Our Outdoor Play Policy

The Village Childcare & Community Services emphasis on outdoor play, ensuring that the children are actively involved in physical activities, this benefits the children to become healthier, happier and more physically competent when playing outdoors.

Outdoor play considers the provision of opportunities for children to connect to different skills, ideas, knowledge and materials which promotes social learning, creativity and problem solving skills

We provide a framework for children to have the opportunity to:

  • Have a more co-ordinate approach to outdoor play and increase the opportunities available to be physically active,
  • Reinforce appropriate messages in relation to physical activity,
  • Establish effective working partnerships towards a common goal, between staff and parents,
  • Engage the entire setting community in taking part in policy development,
  • Ensure quality of access and participation for all,
  • Communicate shared vision, ethos and values to children, parents and the wider community.

Our overall rationale of outdoor play at The Village Childcare & Community Services is to ensure that the children are offered a wide range of activities while in the garden.

We thrive on providing movement as it is a child’s most natural form of expression and should be an essential part of their everyday experience. The growth and development of the brain, body and feelings are inseparable and in today’s world where children no longer have the freedom to wander, make a noise, and enjoy boisterous play as they once did, it is even more important.

We ensure we provide a carefully planned environment, providing opportunities for ’risky freedom’, this helps all children to find out about themselves and their capabilities. It also helps develop self confidence, independence and lays the foundations for a healthier life.

The opportunity to play outside, throughout the year, in all different kinds of weather is as important as playing inside. Nearly everything that is provided inside can be provided outside and some of the best learning can only happen outside. For many children, the learning that happens outdoors is the most important.

Our objectives are to provide a well balanced programme of activities to support the physical development, health and well-being of children. Our outdoor learning environment provides a range of opportunities, sufficient space, time and resources to allow time for effective physical development time, opportunity and support for children with motor impairment or physical disabilities in partnership with outside agencies

Our aim is to promote enthusiasm, enjoyment and confidence while developing each child’s physical skills and abilities.

At The Village Childcare & Community Services Childcare we ensure that children have access to outdoor play every day, all year round. A daily health and safety check of the garden area and equipment is carried out before taking the children out and any defects are removed. We ensure that children are provided with sun hats and sun creams during the summer period. The role of the adult is to:

  • Provide planning and resources for a challenging outdoor area that is integral with overall planning and identifies practitioners to support lead activities
  • Set up and store equipment safely
  • Be an active role model interacting and supporting children’s learning and planned play
  • Provide varied opportunities for supporting and encouraging children to explore and extend their experiences
  • Extend and develop children’s language and communication in their play
  • Consult and involve children in planning
  • Ensure appropriate ratios are maintained
  • Wear appropriate clothing and advise parents and carers on clothing suitable for outdoor learning

When planning for outdoor learning we should recognise the area as an extension of the indoor learning area, well-planned play, both indoors and outdoors, is a key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge. Through play in a secure environment with effective adult support, children can:

  • Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world;
  • Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;
  • Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules;
  • Be alone, be alongside others or cooperate as they talk or show their feelings;
  • Take risks and make mistakes;
  • Think creatively and imaginatively;
  • Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems; Express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.

We ensures that Equality of opportunity outside is covered by the following:

  • Ensuring that all children have the ability or support to play and explore in the outdoor area.
  • Monitoring how children use the outdoor area
  • Respect for cultural issues, e.g. some children may need to remain fully clothed even when the paddling pool is available.