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Ideas for using outdoor area

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Daniello, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Hi there,
    We are about to be Ofsted-ed (expecting it late spring/early summer term) and we know we are going to be picked up on how we use (or don't use) our outside area. We are an inner city school and it is very dreary outside - our outside area needs work. We are not a 'traditional' reception year group, in the fact that we are quite structured (hence the lack of use of outside). Given that Ofsted will expect to see it being used, and not us taking things outside to use (but actually USING WHAT is ALREADY out there), could you give me some ideas on how to use outside please?
    I'm at a bit of a loss (I've been teaching for 2 years in Foundation but trained in KS1 so am not totally sure HOW to use it lol)
    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  2. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    What resources/equipment do you have out there? How much space do you have, and is it tarmac or grass?
  3. Sounds like you know you have an area for improvement. That's what S5 inspections are all about. Do what you usually do in the outdoor area, don't run around trying to do something you don't do usually. Don't hide anything, make sure you have some plans to expand the outdoor area and try to make an opportunity to chat through these with the inspector who looks at EYFS. A good EYFS inspector might even give you some ideas about how to develop things.
  4. We have a small tarmacked area and also a very small grassy area with flower beds and a few teepees. We also have a range of bikes and scooters etc. I know that we should just do what we normally do. But before I joined they were pulled up on it and didn't do much about it. So we have a month or 2 to come up with some ideas and try them out before they arrive x
  5. You would be very wise to start building opportunities into your everyday practice. If you throw your doors open on the first day of Ofsted it will be very obvious as the children won't have a clue what to do and will be a major give away! The fact you have identified and started to think about it is good. Perhaps you could brainstorm ideas of long term development and possible resources required to enhance the area. In the meantime make the most of what you have. Build daily opportunites in to link with CLLD and PSRN for example and expand from there. Perhaps develop role play to link with childrens experiences and interests. The bikes etc can be used within this and instantly gives them a purpose, such as a garage or fast food restaurant with pizza delivery for example. The book 'A Place To Learn' is really useful when developing the learning environment in general but has a section on outside with really simple ideas. Feaherstone have some good books with the 'Little book' and 50 ideas series. Even developing print and pictures outside (double laminating will protect against the elements for slightly longer) is a small way to enhance the area visually and make it more stimulating. You could brainstorm a wishlist to parents to collect old pots and pans to develop an outdoor music area for example, or old wellies and raincoats to allow for wet weather play too. If the children write the wishlists they often have more impact! Thats just a few ideas which I hope are useful to get you going but build it up over time and don't expect it to fall in place over night.

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