should be able to tell me why they are there. Who's particular needs are they meeting and how did you identify those needs?

 

The BEST resources are the ones that cost you the least. Children will have HOURS of fun with a cardboard packing box, it is so non descript that it forces them to be imaginative and creative - it really develops their higher order thinking skills.

 

After that - look at your planning. If a good number of your children prefer to be outside and learn better out there then are you taking advantage of that and planning an outdoor activity daily? Does your outdoor planning mirror/enhance your indoor planning? If not WHY not? (there I go again)

 

The bottom line for me is that we know conclusively that some children learn better outdoors and that the outdoor environment offers opportunities that you just CANNOT get indoors therefore there is no choice but to use it. In my experience it is adults preferences that get in the way (especially if they have spent 40 minutes straightening their hair with their GHD's and don't want it to get damp and 'fluffy'!!)

 

It does not need to cost a fortune. The more natural and simple the better.

 

If you want some inspiration for outdoor resources, have a look at the 'Mindstretchers' website it is full of really good stuff.

 

If you would like any more info about outdoor or would like me to send you some planning formats etc send me a message and I will sort that out for you.

 

Don't abandon it, it is one of the BEST resources that you have got to inspire learning - even if it is a patch of concrete!

 

Good Luck

 

Alistair

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Guest katie84
Hello ABC - Nice to know that there are two of us out there!

 

I have had first had experience of manageing outdoor play in a 3-form entry setting although it sounds like I might have had a bit more space!

 

I am a great fan of the 'why' question and am sure I annoy many of the settings that I visit by constantly asking it (rather like an annoying 3 year old!!)

 

Why do you do outdoor play at all? Would be my first 'why'.

 

If you do it because you know that all children learn differently and some learn best outdoors then your reasoning is telling you that you have to do it all of the time, making the most of what you have got in terms of space and resources.

 

Ideally your door will be open from the minute your children arrive and stay open until they go home. You will plan your outdoor space in the same detail as your indoor and you will use it for teaching and not exclusively for free play.

 

When I work with settings on delveloping their outdoor space the main reason why it is not working is usually that the practitioners who are out there don't want to be, it is under planned or wrongly resourced. Obviously having not seen your setting I don't know if this is the case.

 

My advice would be:

 

First - ask your staff the 'why do we do it?' question and if they cannot answer it then your first step is going to be some staff training on the MASSIVE impact that outdoor learning can have on attainment.

 

Then - look at your resources out there and ask 'why have we chosen these?' Sometimes you put things out just for the sheer experience, giving children something they have never had before. All too often we fall into the trap of everything being pop-up and plastic or boring children to death with bean bags, hoops, wheeled toys etc... The resources that are out there should be different from the ones inside and you should be able to tell me why they are there. Who's particular needs are they meeting and how did you identify those needs?

 

The BEST resources are the ones that cost you the least. Children will have HOURS of fun with a cardboard packing box, it is so non descript that it forces them to be imaginative and creative - it really develops their higher order thinking skills.

 

After that - look at your planning. If a good number of your children prefer to be outside and learn better out there then are you taking advantage of that and planning an outdoor activity daily? Does your outdoor planning mirror/enhance your indoor planning? If not WHY not? (there I go again)

 

The bottom line for me is that we know conclusively that some children learn better outdoors and that the outdoor environment offers opportunities that you just CANNOT get indoors therefore there is no choice but to use it. In my experience it is adults preferences that get in the way (especially if they have spent 40 minutes straightening their hair with their GHD's and don't want it to get damp and 'fluffy'!!)

 

It does not need to cost a fortune. The more natural and simple the better.

 

If you want some inspiration for outdoor resources, have a look at the 'Mindstretchers' website it is full of really good stuff.

 

If you would like any more info about outdoor or would like me to send you some planning formats etc send me a message and I will sort that out for you.

 

Don't abandon it, it is one of the BEST resources that you have got to inspire learning - even if it is a patch of concrete!

 

Good Luck

 

Alistair

 

Hi Alistair,

 

I would love a copy of your outdoor planning as it is something we are trying to develop in our reception classes! I hope I am replying to this post correctly as, although Ive been a member for a few years, I have never used the site properly!!

 

Thanks Katie84

 

Ps im posting this twice as typically I think I replied to wrong person first time....like I said not too sure how this works!? hehe Sorry!!

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Worry not Katie - I cannot get the hang of checking back after I have posted to see if anyone comments on my post or requests more info - so sorry to anyone I have not got back to.

 

You will find all of my planning formats here

 

At the weekend I will also upload a completed environement audit and a scan of our completed outdoor plan plus explaination.

 

Really hope it helps - any questions...ask away!

 

Alistair

ABCdoes.com

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I sooooo love this forum ! What wonderful pictures of the outdoors, I have used ''loose part' guttering in settings for a while, but having seen Lorna's example I shall add a...."top bit" for pouring into. Lorna, do you visit a woodland regularly, a la 'Forest School' ?

 

Everytime I access this forum I learn something, enabling my practice/setting to improve - ABC, how many of your ideas can I pinch ?... I love your 'blog', although can only access it via the forum - I'm so going to use the little bag idea, no excuses for not having a note pad/camera - you are obviously an optimist - a place for sunglasses ! xD , I think I'll have a space for a rain hat :o

 

I too believe in the saying "There's no such thing as unsuitable weather, just unsuitable clothing"

 

Sam

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I sooooo love this forum ! What wonderful pictures of the outdoors, I have used ''loose part' guttering in settings for a while, but having seen Lorna's example I shall add a...."top bit" for pouring into. Lorna, do you visit a woodland regularly, a la 'Forest School' ?

 

Sam

 

Hi Sam

 

I was working on a project with 36 setting and school practitioners and we went to the forest for a morning or afternoon once every three weeks and there was no planning allowed it was all about obsserving the children in the forest and seeing how they could engage themselves in a sustained manner for the whole session. We then took the ideas from the forest to our outdoor areas and made them nmuch more natural and with more challenging activities such as logs, bread crates, tyres etc it was all about ditching the plastic. We also looked at finding 'another place' within walking of our settings and school al la Reggio Emilia so that is became an activity we could do that was free as the forest had the cost of the forest warden and the coach. One setting who were within walking distance of a woods though used this and went much more regualary in fact one week they went to the woods every day of the week. We also began cooking in the ourtoods and there are some real expert eggy bread makers and popcorn makers in our group.

 

The children gained so much from this talking more, gaining confidence, growing in self esteem - brilliant get outside more more more!!! I am adding a few more pictures of outdoor areas in settings and schools after our work nothing rocket science, very simple but worth sharing!

 

Lorna

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Thanks abc, what brilliant ideas. I am trying to develop our outdoor area which is a great space with lots of potential. We have had an adviser in who doesn't really understand Nursery and wants us to plan according to curriculum areas which I find soooooo restricting! I would rather have outdoor areas but I just don't know where to start or how to convince the powers that be what is best for the children. We have 'free flow' all the time once the new children are settled in and lucky enough to have 3 full time staff for 26 children. I also need to convince my staff who are how important it is to engage the children in their play and extend them rather than just policing the outdoors. Any suggestions of where to start would be great please. Thank you.

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I work in YR with a parallel class - 2 teachers, 2 TAs

 

Having been to Norway (Thanks to Lorna W above!) last year to see them with their children from babies to 6 outside I can only say how great it is to get our children out during CIL whenever they like. Introduced free flo a year ago now and makes everything so much easier - imaginative play outside is great especially if they can find somewhere 'hidden' in the trees.

This year we'll continue planning a weekly time out on the field and trees we have in our grounds and hoping to find an area near by to walk to regularly too. When i say planning it, this means it's a slot in the timetable when we go out for CIL (similar to Norway). We don't take many if any resources with us - helps the children be more creative in many ways.

 

We've almost got rid of anything pink and plastic in our designated outdoor space and replaced it with more natural resources (logs, bricks, pallets) which we plan for in our continuous provision. As the year goes on we will add resources that we think will help the children progress. The best thing we have is a welly rack for all the children store wellies which they can get at whenever they like. Waterproofs available too - mainly to save uniforms from too much additonal mud!

 

Have fun and remember to go outside whatever the weather, not just on the sunny days - children LOVE the rain!

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I was also part of the project in Gravesham but in a pvi setting, we are out all the time, we will still go to the forest it has been the most amazing time it has really blown me away and the proof that this 'type' of learning works is in our data, results at the end of July, all my children having reached their 40 -60 m in DM and 3/4 of these are boys, incredible.

The rich environment stimulated rich and meaningful conversations, the children were able to problem solve, working as a team. Infact we as staff were almost redundant!!!

 

Children balancing on a see-saw at forest worked out in the setting how they could make a see-saw in the garden just like the one in the forest

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Edited by Suer
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