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Staffing the outdoors in Reception


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We are an early years unit with two Reception classes, a canopy area and a large outdoor area. I firmly believe that the children should have continual provision to the outdoor area. We have 5 staff - 2 teachers and 3 TA's but only two out of the five of us are passionate about outdoor learning. I am responsible for sorting out duty rotas as we take turns to staff the outdoors and each person goes out every day. Any suggestions for managing the outdoor duties and inspiring the staff who are reluctant to see the value of outdoor learning? One problem is that we have very little equipment we can leave out permanently and a very large outdoor area which means stuff has to be carted from a shed which is the other side of the yard. Has anyone done any inspirational outdoor learning they would be happy to share?

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ho bettybud and welcome!

I am pre-school not reception but just wanted to know...do you plan for the outdoors? I could waffle on for hours (and often do) about ideas for the outdoors but i think the first thing you need to get across is that it needs to be planned for and specific to the learning for your cohort. Personally i don't think you need any equipment outside....the environment should supply most of what you need! have you look at creative star learning and her blog? Juliette is a specialist in outdoor learning (all the way through the school years!) she has some fab ideas that might inspire your team.

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In my last teaching post we had a rota but for the week! There were 3 of us and we rotated weekly. The outdoor person did get early lunch and didn't take a story group so they could thaw out if necessary!!

However they were able to observe and develop the plans across the week and this meant the outdoors was as important as the other areas indoors.

Cx

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In my last teaching post we had a rota but for the week! There were 3 of us and we rotated weekly. The outdoor person did get early lunch and didn't take a story group so they could thaw out if necessary!!

However they were able to observe and develop the plans across the week and this meant the outdoors was as important as the other areas indoors.

Cx

Catma, what is your stance on the need for planning for the outdoor environment in Reception? I'm moving to Reception in September and I don't think they plan for this area; PLODs are recorded for indoor and outdoor learning but no weekly plan, I believe.

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Catma, what is your stance on the need for planning for the outdoor environment in Reception? I'm moving to Reception in September and I don't think they plan for this area; PLODs are recorded for indoor and outdoor learning but no weekly plan, I believe.

if they are doing plods then surely these are recording ...so forming a plan for the outdoors and indoors? so if Johnny needs to develop shoulder movements the plod might be dough gym inside or swinging from a bar outside?

(BTW i know i'm not catma...just curious!!!!)

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Hi Bettybud

 

Like finleysmaid - I am also pre-school. For our outside area I got some tyres and planks of wood to make a walk around balance beam, which we can leave out. Other equipment such as bikes, trampoline, hobby horses, skipping ropes, space hopper, bats/ball, pop up goal net, climbing frame and slide are stored in shed which we choose to get out daily. When the weather is better the c frame can then stay out, it's a wooden one so has to put away for winter so to speak. Our EYrs officer has sent us this web I have attached, which you may find helpful and on another web Tes connect i think? someone has made this list of boxes for outside covering all 7 areas. Good luck!

science_in_the_outdoors Muddy Spaces.pdf

BOXES FOR OUTSIDE PLAY.doc

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Catma, what is your stance on the need for planning for the outdoor environment in Reception? I'm moving to Reception in September and I don't think they plan for this area; PLODs are recorded for indoor and outdoor learning but no weekly plan, I believe.

I do think you need some planning and in reception, without this, children can become rather unchallenged if they are getting the ame kinds of things to do as they have in nursery or earlier.PLODs might do this - but you will have 30 children to consider and so some form of daily/weekly plan that considers groups of children's needs/interests might be more time efficient?

Cx

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our brst purchase/ scrounge has been trolleys. When so many changed to packed lunches se begged for their old lunch box trolleys and now have a mark making one, a maths resources one, Dressing up and music one too. They are wheeled into classes at night and wheeled each morning. So much easier and the children can wheel them to wherever they want to play.

Regarding staff reluctance I wiuld advise they do the whole week too to build on the the learning from the previous day. Is it perhsps not that they dont believe in the outdoor play opportunities but rather that they have a lot of work to do inside which they do rather than play? Our TAs have so much to do and its hard to plan time to do all those jobs and provide next steps for learning. Just a thought. Good luck

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We have a large outdoor area , are 3 form entry and provide access morning and afternoon. We have a weekly rota so that everyone does a morning or afternoon slot and I try to plan it as fairly as possible so that we all do the same amounts. This doesn't quite work due to some commitments by staff such as PPa, management time etc. nursery work there own rota and I do ours as phase leader. It's a bit of a headache but it generally works well and I try to make sure it's not always the same staff tidying away. We have a rota to set the outside area up everyday and that works well . I ve just made some amendments to this as the Monday morning TA staff were spending ages getting everything ready on Fridays and Monday's , so now the class's teachers do this on a Friday night. Reception staff also plan a range of enhancements to each area and a focussed activity based along the children's needs and the children take it from there. The staff are great , go out in all weathers and though I know that it can be grim out there at times the children's learning is put first. For me outdoor play is an essential part of the curriculum and we have seen some great learning that we just wouldn't get inside.

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