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Lack Of Outdoor Area


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Hi,

 

I'm a FS coordinator in a private school and teach Reception. The head and I are currently racking our brains trying to figure out how we can provide the Reception children with free flow access to the outdoors when there is no direct access from the classroom! In order to use the outdoor area, the children either need to go down a set of steps and through fire doors, or along the corridor past the hall onto the top playground.

 

We have explored the options of band systems and letting the children walk outside, but then the question about fire alarms was raised! If there are 5 bands missing, I presume 5 children are on top playground, but my class line up on the bottom playground when the fire alarm goes! It's a bit late at this point to shout up to the TA 'you should have 5 children!'

 

I'm very conscious of the fact that this is something ISI will most probably pick up on if/when we get inspected, and want to show that we are working on adressing the situation, but not sure how!

 

My current options seem to be - 'forced' outdoor play (you will go out at this time), or no outdoor play! We do occassionally drop everything and go out, but it's difficult to extend the learning when we have such limited access!

 

Hope this makes some sense :unsure:

 

Jelli

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Hi Jelli, welcome to the forum :D ::1a

We are a playgroup operating out of a church hall and also have no direct access to outdoors. We take the children at a set time each day round to the local primary school to use the playground and we're in the process of having a garden built next to the church, but again, with no direct access.

Ofsted have never said its something we must provide though because they are aware that not every setting can provide it.

Its a shame but we try to bring the outdoors in to compensate a little, branches, compost, ;leaves, anything natural we find.

Sorry, that doesnt help your problem though :(

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we too in a church hall had no freeflow access...

 

so we had regular time to go outside and planned around or for it same as the inside.. it was all out or no one out... and tended to be same time each day...

 

our other way was when we had enough staff we split the group and the person outside had a walky talky radio .. cheap childs one to keep in contact with the inside.. and as they were taking a set group out always knew who they had so if fire (drills) etc were able to deal with their group of children.. the group changed at regular times during the session... but with the radio anyone needing to return could be sorted with the inside staff...

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Guest LornaW

Hi Jelli it is so difficult when you cannot site the reception class with clear access and I would agree with the above. Have a set time when you go outside and go as a whole class at that time each day. However it shouldn't just be lije a 'playtime' you would need to provide all areas of the curriculum but in the outdoors and also for an extended period of time. Do you have a wooded area that you could set up if not could you site a shed on the playground for you to store the necessary equipment for your outdoor area. You will also need to ensure that everyone has appropriate clothing for inclement weather so hats etc inbn the syummer but more importantly boots and wet suits in the winter spring. You could have some pop up tents , tyres, ropes, milk crates etc etc etc for the children to use during this time. Really think outside the box for resources.

 

A useful website is Elizabeth Jarman's http://www.elizabethjarmantraining.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=6 and of course Alastair Bryce-Cleggs http://www.abcdoes.typepad.com/

 

Good Luck

 

Lorna

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jellibeen firstly hello! then two things came to mind.....can you change where the reception is sited? i know this is radical but i do know a school who changed their classrooms around to ensure a child with additional needs was next to a toilet! and sometimes it is one of those things that you haven't thought about until someone says it! xD the other thing is what about walkie talkies....might this improve the communication links and therefore sort out the fire issues, or could you move the assembly point?? probably teaching grandmother to suck eggs :rolleyes:

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Always on the look out for new ideas I also loved the ABC link, thanks. Next question, has anyone seen the shower hands in the shops, can see lots of uses for them and they look such fun!!! Maybe I need a trip around the DIY shops but then I see lots of jobs to do at home, no time for that!!

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Like the man said B & M but not sure they are everywhere?? its a kind of trashy woolworths but has lots of great bits n bobs for enhancing provision, they had fabulous scarecrows for large pots last year- only £1. ( apologies to any B&M associates)

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