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Verona
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We haven't got to it yet but I am a bit concerned about what will happen when we get to the section about outside play........we rarely use outside because it is not secure. :o

We have tried numerous ways of 'fencing' the children in and keeping others out, over the years. In fact, I think one of my first postings here was to ask for ideas to secure our outside areas. Obviously there are settings that don't have access to outside - we do - grass one side and tarmac the other side of the hall but ours is so difficult to secure as it is such a wide area.

Anyway, has anyone been 'inspected' for the accreditation and not had any outdoor area to use. What was the result?

 

Sue J

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I can't answer your question specifically because I haven't done Accreditation, although I was an assessor many moons ago.

 

I too have to "fence" outside my hall. ( Public green ). I have a large role of builders plastic fence ( do you know, the bright orange stuff used on building sites). I don't know where it came from, bought with the business). It is secured with large metal stakes with hooks at the top. Being in a Scout Hall I have access to a large mallett to hit the stakes in with :o

 

If the outside area is not "set up" we go out once or twice a day for walks around the local area, in all weathers. :D

 

I should think that if you show the assessor that you have tried to develop this area of your practice and do provide outdoor access through walks this should be acceptable ( But don't quote me xD )

 

Peggy

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We don't have an outside area either Sue but we do have access to the church garden which is secure. But we have to walk round there, fortunately no roads to cross, and it does mean we have to go out all together which can be a bit of a pain. We have problems if we want to send a small group out because I don't like to send only one member of staff on her own, but sending out 2 means that ratios inside are compromised.

Are you in a busy area? Could you just, as Peggy has suggested, take the children for a walk on a regular basis? We often do this if the weather has been too bad to go on the grass-I live in fear of ruining it and getting told off by the vicar!! :o Is there somewhere you could walk to like a local park?

I would think that if you have exhausted all avenues and can show this then it should be acceptable. OFSTED are usually happy with explanations like this and so they should be too.

Linda

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Out of interest Peggy, does the whole group go on your walks, and if so do you draft in extra adult helpers? Is there a different adult:child ratio for these 'outings'. Whenever we've been out on trips or walks we've asked parents to come and help so that one adult has only got two little hands to hold.

 

Maz

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Peggy, I have also got the orange barrier fencing, but the widths I have to deal with - one length is 40ft another 20ft and then a smaller one of 8ft - all need to be secured as the area is open. The fencing flops about even with iron stakes and cones and the slighest breeze and it falls over. I have thought of many ways to 'fence' us in but so far, nothing has worked.

When we go for walks I always make sure we have one adult for every two children, so I have to ask parents to come with us.

 

I'm know we won't 'fail' but I would love to be able to use what we have, it's such a nice area.

 

Sue J

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Peggy, I have also got the orange barrier fencing, but the widths I have to deal with - one length is 40ft another 20ft and then a smaller one of 8ft - all need to be secured as the area is open. The fencing flops about even with iron stakes and cones and the slighest breeze and it falls over. I have thought of many ways to 'fence' us in but so far, nothing has worked. 

When we go for walks I always make sure we have one adult for every two children, so I have to ask parents to come with us.

 

I'm know we won't 'fail' but I would love to be able to use what we have, it's such a nice area.

 

Sue J

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I know what you mean about "floppy" fence :o We use tables next to some parts of the fence with covers to give shade and dens to play in, this helps a little.

We do go out mainly as a full group but if I have 4 staff in then sometimes we split the group 1/2 stay in setting and 1/2 go out. We have a ratio of 1-4 or 1-5 for outings depending on the children attending, known "runners" are supervised by staff ( hand held) other "sensible" children walk in pairs holding each others hands. All in a line. Because we go out everyday the children learn the safety rules quickly, are responsible, and I am sure understand that if they misbehave they will lose the opportunity of going out altogether. A good motivation for good behaviour. Some areas of our walk they can "run free" large field and play park. Although it used to be a requirement for 1-2 ratio ( although not laid down in law) I think as long as you can show that the children are safe ( risk assessment) then it is acceptable to have less adults. Our local area is a housing estate so the roads are quite quiet.

 

Peggy

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We are based in church premises with no outside play area. Although we have some local group outings, these only happen once a term because of the difficulty in getting enough adults to ensure adult:child ratio is met. This seemed to be acceptable to QA inspector (at least, she didn`t remark on it).

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I think if you are able to demonstrate how you manage this should be enough. Can you demonstrate that the children experience gross motor skills within your setting. Could you perhaps use the area for a little gardening (pots perhaps) and take just a few children out at a time and demonstrate how you are using your KUW within this area, can you section off a smaller more manageable area with the sandpit, water tray, buckets, earth etc and take out half the group at a time. Fencing them in with your orange fencing and put the tables all around the edge - I think as long as you have done a risk assessment and have demonstrated the why you can and why you cannot do things this should be acceptable - my opinion only. Perhaps regular trips half termly to say a park to supplement this won't be too onerous on parents. Section off a piece of grass for investigation i.e. ants and crawly things, view finders etc. could all be managed with a small group. Not having read your previous post though are you not able to secure the area because of the lease/access restrictions or because of money - are there any grants available although I am sure you have looked into this.

Nikki

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Hi Nicola

Everyday the children experience gross motor skills in the hall (parachute, bean bags, balls, etc, sticky kids, climbing frame, ring games, etc etc ) but I would really like to go outside daily.

 

If I can come up with an idea that will work I am sure the church will back me - they are very good that way. There is a problem with vandals so we have to be careful what we put up or build. We would have to fund raise ourselves to raise money to pay for the 'fencing', but that (hopefully) wouldn't be a problem.

 

I was just a bit concerned that the QA inspector would make an unfavourable comment on not being able to access outside easiy.

 

Sue J

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