Should they go outside?

Hopefully, the recent surprise of hot weather at a time of the year when we are normally wrapped up warm, snuggled in front of a fire (or feeling the warmth of central heating) has seen us outside. In this post from Malcolm Bellamy ‘The importance of learning outside’ highlights the benefits of children being out side and the learning that can come from it.
Children playing outside
It reminded me of situation I found myself in as the head teacher of a junior school. It was January and it had snowed leaving a very tempting playground that the children could see from the classroom windows.
It was agreed among the staff that those children who wanted to out to play at lunchtime would be allowed to, whilst facilities would be made for those who preferred to stay in.  The children at our partner infant school, some distance up the hill could be seen rushing around having great fun.  They always seemed to be out at playtime even when the weather was quite nasty and the junior staff felt it better to keep our children in.
Anyway, back to the snow. At the end of the day,I was horrified to receive several calls  from parents ranting (yes they were very cross!) that we had allowed the children out in the snow. ‘How could I be so irresponsible to let children out in such weather?’  ‘It wasn’t snowing at the time’. ‘That is not the point. They got soaked. I shall have to keep her home for the rest of the week!” We made sure they took off wet shoes and gloves.’ ‘They would still have been cold.’ You probably get the idea!
How should schools cope with this sort of response from parents?There is so much to experience outside and we must take advantage of all those unusual occurances that nature and the world send our way.
Read Malcolm’s post The importance of learning outside then leave an opinion below!

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