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Oh Please Help! Managing The Outdoors-all Those Tiddlers!


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Hello!!

 

Please please can anyone share their wisdom?!

 

I'm back in Reception :oxD:( after having two maternity leaves VERY close together. (I have two little ones under two) We've made lots of changes and to our setting but we are struggling a little with managing the children in the outdoor learning environment.

 

We currently have 2 adults outside all day- 1 for the adult focused and 1 to support/enhance continuous provision. (We are blessed with 5 members of staff & almost 60 children) We have lots of exciting activities available indoors and outdoors but last year we found that given the choice they'd ALL want to be outside. (Sorry to go on)

 

I really need some advice. (Baby brain is still with me) Can we go down the road of limiting the amount of children outside during a particular session? Just so it doesn't become crowd control if you know what I mean?! Or should we just follow the children's lead-if the majority want to be out then so be it.

 

I'm really sorry to be a bit thick. It would just be interesting to hear how others manage this. OFSTED is due any time!!!

 

Thanks so much in advance

 

Pinky xx

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Hello!!

 

Please please can anyone share their wisdom?!

 

I'm back in Reception after having two maternity leaves VERY close together. (I have two little ones under two) We've made lots of changes and to our setting but we are struggling a little with managing the children in the outdoor learning environment.

 

We currently have 2 adults outside all day- 1 for the adult focused and 1 to support/enhance continuous provision. (We are blessed with 5 members of staff & almost 60 children) We have lots of exciting activities available indoors and outdoors but last year we found that given the choice they'd ALL want to be outside. (Sorry to go on)

 

I really need some advice. (Baby brain is still with me) Can we go down the road of limiting the amount of children outside during a particular session? Just so it doesn't become crowd control if you know what I mean?! Or should we just follow the children's lead-if the majority want to be out then so be it.

 

I'm really sorry to be a bit thick. It would just be interesting to hear how others manage this. OFSTED is due any time!!!

 

Thanks so much in advance

 

Pinky xx

 

That's better. I can read it now.

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It depends on the size and layout of your outdoor area but in general my feeling would be that children learn and develop best in the environment they have chosen. Therefore if they all want to be outside and you can accommodate that safely I'd go with it and offer most activities out there.

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Hi Pinky

 

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your first post :o

 

Not working in a school I can't answer your question but I am sure someone will soon be along that can....my thoughts were though that once the weather changes that might help keep some of the less hardy indoors!

 

I suppose if you feel that there is not enough room for them to safely move around the activities or too many to allow good supervision you could limit the numbers and rotate the groups in and out.

 

Sue

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We have 2 foundation classes that share the outdoor area (60 children in total) The space is not at all big enough for this many children and like you say most do want to be outside. We have a board in each classroom with numbers up to 12 on them and the children find their names off the signing in board and place them on that 'outdoors' board when they go outside. If there is no room left on the board the children know that they have to wait for someone to come in. It sounds complicated but it works really well and the children manage it. We had ofsted at the end of last term and they liked the idea as well.

 

Hope that helps!

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Sounds very similar to the type of thing we do on our climbing equipment. We have 6 wrist bands in a bucket, children learn to look to see if there are any and if so they can put one on and go on the equipment.. Takes a little while for them to remember to take them off and return them to the bucket but they soon get the hang of it and self regulate it too.

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Hi

We have just introduced the children having to put a tabard on when they want to go outside (tabards same as bright orange ones that builders wear!) They hang up by the door. Is working really well. If another member of staff goes out because there is no one playing in an area then we have extra tabards. We have 60 children spread over 3 areas plus the outside area.

 

Covers a few goals too!!

 

Gem

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for child initiated time in my reception class each child has their photo which they take with them to choose where they are playing. Each area has a limited number of velcro spots for the children to put their name on. Our outside area has 12 spots and when I send children off to choose their activities, I send them a group at a time and rotate which group has first choice to keep it fair. All of our children came from the local playgroup where they have a massive outside area and the vast majority of the children spent their whole session outside there. Some of mine are struggling to understand why they can't be outside all the time like they were there but there simply isn't room. Ofsted recently saw this in operation and liked what they saw.

Deb

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Can I just say a huge THANK YOU for all your replies!

 

We're really getting in a tizz over this and it's so reassuring to hear that a lot of your are using a 'rota' kind of system.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know what you're up to.

 

PP XX

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