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Rain and Ofsted


MegaMum
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Hi

I am currently waiting for Ofsted as an unwarranted complaint was made against us. Ofsted found no cause for concern and saw it for what it was, but of course there has to be an inspection.

Our outside area is rather uninspiring in that it is concrete with a fence and gate surrounding it. That's it! We can't leave anything outside as it always gets vandalised. Even small objects go missing or plants get stamped on.

We have found when it's raining (hard) most of the children want to come back inside. There are those that love standing under the leaking guttering and jumping in the puddles but they are a minority and of course then you get parents complaining it's too cold, they are too wet etc etc. Obviously, in the better weather it is easier to set up and meet the 7 areas of learning, but I am concerned if they come and it's raining we won't have a lot on offer. I was just looking for advice and suggestions how we can deal with this if it is raining when Ofsted come.

Obviously paper, pens clipboards etc get soggy and den building isn't as much fun - what do you do?

Thanks

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We just ask the children what they want to do, if they choose to go out, we ask what resources they want. Sometimes it's the water tray anyway so they are just collecting water and filling and emptying. Then perhaps a tent for shelter, usually just wheelbarrows and sand!

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Bubbles they land on puddles and they look blue and green. Number carparks with bikes. Raindrop painting on wipeclean boards. Music time with old saucepans, biscuit tins, wooden spoon and metal spoons-I hear thunder etc. What about going out for a small walk road safety, looking for numbers, letters, shapes or a sound walk.

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Hi Megamum,

If Ofsted have found no cause for concern, then presumably they visited and carried out an inspection then? Are you sure they'll come and do another one? Or did they investigate the concern over the phone? Maybe you're worrying unnecessarily :huh: .

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Hi

 

Unfortunately, we had an inspection following a complaint.... and it was hammering down. We all went outside, the children wearing poncho's and using umbrella's. But the inspector didn't venture further than one step from the door. (she didn't have a coat). She was kind to us in her report.

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Guttering and milk crates to make a water slide, with a large builders bath at the bottom small, containers to bring the water back up to the top, then to add things to transport down the slide. This would require waterproof clothing with warm clothes underneath though. Waterproofs and wellies are an important investment, for parents or settings (if one can't then the other). Perhaps this is an opportunity to consider how you could improve your outdoor provision... Try not to worry and Good Luck!

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Have a small group of 4 or 5 children each with wellies and an umbrella, splashing in the puddles.

You could buy half a dozen clear umbrellas (the very deep ones); mPEzgXp946IyAQc9kPxFBKQ.jpg

the children could have great fun painting on the umbrella whilst their friend stands inside!

Buckets of mud with sticks for stirring; you could extend this by demonstrating writing/mark making with the stick and mud - on the ground or on paper. Add pots, pans and spoons for an instant mud kitchen. Have an assortment of textures by providing buckets of sand, bark or dried rice - alongside the mud.

Have pots of paint and brushes; children to drip the paint into the puddle - watch the colours mix.

Have small brooms (you can buy them from B&Q - a perfect size for pre-school children) - the children just love pushing the water around the playground with their broom and if you can add a 'broomstick' (may be some still around from Hallowe'en?) they can make comparisons and choices. Also add dustpans and brushes with assorted buckets for them to pour the water into. This can be extended - how many dustpans of water to fill the bucket? Who can fill the bucket first?

Good luck!

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From ABC DOES - SO inspirational!

"Now then, I had planned to do this activity by painting onto builder's plastic but Karen, the super talented TA at The Arches, came up with a better idea and this is it. Plastic umbrellas for 99p. The children were actually doing this outside in the rain and having a ball!"

http://abcdoes.typepad.com/abc-does-a-blog/2012/01/ideas-for-paint.html

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we have loads of umbrellas, which were 3 pounds ish from wilkos or asda. and children use them even when dry! crates and large plastic bricks work well. when it rains we have at least ten to fifteen children out for whole time. i think a lot depends on the adult who is outside...............

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What great ideas.... thank you all so much.

We constantly are trying to implement new things in our outdoor space and you have inspired me. We usually use the guttering with the water trays or on the fence. Will now be using them with milk crates and builders tray! I love the clear umbrella's too... thanks again.

Some of our children have waterproofs, but it is getting the children outside whose parents are weather phobic that is a challenge as their children are too!

 

Thanks for reminding me 'free flow' isn't a requirement either, as in the warmer months we always have it, but being in a village hall, which is cold at the best of times, in the winter we keep the doors closed and go out when the children ask to or when we offer it to them.

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Lots of lovely ideas - I have a wet weather box that we use on wet gloomy days. We ask the children if they would like to go out usually taking small group 4 : 1.

In the box we have ponchos, umbrellas, silver foil containers and jugs for measuring the rain over a few days.

The children's favourite activity has to be sweeping brushes and washing up liquid, great for giant mark making and then letting the children ride the bikes through the bubbles - extended by adding 2 different coloured paints for mixing colours.

I also have a photo album with pictures of all the super activities we have done over the last year which I will make sure Mrs O sees!

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Thanks for reminding me 'free flow' isn't a requirement either, as in the warmer months we always have it, but being in a village hall, which is cold at the best of times, in the winter we keep the doors closed and go out when the children ask to or when we offer it to them.

Something that was pointed out to me recently - whilst we have freeflow indoor outdoor play, the door does not have to be open all of the time; many children are capable of opening a door themselves and, if not, you could perhaps have a bell that they could ring. This would keep the warm air in and the cold air out. :1b

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  • 4 weeks later...

We run free flow between inside/outside all year through. The children are taught to open and close the door, they know they may not go outside unless a teacher is out already. If they can't see a teacher they just ask one of us.

 

We have finger guards fitted on the doors.

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