Outdoor Play and Equipment Policy

The Early Years Foundation Stage recognises that access to outdoor play whatever the weather is important for children’s learning and development.

“Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, ensure outdoor activities are planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example unsafe weather conditions).”

Outdoor Play

  • Children will be encouraged to play outside throughout the year and the garden will always be available to play in.
  • Suitable outdoor clothing and sunscreen, taking into account the weather conditions, will be put on the children.
  • Children will be supervised when playing outside.
  • A sand pit, play house, water play as well as other toys will be available.
  • The garden will be secure with walls and fences and the gate will be locked.
  • Sheds will be locked and out of the children’s access.
  • Children may be taken on organised outdoor outings to gain a greater understanding of our environment. On these occasions the Outings Policy will be followed.

Large Garden Equipment

In the garden we have a range of large outdoor equipment. Whilst this provides lots of opportunities for developing new physical skills and enjoyment it also brings danger. Children need to learn about danger and risk taking, however in order to make our garden a safe environment and to reduce the risk of possible accidents we have put the following procedures in place:

  • All minded children will be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
  • Children will be taught the dangers of the equipment in a way suitable for their stage of development and understanding.
  • Children will be encouraged to share and take turns.
  • The equipment will be checked for wear and tear/damage regularly and withdrawn from use if faulty.
  • Children will be encouraged to participate but will not be made to do any activity they are uncomfortable with.
  • If you have any concerns regarding your child using any piece of equipment in the garden please do discuss them with us.

Skipping Ropes

Skipping ropes have been involved in several serious incidents and so we have therefore decided to follow the guidance from the British Heart Foundation’s Booklet ‘Active Playgrounds, A guide for Primary Schools’
When using a skipping rope the following safety considerations should be followed;

  • Suitable supportive footwear should be worn.
  • Adequate space should be around the child so no contact is made with objects or other children.
  • Sensible clothing should be worn.
  • Wet flooring or hot days are unsuitable for skipping
  • The rope length should not come above the child’s armpits if they are standing in the middle of it.
  • Children should be supervised to prevent inappropriate use of ropes.

Swimming Pools

Swimming is a good exercise for everyone but water also carries some risks, to make this as safe as possible we have the following procedures in place:

  • We will follow the guidelines of the pool regarding ratio of children to responsible adult.
  • A suitable adult will remain in the pool with the children at all times.
  • All non-swimmers must remain in the shallow end of the pool and wear armbands or a life vest.
  • Children will only be taken swimming once their parents have signed a swimming consent form.
  • Children will be closely supervised in the changing rooms.