16. Outside Policy

Aim of the Nursery

We believe at West Hill nursery that an enabling environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s learning and development.  In September 2008 the new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) came into effect.  The EYFS made clear links between the importance of children’s overall well-being and physical development within the curriculum.

“The physical development of babies and young children must be encouraged through the provision of opportunities for them to be active and interactive and to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. They must be supported in using all of their senses to learn about the world around them and to make connections between new information and what they already know.” (EYFS 2008 framework)

At West Hill Nursery we strive, on a daily basis, to get children outside 50% of the time.  Therefore, improving your child’s coordination, bodily control, manipulation of their bodies and fundamental movement skills.

Lots of studies have found physical exercise to be of paramount importance especially in a child’s early years.  Routines performed at an early age are carried on through their adult lives. Theodore Ganley, MD, and Carl Sherman in their article “Exercise and Children’s Health” found in the February 2000 volume of The Physician and Sports Medicine Journal quoted;

“In reality, exercise is an important health maintenance strategy for children and adolescents if the risk of injury is kept at a minimum with proper prevention measures. Often, an active childhood lays the groundwork for a lifetime of fitness. Exercise improves overall physical fitness, coordination, self-discipline, and allows children to learn the importance of teamwork. A sedentary lifestyle in young people can have negative health consequences both now and later. The following are the benefits of exercise from

  • Weight control.  Increasing physical activity along with reducing caloric intakes has been known as an effective weight-loss strategy, and helps with self-esteem and socialization. Overweight children are at an elevated risk of many health problems, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, growth hormone deregulation, and respiratory and orthopedic problems
  • Bone building. Physical activity and exercise increases bone mineral density, lowering the risk of osteoporosis when the child gets older. The skeleton appears to be most responsive to the effects of activity during growth.
  • Cardiovascular protection. Although cardiovascular disease doesn't appear until adulthood, risk factors can be present much earlier in life. High blood cholesterol levels in children increase the risk of hypertension in adulthood. A substantial amount of research suggests that children who exercise regularly significantly reduce their blood cholesterol level.
  • Mental health benefits. Exercise has a beneficial effect on the mental health of children. It can reduce anxiety, and depression symptoms, increase self-esteem, improve a child’s self-image, and help them cope with stress better.”
  • Planning and organisation of outdoor area

The outdoor space is planned depending on the nurseries present topic.  We also encourage the children to go on trips off premises to investigate and observe the world around them (a full risk assessment is taken to ensure the full safety of all the children involved). This may include a trip to see the ducks or walking to the shops, observing a local church or catching a bus to the beach.

 

Rules Outside

  • Take care with sand because it could hurt your eyes.
  • Climb ladders or equipment carefully.
  • Take turns on the bikes.
  • Climb up the steps then go down the slide.
  • Put back the bikes and place the lid on the sand pits to have more fun the following day.
  • Hang up our dressing up clothes before we go on the bikes so they do not get caught in the wheels.
  • Walk in pairs (off site) to look after your friend.
  • Walk on the pavements to avoid any accidents (off site).
  • Listen to the teacher when she/he is talking.
  • Always be kind and friendly to our friends.

 

Role of Adults outside

Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process.  Practitioners are observing children and responding appropriately to help them make progress towards the early learning goals. Assessments are based on practitioners’ observation of what children are doing in their day-to-day activities.  Judgements are based on observational evidence gathered from a wide range of learning and teaching contexts, it is expected that all adults who interact with the child should contribute to the process.  Adults join in with the children’s activities and talk through any new and exciting teaching opportunities.

Equality of opportunity

Every opportunity is taken for each child to benefit from the outdoor space.  Opportunities arise from having a clean and safe environment; appropriate clothes; healthcare; mental stimulation; access to the outdoors and loving relationships.

Boys and Girls issue

 Sue Palmer, a former head teacher and author of the book 21st Century Boys argued:
“That boys were developmentally behind at birth and needed time to "run, jump and play, in order to acquire the physical control and capacity to focus that they will need later on".

We encourage all children to use the outside area.  As research suggests, both sexes need outdoor space to encourage their gross and fine manipulative skills in order to facilitate the knowledge required in later life.

Respect for cultural issues

We understand that some children have different cultural values and beliefs.  Therefore, any requirements which may affect your child from participating outside please inform a member of staff.