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Adult-directed planned tasks outdoors


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Hi, this is my first post here and I'm hoping, I guess, for some guidance or maybe some comparisons of effective outdoor provision.


I'm an experienced EYFS teacher and I currently share a lovely outdoor area with two reception classes (I'm in Nursery). As a new team working together, I feel the past couple of years have been great and we have developed our provision in terms of resources (school investment and the hard work and goodwill of EYFS teachers and TA's). We are also fortunate to have a very creative team and so activity ideas aren't an issue either.Our focus is now on development of the planning and the role of the adult (which is where i still feel has the gaps).


so... Up until now outside provision runs like this...

TA's aren't paid to arrive before school so they arrive about 2 mins before we open. (I get into nursery an hour before school to try to set up all the indoor/answer emails/ do paperwork etc). On a good day I get out and set some activities up but tbh I often run out of time and the activities are set up when I open outdoor provision (about 20 mins after parents leave, the site is secure and registers are done). The outdoor activities are sometimes planned (e.g. on superhero dressing up day we created a superhero obstacle course and help desk where the children could 'hire a superhero' to fix their problems). Often though resources are set up and we rely on the role of the adult to extend learning that the children initiate. We record these experiences on a reflective feedback sheet showing how the children have used the indoor & outdoor environment this week. Some staff are better at this than others and I think that is something that could go on our action plan (more training on the role of the adult).


With OFSTED looming in the near future their is pressure from above to do everything at lightening speed unfortunately. One suggestion from above is that they would like to see an adult-directed task outside everyday (with an adult based at the station) that is planned and with objectives that link directly and explicitly to our indoor literacy and numeracy planning. Personally,my reading of Anna Ephgrave's work and A. B. Clegg's lean me towards the spontaneous provision that we are already offering but I am open-minded and so if anyone can share I would be grateful for inspiration.


So... I'm hoping for some examples of outdoor provision that is inspiring, successful and pleasing to SLT's and Ofsted lol! How do you guys use the outdoor environment? How much is planned ahead? What is recorded?


Thank you





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Hi Chloe

I have recently delivered in house training in SST which has helped enormously in the role of the adult. I also intend to deliver 'in the moment' planning and am also a fan of Anna's and Alistair! However it is a softly softly approach some staff find change really hard.

so currently we have one focus adult led activity a session and this may or may not take place outside. it really depends on the nature of the activity and where the children are! For eg the focus is on shape recognition this term and as alot of the children chose to be outside a member of staff did a shape hunt in the garden. very popular too! meanwhile the staff will be ready to find any 'teachable moments inside and out. For eg the mud kitchen was popular this morning with lots of water very sloppy mud! perfect for mark making for a little boy who just does not like to pick a pencil up but happily got involved with making marks with sticks in the mud (when suggested by staff)

This was recorded on the tablet via tapestry. also added to our planning wall to inform planning for tomo or whenever he is in. (shaving foam added to the mud table to make marks perhaps with fingers next) Am I making sense? sounds like you are on course to me!


Edited by Andreamay
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Thank you Andrea,


That is reassuring to hear. Your ideas sound fab too!


I have been going over and over it the last few days and I'm considering a specific outdoor challenge area as a new addition after Christmas. Possibly chalking up some additional challenges or using photo cards for the nursery children similar to what I've been doing in my construction areas.


Might be a bit of trial and error to see what the children respond to.


Thank you for responding :1b

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