The emergency exit to outdoor learning...
I remember a couple newspaper stories in recent years regarding crates. In one the milk company turned up at the playground and retrieved the crates quoting health and safety and fearful of being sued if injury occurred. The other was an Ofsted inspection where they insisted on the removal of such crates. Grrr! Just wondered if you have heard of any 'rulings' regarding crates? It beggers belief really - goes hand hand in hand with the lunacy of banning cardboard toilet tubes. Will be sourcing some crates asap!!!
Dear High HorseThanks for such a valid, interesting and frustrating point! Firstly, some companies are reluctant to pass on items for fear of inappropriate use leading to being sued. There are two possible courses of positive action here...1) Is there a history of such items causing harm through being used in play situations? As far as I'm aware no serious accidents have happened which have come to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive - otherwise we'd all know about it. Thus given the current situation of thousands of nurseries and pre-schools settings using these items, I think we can be reassured that with appropriate and proportionate supervision this is unlikely to happen.My H&S Officer in a past life always looked to history and evidence as an indicator of possible harm in the future.2) Second, in the case of some items, nurseries can make a written, signed statement to a company stating that they will use the equipment responsibly and look after any such items carefully ie keep them clean, safe and properly stored. Once an item becomes too broken to be used or reused, a nursery can assure the suppliers it will be disposed of in line with any guidelines which exist. The company should be relieved of its responsibilities here if it believes it has acted in good faith.You may be interested to know about the HSE's recent statement... "We'd encourage anybody who believes that health & safety is being used as a reason to stop perfectly reasonable activities to submit details to us." http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/record/2012/wem-allotment-ban.htm?eban=govdel-education&cr=03-Sep-2012So do NOT let any person or organisation get away with such nonsense in the future. Good luck, best wishes and thanks againJuliet
Magically, a bread crate appeared in our Nursery garden last week. Now that I've read this blog post, I feel we need to start a quest for more!
Oh yes... one crate is good, two is better, three is exciting, etc. The more crates, the merrier. I find around six a good starting number. Not sure why - I think it's just that it allows for more dens and bridges to be created.
Something my school is trying to do just now is encourage the Primary children to explore den-building during their breaks. Not just that, they are striving to make strides in outdoor provision that will inspire the children's imaginations and creativity. I'll have to suggest the bread crates as an invaluable resource (after I collect some for my Nursery, of course!).
Are you based in Aberdeen? If so there's some possibilities which might help - contacts and places to visit. Do contact me by my main website, if this would work for your school www.creativestarlearning.co.uk
Yes, I am, actually. In fact, I started following your blog before I realized that you facilitate CPD courses in Aberdeen - many of which I've now signed up for this year! I'll have to introduce myself at the next one I attend. I'll also check out your main website to see what possibilities are available for the school.
Please do say who you are when we meet at a course - I'm doing quite a few over the next month or two. It would be lovely to meet you in person and thanks for commenting on this blog so much.
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