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Free flow


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Thought my setting was jogging along very nicely. Today I had a visit from EYDO this morning.Most of our children stay all day and we find they concentrate more doing focus activities in the morning. In the afternoon children are usually all outside.

She was very impressed with everything BUT she said Ofsted will not be happy if children cannot go outside whenever they want. We do cover the curriculum outside We make sure all children do go out everyday but in the morning not all at once because they are doing other things at different times.We have focus activities both in side and outside.Somethings cannot be done outside but other things are more suitable inside I know my own children and I know that if given the choice they wouldn't do any of the indoor activities.The annoying thing is that a child hadn't brought a coat today but wouldn't wear a spare one, she made so much fuss that this drew attention to this. This is the child who never usually wants to be outside.

What does free flow actually mean?

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For us it means the door is open all of the time except for an hour over lunch time.

 

It means that whatever the focus activity is, or what we want to find out from the activity we try and set up various points inside and out to be able to gain this information. That way the children choose where they wish to be.

 

There are times when this isn't practical but generally we manage.

 

Hope this helps!

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Not sure if this helps - we are not able to offer free flow - so it's all out for us - usually after our morning snack - have had Ofsted (last month) our inspector came out with us and whilst we were outside she asked me all sorts of questions re curriculum coverage outdoors and was happy with the answers! :1b

Edited by sunnyday
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I have noticed free flow popping up in a few inspection reports around here again just recently - it did disappear for awhile, perhaps it's because of the warmer weather :-)

 

From our 3 hour session I would estimate roughly that 1.5hrs is outside - not all at once as we still do group snack.

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Oh well fingers crossed I will have an understanding inspector like you Sunnyday. I have 6 staff members each one being responsible for their own area of the curriculum. They each plan a focus activity for the week.So if some of the children were indoors doing the focus activity and others were outside it would be difficult. If that's the only thing that she could find wrong I am sure that I can adapt if necessary.

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The EYFS doesn't say we have to offer freeflow...

I think if you can show you are meeting children's needs indoors and outside, then that should be enough. But who knows, it always seems to be the luck of the draw with inspectors!

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Our preschool before I joined always thought an outstanding was to only a door away ! The children had to access the outside via the kitchen , we now have doors leading from the hall and offer free flow , our recent inspection loved our outdoors and I believe if you can argue your reasoning and ensure children are able to access the outdoors as and when possible and safely then don't worry but be prepared to reflect and stand up for your decision .

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Yes that what I thought Stargrower in fact I remember not agreeing with the new code of practise. This is a new EYDO and when she made a quick unannounced visit to drop something off for me one afternoon she saw that all the children were outside. No one as ever told me that children should be outside all the time. She kept telling me that she loved the outside herself shame she didn't walk around our large garden area I had to describe the activities from the open door.

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