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Outdoor Access


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Hi all,

I am new to reception and I am struggling on outdoor provision due to staff numbers. Do you let children have access outdoor all day or do you just have certain times? Does anyone know what the guidelines are for amount of time the children have to be out are? Or what the supervision should be? Also, what is Ofsted's opinion on it?

Thanks so much

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Hi whenever I have a child initiated time, outdoors is open and the children freeflow in and out and I or my TA go out with them. Our area is quite small so we have a maximum of 12 out at any time. At the start of the year we have child initiated time for the majority of the day except for when we do a carpet session/circle time/music/PE but this evolves over the year so that by the summer term they have child initiated time usually for one session a day (usually all afternoon) When I have more structured AI sessions eg CLL or numeracy I make sure as much as possible that we have activities outside. With our previous headteacher he said that it was OK for the children to be out unsupervised as long as we had done a risk assessment (our area is completely enclosed and safe from intruders) but our new head has said we always have to have an adult out with them and admittedly it has been more difficult staffing wise but we've managed. Usually it means that whatever focused activity I have planned I do it outside and supervise the children as well.

Don't know how much time should be spent outside, I know Ofsted like to see freeflow and the outdoors being used as much as possible and that's what they saw when we had ofsted recently.

Deb

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there's no hard and fast amount...academics like Helen Bilton will say it should be half of the provision and available all the time, practicality often makes that impossible. However I always tried for a balance and the outside was available as much as possible. I do know one school that has no outside space accessible for the reception classes and they have to make a daily trip in groups to the nursery space when nursery have gone for the morning.

 

Cx

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Our Outdoor environment is open whenever we have free choice. We have a waiting/out system for it because we only usually allow 10/12 children out at a time.

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Thanks for the info everyone, I think I will just have to only have it open when I have the staff available for now until I get my feet a bit more.

Cheers for the help

h x

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