Thursday, 17 January 2013

Common Sence Approach to School and Snow

On Monday we had a dusting of the white stuff, it came down fast around mid day, and brought a fair amount of places to a stand still, it didn't last long tho and by the time the children needed collecting from school it had already started to melt. But weather reports say that we are in for alot more Tomorrow, with Hazard warnings and constant reports of the disruption we can expect when, and if the forecasts are correct.


You would think by now we would be able to manage a covering of snow in the winter, and not have to get into a frenzy, but it seems that every year the weather man gives us plenty of warning, but all that proves is that we expect the chaos, rather than we arrange ways to prevent it!


Many schools close at the first sign of snow, but thankfully the school here has a great attitude, and do not send the children home.
Instead they sent a letter home detailing their response to the winter months. It read 'Parents and carers are to assume that, unless otherwise announced, the school will remain open in adverse weather conditions, including snow.' And details the fact that the school will not prevent children from playing outside in the colder weather and should therefore send their children preparred.



Now, I have heard parents complain that their children have been allowed out in the snow, and feared this has resulted in coughs and colds, but I must say I am pleased that our school has this common sense approach.

The letter continues to say 'Many schools have the opinion that snow and children do not mix, I do not agree..... I will not prevent the children playing out, or in the snow' and it even goes on to say they will ALLOW snowball fights.

I can not applaud them enough for this, the school say they have designated snowballing areas, and children will be responsible themselves to choose if they wish to play in these areas, and if they do so they will have to realise they run the risk of being hit.

This sort of attitude is exactly my style of parenting, I have never been one to stop the children taking calculated risks, instead opting to help encourage them to make the choices of what experiences they want, and find out where their limits lie. I am not the sort of parent who thinks that abit of cold weather will result in a snotty nose, or that running along a snow covered street will always result in a broken leg.

Yes, obviously snow equals a chance for increased falls, and upset when children quickly become too cold, but it also gives children the chance to have abit of fun whilst learning that they are the ones ultimately in control of what happens to them. It encourages then to make the choices that they want to, and know that whatever decisions they do make, will have a direct effect on their wellbeing. It hopefully teaches them self control and gives them the life experiences that will be useful in years to come.

If they do not wish to get cold and wet, they will have to not touch the snow, if they want to run around like loons and soak their mates with as much snow as possible then they will have to realise they will get cold and wet too.

Having them open to this action = reaction learning, they also will hopefully be learning to respect other peoples choices, if someone has personally chosen to NOT engage in snowball fights and has chosen to stay in the 'snowball free' area, then that should be respected. If someone has chosen to engage they can not run off crying about getting hit by a large snowball, instead they will have to make a different choice next time. It is far better for children to have the option to do something which is dangerous and learn how it can effect them, or how they can manage the situation, than simply take away any possible negative situation in the first place, removing the childrens ability to learn how to make the clever choices life requires them to make.




Obviously, as parents and teachers we do need to encourage our children to make good choices, and give them the tools they need to be safe in whatever decision they make,  and by this I mean providing them with suitable outdoor clothing and footware, a change of socks/trousers, if they are likely to want to engage in snowball fights, and reminding them of the dangers of slippy ice and falling. Once we have equipted our children with the knowledge we then have to allow them the experiences to learn.

I hope that we DO get some snow tomorrow, I hope that everyone gets to enjoy it, and has the skills to stays safe whilst they are doing so!

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great idea. Let's face it, kids have snowball fights at home (and our nephews go sledging on hills that are extremely steep, riding the quad bike up them to get to the top - not one has yet broken anything and the oldest is 13), so why not at school.
    We have no gritting round by us, it's quite hilly on every route to a main road (which last year wasn't even gritted), and it takes ages for drifted snow to clear so I tend to be stranded for a while as I hate driving in it. It's a bonus if you don't need to be anywhere as it is good having our own fields, but I hate it for actually doing anything day to day.

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    1. I want to come play in your fields with your nephews!!

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  2. Sounds like a great school! Always makes me laugh over here, NOTHING stops for the snow, which can be slightly annoying. Children must start wearing snow gear as soon as the weather turns cold (beginning of December usually), and they are out at play time whatever the weather. I accompanied my Son's class on a school trip before Christmas, a group of 5 year olds visiting one of the Christmas Markets. It was -16 - we still went! :D Good luck tomorrow, stay safe! :)

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    1. we don't actually get much snow here at all, but we do pretty much get some each year so why on earth everyone makes a huge deal out of it I don't know

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  3. Sounds like a fab idea. I am sure my children have had longer play times in the snow at school, I'm pleased they are enjoying it.

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    1. I remmeber having long playtimes out in the snow when I was at school,I can't remmeber the school ever closing...

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  4. We wish. Our school has already said that if it's "bad" they will email and text us in the morning to say school is closed. The kids would be kept in cause it's "dangerous" so it's probably better. In the 60s when there was 6m of snow schools stayed open. They had snowmen comps etc. We need to get real. Kids need to learn to take risks!

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    1. oh dear, I heard of a school closing 'incase it snowed' the other day - and it never did snow!! so silly!

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  5. love this post!! here here for common sense!

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  6. I'm applauding wildly!!

    I WISH our school took this approach. Whilst they don't generally close, they don't let the kids out to play in it which is scandalous!

    Enjoy the white stuff x

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  7. I am also a believer in 'calculated risks' as you term them, when it comes to kids. My daughter is a total daredevil, so I do have to keep an eye on her though! It is annoying when schools um and ah then close half way through the day. That can cause so much inconvenience for families. better to have a policy and stick to it.

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