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Whole School Outing


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please can ayone comment on the following situation.

I work in a first school and have a new head.This head is very keen to integrate nursery into all main school activities which is commendable.However there has been an outing arranged for the last friday before xmas when the whole school from nursery to year 4 will be walking through a busy town centre to the cinema.This is a long walk and upon voicing my concerns they were dismisssed and I have been told Nursery must go.I am really worried about the safety of 40 3/4 yea olds on this journey and wonder if I am being negative.The ratioo for off site visits is 1 child to 4 adults but we may not have this.I have been told that each 3 year old could hold a year 4 childs hand ,but I am having sleepless nights thinking about this.Please offer advice. :oxD

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:o Hi,

I'm afraid I think you're probably wise to be concerned.

What do the parents think, what info have they been given?

 

What is the film? I would imagine that after alng walk your little ones will probably sleep?!

I hope you have plenty of time to walk & toilet etc.

 

Short of consulting your union, I'm not sure what else you can do? Can you not appeal to the deputy?

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

Susan

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Hi there, what a silly Head you have. You or whoever has organised the trip must fill out a risk assessment before gong out, and this must include an adequate adult:child ratio. You need 4:1 minimum but we always have 3:1 with ours especially at this time of year. A year 4 child is not legally allowed to 'count' as they need to be supervised themselves. (ratio there I think is 10:1). As Susan says, they will probably fall asleep as most films are too long for many 3 year olds and then you have to walk back afterwards. Raise strong objections, if that means the union, get them involved. And keep us posted...

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thanks everyone for such a quick reply Youve made me feel better already.The film is Elf and has just come out. It is along the lines of Santa Claus the Movie [not a cartoon but a full length feature film]I will have to really think aboout this one and perhaps take further advice.Its a nice change to talk with people who really know aboout 3 and 4 year olds.Ill keep you posted :o

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Crestacat -

Don't know if your head is aware of this, but Elf is PG not U. I wouldn't say your children will understand much of what is going on - and from what I saw of the preview on tv, perhaps that's just as well.

 

The film just isn't suitable for 3 and 4 year olds. Above their heads and, unless you want to encourage them to start belching competitions, it's inappropriate. You'll probably have half the parents on your back apart from anything else. :o

 

Do what Kate suggested. Sounds great - I might do it myself tomorrow...

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Steve thanks for your input I didnt realise the film was PG obviously niether has anyone else although I thought It would not be suitable for little ones [with v limited listening skills]. I shall try and approach my Deputy head again but short of a stand up battle I dont think the Head is inclined to give way on this issue.

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I'd think about a call to Ofsted, to find out where you stand. You could do it anonymously....they'd understand.

Do you have to get a form signed by parents/carers?

You could also voice your concerns (or get one of your colleagues to!) about how distracting to the other children, the little ones can be! If half of them are talking, a quarter are off to the loo at any one time, and a quarter saying they're bored/frightened, want an ice-cream etc.... the older ones are going to get very fed up.

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Hmm, a tricky situation. Personally, I'd avoid contacting your union or doing anything that could be seen as inflamatory by your new Head, except to get confirmation of the law and to get advice in confidence about how to deal wiht the situation. Perhaps your new Head has little experience with fs children as yet, but can be guided more gently. Whatever happens, you need to come back in January to a good working partnership with the Head, so the more diplomatically you handle this situation, the better. :D

Find information about a form that yuo'd need to get parental permission for a PG (although this is tricky if the school doesnt normally ask for permission to show PG videos, eg during wet playtimes)

 

Then, take all this to your line manager to show your concerns. Do so calmly and taking the approach that you are concerned about safety and the suitability of the movie. Acknowledge what a wonderful idea this is, for a treat for the children, and how you'd like to partcipate in some way and be a part of the school. (bear in mind that this is a concern of many heads, and can be a concern for some practitioners, where they are left out of most school activities just because they are in 'the' nursery. Ways need to be found of including your group of children, but in a way that is age appropriate.

 

Maybe a compromise could be reached, where just the most mature children, with their parents, attend - or where the child only goes if a parent/grandparent comes with them, then they can take them out if they don't like it, or carry them home if they fall asleep! Or ask parents who want their children to attend, to meet you at the cinema with their child, and stay with them, and cut out the walk altogether.

 

Hope that this helps, and that you find a solution that satisfies everyone. Good luck!

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thanks Helen and Nicola for your Helpfull suggestions.Im going to sit down and carefully think about the way forward.As you say Nicola I have to work inthe same school in January.Perhaps I will look for those film reviews and try to approach this in a positive way.

 

Enlisting as many parents as possible to help will be my next step.I really appreciate all suggestioons they have helped me a great deal .

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Gosh, this is some thread. I would definitelt be taking my 44 3 and 4 year olds on a walk through town, then to sit in a cinema unless I had 1 to 2 ratio. No, infact I just wouldnt go. What if some of them havn't been to the cinema? What it some of them are frightened? What if some of them can't sit still for that length of time? What do the Parents say?

Chris :o

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Hello Its me again.Just come in from a meeting and our nursey children our getting a bus to take us to the cinema .That is really the most important safety aspect taken care of for me.My head listened to my concerns through my Deputy head and saw sense.once the children are in the cinema I will be able to make sure they are at least safe ,athough I dont suppose they will get much from the film.Ill let you all know what happens.

 

I hope everyone else's preparations are going well for Xmas ,Its this time of year that makes me really glad Im a nursery teacher.I just love all the excitement of Santa and the Nativity story.Weve turned our home corner into Santas grotto complete with costumes ,boxes to wrap,gift tags to write etc and the children have absoloutly loved it.Anyone else doing anything special for xmas? :)

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That reminds me - in February back when we had no members and it was too late for Christmas anyway, I posted some snaps of Christmas display boards we had done. Don't know if anyone will find them of interest but here's a link to the topic - perhaps people might like to add some of their own?

 

You can find it here, anyway! :)

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I'm so glad that you found a partial solution, anyway, and that the safety issues have been addressed.

 

I'd make sure that you have enough adults for children to be taken out if they don't like the movie. Also, some provision for something for them to do if they are waiting in the foyer for everyone else to come out! A box of small toys, stickers, paper, some books for an adult to read stories to them. You don't want ten three year olds running riot amidst the popcorn. :D

 

Looking at it positively, you have handled a difficult situation with your new Head, adn both come out of it relatively happy. By next Christmas, you should have no problems in arranging a treat for the children that is more age appropriate!

 

Well done, now you can relax and enjoy your festivities. :o

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Crestacat, whew, I hope you enjoy some of the film!!!

I agree that Christmas is a time full of wonder and excitement! We have a theme room and it is now Bethlehem. Lots of costumes, hay, animals and a stable ( Ikea childrens tent covered with material and lots of stars). We had our Parents in on Wednesday to make a decoration with their child. I dont know who enjoyed it most, children or adults!

Steve, love the display photos. :o

Chris

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Hello CRESTACAT,

Just a few words to let you know what we have done this week at pre-school apart from the normal christmas collage.I let the children help me unpack all the christmas clothes.When I got to the father christmas suit one of the children commented that it wouldn't fit ME so I tried it on they all saw me put it on.I asked one little girl what she would like for Christmas.She looked at me in awe and wonder and she told me .The rest of the children joined a line to speak even the ones that don't normally say a lot were answering me.I asked them to either go and draw me a picture or to write me a letter.Many of the children then had their own turn at being Father christmas.They were all very enthuisiastic lots of drawing and writing took place. We do use puppets a lot especially at circle time when the children have to pass the puppet round and introduce themselves etc. This was even better.

Our planned activities before Christmas include a carol service at the church,a visit by a travelling theatre company to perform a pantomine and on the last day of term the children will be taking part in Whoops-a daisy-angel.This is a nativity play with a difference.Hope all goes well with everyones Christmas activities.

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