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Our Outdoor Are Is A Health And Safety Isuue!


Rufus
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Hi all

 

In repsonse to a questionnare that was sent out, one of our parents thinks our outdoor area is a health and safety risk. I assume they are referrring to the open ended resources that provide so much for their child's thinking skills, problem solving and creativity! Which are also stored in a safe area.

I would like to reply to this and was wondering if anyone off the top of their heads can give me any quotes from theorists about how valuable this type of play is. I don't have access to all my books at the moment and that is making it more difficult to find the evidence than usual.

 

Thanks

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I agree with Susan, I would want more specific information before drafting a reply. They could be referring to any number of things.

 

Whatever you reply with I would just make it absolutely clear that Health and Safety is not about removing children from all hazards, but more about identifying them and minimising any risk associated with those hazards. Perhaps offer to show them your risk assessment for the area and also thank them for their feedback. :o

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When I say "I am assuming" it's a pretty safe assumption. The parent talks about how the area is cluttered and resources are messy.

No way of finding out who the parent is as it was an anonymous reply.

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I agree with Carol, that a good way to be able to respond is to have available a risk assessment specifically for the outside area. You can list possible hazards and how you are minimizing them, along with the benefits of having the area the way it is, and therefore show that you have already considered this from a professional perspective?

 

A few years ago Helen had a parent complain about a pond in our outside area. She didn't know anything about it until Ofsted turned up. She showed her a risk assessment showing what positive educational benefits the pond had, along with a policy showing that the pond was supervised by a dedicated member of staff at all times. The Ofsted inspector went away perfectly happy and let the parent know that the setting had considered and addressed the risks.

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as i always say , never assume anything - it only makes an ass out of you and me ! ( joke intended ) but sopme good points raised , have risk assessment in place and when you respond to survey do it as overall feedback to comments and emphasise the importance of outdoor play and learning environments -good luck

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Have done an overall reply, thanking parent for raising their concerns and putting the child's care first, as we do etc.

We have an outdoor risk assessment that they can see if they wish.

Have referenced the need for chidlren to assess and deal with risks, supported by adults.

Also refernced how open ended resources aid creative thinking etc, developing skills needed for engineering, artwork, mathematical patterns, rhythmns, shapes etc. Quote from Cathy Weisman.

And whilst addressing all this I have managed to continue to promote positve parental partnerships - gosh what we have to do in EYFS.

Thanks

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