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View Full Version : Hooray! "Risk-taking nursery a breath of fresh air"


grundle
11-13-06, 10:01 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/13/nnursery13.xml

Risk-taking nursery a breath of fresh air

By Stephanie Condron

Last Updated: 2:27am GMT 13/11/2006

In an age when children appear to be anchored to TV and computer screens and kept indoors against a harsh and threatening world, the youngsters of Farley nursery are being set free.

Most of their day is spent outside, even when the rain is falling. The 20 pupils come inside only for breaks and the rest of the time are allowed to roam, to make dens, mud pies and explore.

Sue Palmer, the head, believes "outdoor learning" is a better way of teaching very young children than enclosing them in classrooms. She is preparing to enrol babies in the New Year at what she claims is Britain's first "outside nursery".

Farley, which currently takes children aged from two to five, is set beside a church in a village with thatched houses near Salisbury, Wiltshire. It is based in a former Victorian primary school adjoining a two-acre field.

The privately-run nursery charges a minimum of 12.50 for children attending from 9am to noon up to 35 for a full day from 8am to 6pm.

Mrs Palmer, 49, says there is nothing clever about her teaching style which includes using whatever children chance upon, including logs, stones and insects, to show them how to count and write.

She says Britain has forgotten how important it is to let children be free and her system is only deemed unusual because society is now so risk averse. The children wrap up warm and learn about the danger of fire by sitting around a real outdoor fire and make obstacle courses out of logs and planks. They are allowed to stay outside when it gets dark.

"Today's world is too sterile," said Mrs Palmer. "Children are wrapped up in cotton wool. My children know stinging nettles sting and that brambles are nasty. They know that fire is dangerous.

"Some nurseries say 'Let's go indoors, it's raining'. But we say 'Come on, let's go and splash in the puddles.' " Experts have long argued that school-age children should be allowed to take risks during play but there has been a growing trend for schools and local authorities to curb their chances of adventure for fear of being sued if an accident happens.

Farley is unusual in that it is embracing outdoor play for pre-school children as the route to early learning. Children are allowed to go inside whenever they want, but seldom choose to. During a full day from 8.00am to 6pm, they might only go inside for lunch and two "snack" breaks. The only weather the babies will not allowed out in is fog, said Mrs Palmer, because it is bad for their chests.

Teachers from other schools and advisers from the education authority have visited the nursery for ideas. Ofsted inspectors have declared the site "outstanding". In September, they reported: "Children thrive in a stimulating and vibrant environment. They relish taking part in a wide range of exciting activities in a predominantly outdoor learning environment."

Mrs Palmer said: "Everyone is so in awe of what we are doing.

But it's not rocket science. This is how childhood should be. Ninety per cent of their day is spent outdoors. Other schools are saying 'We want to do what you're doing'. What makes me cross is that other nurseries can do it but don't."

Parents claim their children are healthier and robust. Jenny Nott, 35, who has a two-year-old daughter, Lily, at the school, is nine months pregnant and planning to enrol her new baby. "Kids need to be outside," she said. "It will keep them healthy to be outside in the winter. They spend too much time inside at television and computer screens."

The Bus
11-13-06, 10:06 AM
I just let them play with the Dora the Explorer Puddle Simulator on the Playstation. It's fun plus let's me watch my stories without them being all up in my face, claiming they's hungry. Brats already ated yesterday. Damn.

Mrs. Danger
11-13-06, 10:06 AM
I like it!

Do they get to play tag?

Lord Rick
11-13-06, 10:24 AM
I think that's great.

Groucho
11-13-06, 10:34 AM
All recess all the time? How is this innovative?

dork
11-13-06, 10:37 AM
Here's the photo that accompanied the article:

http://www.collegenowlive.com/IMAGES/ImagesPEARL/LordoftheFliesBWCROP.jpg

Draven
11-13-06, 10:49 AM
All recess all the time? How is this innovative?

No kidding.

And that's great that the kids get to play in the rain. I'm sure the parents enjoy the chest colds.

I spent a lot of time outside as a kid, and my children do to. But since there has to be both indoor and outdoor time, I hope this place finds a balance.

Joe Molotov
11-13-06, 11:32 AM
Some kid will probably get a sprained ankle and then they'll get sued for a billion dollars.

kitkat
11-13-06, 11:43 AM
Here's the photo that accompanied the article:

http://www.collegenowlive.com/IMAGES/ImagesPEARL/LordoftheFliesBWCROP.jpg

:lol:

Gunshy
11-13-06, 11:44 AM
There's gotta be some paper the parents sign that says the school isn't liable for bee stings, nettle eating, etc. MPTT.

-Gunshy

The Bus
11-13-06, 11:58 AM
Some advice to kids entering this daycare: Beat someone up on the first day or they won't respect you.

RunBandoRun
11-13-06, 12:05 PM
Wow! Allowing kids to go outside! And, like, walk around! In dirt! That they might possibly get on themselves! Risking litigation!

:D

milo bloom
11-13-06, 05:37 PM
If I had had this as a kid, I might be Emperor of the World by now. I was very intelligent, but the strict way of doing things in the public school stifled every creative thought I ever had. You all should thank your lucky stars I'm reduced to snarking about Star Wars vs Star Trek on the internet.

AGuyNamedMike
11-13-06, 05:49 PM
And that's great that the kids get to play in the rain. I'm sure the parents enjoy the chest colds.

Joe Schwarcz, PhD, of Discovery Channel fame and director of McGill University's Office for Chemistry and Society (MOCS) in Montreal, dispels some myths about colds and flu.

MYTH: Cold weather causes colds and flu.

FACT: Although colds and flu are more common in the winter months, this has less to do with the weather than with confinement indoors. Viruses spread much more quickly in dry, heated, indoor areas where air doesn't circulate well, and direct contact with germs is far more likely. Plus, central heating systems dry out mucus membranes, which are the body's natural defense against viruses.

MYTH: Wet feet, wet hair, and exposure to cold weather and drafts can cause colds.

FACT: Although getting chilled can lower your resistance if you're already run down, you can only catch a cold or flu if you come in contact with a cold or flu virus. In fact, a little fresh air can help clear your head if you are sick.

movielib
11-13-06, 05:56 PM
Joe Schwarcz, PhD, of Discovery Channel fame and director of McGill University's Office for Chemistry and Society (MOCS) in Montreal, dispels some myths about colds and flu.

MYTH: Cold weather causes colds and flu.

FACT: Although colds and flu are more common in the winter months, this has less to do with the weather than with confinement indoors. Viruses spread much more quickly in dry, heated, indoor areas where air doesn't circulate well, and direct contact with germs is far more likely. Plus, central heating systems dry out mucus membranes, which are the body's natural defense against viruses.

MYTH: Wet feet, wet hair, and exposure to cold weather and drafts can cause colds.

FACT: Although getting chilled can lower your resistance if you're already run down, you can only catch a cold or flu if you come in contact with a cold or flu virus. In fact, a little fresh air can help clear your head if you are sick.
Yeah, I remember John Stossel debunked that too on one of his specials.

Groucho
11-13-06, 05:57 PM
Yeah, I remember John Stossel debunked that too on one of his specials.Yeah, right before he died of a chest cold himself. :sad:

Joe Molotov
11-14-06, 11:19 AM
Yeah, right before he died of a chest cold himself. :sad:

Are you sure? I heard it was HIV that he got from a toilet seat. :hscratch:

Numanoid
11-14-06, 12:28 PM
Yeah, I remember John Stossel debunked that too on one of his specials.It's been debunked so many times, I'm surprised that anyone still alive believes it. Old wives tales never die, I suppose.

adamblast
11-14-06, 12:43 PM
It's all fun and games until everyone murders the fat kid with the glasses.

Kittydreamer
11-14-06, 01:25 PM
Wow! Allowing kids to go outside! And, like, walk around! In dirt! That they might possibly get on themselves! Risking litigation!

:D

Whoa man, 70's childhood flashback....outside? To play? Whoa....

al_bundy
11-14-06, 01:54 PM
Joe Schwarcz, PhD, of Discovery Channel fame and director of McGill University's Office for Chemistry and Society (MOCS) in Montreal, dispels some myths about colds and flu.

MYTH: Cold weather causes colds and flu.

FACT: Although colds and flu are more common in the winter months, this has less to do with the weather than with confinement indoors. Viruses spread much more quickly in dry, heated, indoor areas where air doesn't circulate well, and direct contact with germs is far more likely. Plus, central heating systems dry out mucus membranes, which are the body's natural defense against viruses.

MYTH: Wet feet, wet hair, and exposure to cold weather and drafts can cause colds.

FACT: Although getting chilled can lower your resistance if you're already run down, you can only catch a cold or flu if you come in contact with a cold or flu virus. In fact, a little fresh air can help clear your head if you are sick.

if wife or myself get sick, first thing i do is open the windows to clear the air. they even taught us this in the army

Kittydreamer
11-14-06, 01:58 PM
if wife or myself get sick, first thing i do is open the windows to clear the air. they even taught us this in the army

I try to open my windows are here but *someone* won't let me. :(

bhk
11-14-06, 02:15 PM
That's great. In our apartment complex where I grew up(Mumbai), we used to play outside until 9 or 10 at night. I remember my mom loudly calling my name from the 5th floor telling me to come up and yelling back that I wanted to play for 5 more minutes.
Now when we go back, I hardly see anyone playing where we used to play. The only people that I see play outside are the ones that are too poor to afford TVs.

shoppingbear
11-14-06, 02:51 PM
I try to open my windows are here but *someone* won't let me. :(
:lol: We have the opposite problem: I get cold with open windows, at the same time that he thinks it's too stuffy and wants fresh air. :lol: