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Outdoor Play


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Another query for anyone on line. I am trying to organise my daily/weekly timetable for Reception and I am just wondering how much time you would recommend that we spend outside in planned and child initiated play? I am not able to have free access to the outdoor space as there are no barriers so have to timetable it in. I also wondered what type of opportunities for play you would have every day. None of my equipment can be left outside so I am trying to work out how to store things effectively so that I can get access easily.

 

Thanks again for your advice!

Claire :D

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Our outside storage is an issue. The caretaker is building a metal shed that we order form a catalogue to store things in. At the moment the things go back in the classroom at night- either to their normal storage place or under/on the art table - not ideal!

 

There are always 2 of us in the classroom - a teacher and TA, with a mixed Y1/R class. As long as the weather is dry, we try to have one person based outside and one inside so that the children can go in and out as they want. Obviously, depending on staff availability (toileting issues, independent reading time, inside group planned activity) there may be both of us inside/outside.

 

At the moment the reception are in afternoons only (without Y1s for 3 afternoons), and after a short initial time together on the carpet (song/talk etc.) they are choosing what they would like to do either inside or outside, followed by an infant playtime in the playground, where they do different things to the outdoor area by the classroom and can play wiht other friends/siblings. They then have a short story/song time before going home.

 

I'll try to remember what they had out last week-it varied day to day. Last week, they had water with various bubble blowers in, a mat under the trees with dolls, cots, clothes, cups/saucers- there were some lovely picnics set up!), cars on a car mat, big construction, chalkboards and chalk, numbered teddys on a washing line. Some emergency vehicles were taken outside by a couple of the boys as they wanted to fly the police helicopters in the sky.

 

It will change when the reception are in during the mornings as there will be literacy and numeracy sessions for the Y1 children, building on from where they got to last year. We haven't quite worked out the practicalities of it yet, but hope to use the outside as much as posible still for R (and Y1 too), especially while the weather is dry - our area is not covered and we haven;t yet managed to sort out waterproofs.

 

There are some children who always prefer to be outside- they may write on chalkboards/whoteboards/paper on clipboards out there, but never want to inside and vice versa, so it really depends on your class, their needs and the adult support you have to how much you can get out with them. We virtually lived outside in the summer in the shade of the trees when it was too hot in the classroom!

 

How about planning for a section of each session to be otside f you all need to go out there. It's difficult planning tmetbaled sessions, because the children could be in the middle of something and it may not be convenient to stop then.

 

Sorry, I'm not really much help - probably just confused you more.

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We are able to have free flow access to a large secure outdoor area which we are still in the process of developing. Last term we asked for help from the LA advisor to ensure we are providing the right learning opportunities for the children. Storage was seen as a priority although we do have 3 (somewhat past their best) sheds. She recommended a garage type storage with free access to all equipment for the children to help themselves and also a seperate 'workshop' building where again children can freely access materials and tools. She also said it was important to have areas outdoors to support all six areas of the curriculum.

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Thanks for your replies. I don't have a sectioned off outdoor space for my class but I am training them to only use certain space during their outdoor time. I think I might build up to free flow access as I now have a TA for most of the day and always feel like they never have time to get stuck into anything before being moved on to something else. Do you keep this format throughout the year or do more focused work by the time you get to summer term?

 

I do have a storage area but this is a shipping container (needs high security where the school is!) but I need to think about taking more stuff outside from the classroom. Thanks you have given me some good ideas.

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