Free Flow Policy
Our aim is to achieve free flow between indoors and outdoors in the setting for as much of the session as we can. We want to do this in a way which is safe, educationally valuable, and also enjoyable, for all our children and staff.
- Free flow will commence at the start of a session as long as staffing levels permit.
- Where weather conditions are very cold, staff will take a decision using their best judgement about whether operating free flow is sensible, given the effect on temperatures inside of keeping the door open. Staff will ensure that the recommended minimum temperature of 16C is maintained inside at all times.
- In circumstances where staff make the decision to keep the external door closed, there is still opportunity to take children outside during the session dressed accordingly.
- At least one member of staff will be on duty in the outside area at all times when free flow is in operation.
- Staff will position themselves where they can see all the children outside as far as is practicable.
- Staff will adapt staffing inside/outside according to numbers of children in different areas. Staff are more than aware of ensuring the activities set up outside will reflect safe working i.e. fewer or no ‘high risk’ activities will be set up outside. This is to account for the situation where an accident might occur, and it might be difficult for the member of staff outside to gain immediate assistance if staff are busy with other children.
- Should an emergency situation occur, the staff member will call for help from other staff outside or in.
- If a ‘situation’ occurs, and extra staff are needed inside, those children playing outdoors will be brought in so that all the staff can be available inside.
- On sunny days, children will be asked to put their hats on while outside. The member of staff outside will be responsible for ensuring that all children do have their hats on.
- At all times, the safety of the children will be our paramount concern.
- The leader and staff will plan for outdoor provision to cover the Prime and specific areas of learning in the EYFS.
- Even where most children are choosing to play outside, staff will ensure that there are sufficient activities inside to (a) engage the children until free flow commences and (b) still cover all six areas of learning in the EYFS.
- There will be a balance between physical activities, such as ride on toys, and more small scale, focused activities, such as mark making or digging at various times.
- Staff will give the setting leader an informal overview of how many children are choosing to play indoors and outdoors, so that she can assess any ongoing changes required to the way we operate free flow.