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Should We Get Our Awning Out?


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Hi all

 

It is absolutely torrential rain here this morning and I'm after a straw poll for next time this happens (I told staff to 'use their professional judgement' this morning, not sure what they'll do!)

 

We have a new professional quality marquee/awning thing, which we bought with capital funding money. The idea was that it would allow us to play outside, whatever the weather.

 

But ... if we pack it away damp repeatedly, it is going to get damaged. There is something on in the hall this weekend, so we have to do a proper pack away and there is nowhere inside to leave it out to dry.

 

Now, we could leave it kind of half up in our big shed, or we could make a decision not to get it out if we think it is going to rain for the whole of session time and be impossible to dry.

 

What do you think? On the plus side, it gives parents somewhere dry to shelter and would encourage the children to free flow.

 

Having said all that, I bet all schools in the area will be having wet play today and won't let their children outside.

 

Is it really fair for me to expect staff to get it out when the weather is completely awful?

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Well, I know we should be providing outdoor play and that the old saying 'theres no such thing as unsuitable weather, just unsuitable clothing' is out there, but staff could argue that the preschool should supply the suitable clothing, parents can get very tetchy about their children playing in the rain, and if outdoor play is going to mean possible damage to your equipment, then I'd say, at least leave it untill you can leave the awning out to dry propery, ensure all staff have a suitable coat, and hammer home to parents the fun that can be gained from playing outside when its raining. The parents have agreed to the EYFS by attending but if we are going to respect parents wishes on sleep patterns, food like/dislikes etc then we should respect their views on this too. If they're not used to it I'd take it slowly.

We dont have anywhere to play outside, but if we did, I'd want to make sure there was a way of getting really dry and warm afterwards. Hot chocolate's nice :o

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We give staff raincoats, Rea, but I think it'd have to be scuba gear here this morning!

 

If it carries on like this there will be flooding I reckon.

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I work as part of a school and we are out what ever the weather the staff know that they have to dress for the weather if they will be outside for part of the day. I came home on Wednesday with a soaking wet coat but least it allowed the children choice of where they wanted to play.

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We've been outside this morning doing Forest School - outside for 3 hours but we did come under cover for lunch time. No complaints from staff or children but the kids have good waterproofs provided by us and staff have coats provided too.

 

However, our F Sch leader also takes a school group (y2&3) out in the afternoon but the school kept them inside as they couldn't possibly be allowed to be out (for about an hour!) - and they also have the waterproofs. What's the point of them doing Forest School if they can't be allowed to experience all weathers?

 

Jo

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Came home today soaked!!!!

 

I provide staff with full waterproofs but they do dress themselves well on arrival and we have spare bits for us too (you just never know) All children have wellies and waterproofs and this is the first term where they are all dressing them selves to go outside. We do have a rule of coat and wellies as we have a really muddy area and we are a pack away so it can end up very messy.

 

We have this term developed an area that we call our cloakroom, (all our childrens coats are on a mobile rack in the entrance of our hall they are then wheeled into main hall) with all the coats hanging up on named pegs, wellies all sizes ans small chairs to sit on plus this week we have added an old duvet cover for the floor as it really helps soak up the mucky stuff!!

 

The children just love the outdoors we too have followed a forest school approach and really wish more schools would allow it to be cascaded up the school, Children don't Melt' in the rain.

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I'd say if your equipment is going to be damaged by the weather then you shouldn't be getting it out. There is no benefit to anyone if you are having to spend your funding replacing equipment that hasn't been treated properly!

 

As for the free flow, if children are still wanting to free flow without the awning then obviously you should be providing for this, as long as they have suitable clothing and there is somewhere to get warm and dry afterwards. I don't think they need the awning to encourage them. If the children don't want to go outside without it then they are still making that choice!

 

 

EDIT: In my experience leaving the awning 'half up' will still lead to it going mouldy and horrible if it has been put away damp, plus these things tend not to dry out well in enclosed places as they are pretty airless anyway.

Edited by Guest
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Don't worry they did still go outside, I have made that very clear in the freeflow procedures - there are NO EXCUSES allowed!!

 

Thanks for advice re. awning, I think we must protect our investment but that won't stop us getting out and about.

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Came home today soaked!!!!

 

The children just love the outdoors we too have followed a forest school approach and really wish more schools would allow it to be cascaded up the school, Children don't Melt' in the rain.

 

Me too, must get a new coat...

 

We were outside today we

- jumped and danced in puddles,

- got really 'wetty' feeling the rain on our faces and hanging out tongues to catch the rain, discussed lengths of tongues and curling abilities

- painted the playground and watched as the rain washed it into a 'magic rainbow stream'

- stomped dinosaurs through the primeval swamp that yesterday was our digging pit.

- swept puddles with big brooms, pushing water round in 'giant writing'

- forded and then bridged the river (huge puddle)

- hung cloth in the bushes to shelter under

- took time out in the play house watching and listening to the rain

We had a brilliant time experiencing and learning - unfortunately we ran out of dry clothes, and whilst this did not worry our intrepid explorers we did have some cross parents at home time.

Some parents never seem to understand that when we say we go out EVERYDAY we mean it and a change of clothes, waterproof coats and wellies really are a good idea.

What a shame they can't be thankful that we take their children out for these wonderful experiences and they can stay in and keep dry?

Edited by fay
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