Over the last couple of months we have seen a number of days with a severe weather warning. This has a significant impact on the programs at Flinders, as we need to go from an indoor-outdoor curriculum to an exclusively indoor one. There are a number of reasons why we remain inside during severe weather warnings, most significantly due to the many beautiful trees we enjoy in our outdoor environments. We are guided by the Bureau of Meteorology in making decisions about when it is safe for us to go outdoors and when it is best to avoid it.
The Flinders children absolutely love heading outside in all kinds of weather, and most of the time we do abide by the philosophy “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” but these warning days are the exception.
Educators and children all work exceptionally hard on severe weather warning days, finding ways to be engaged in an exclusively indoor environment. We try to remain engaged with the natural environment without actually being a part of it, such as watching the weather through the windows, listening to the sounds of the storms, and sharing stories (both our own and in books) about interesting weather we have experienced.
We have found this year that the more informed children are about the severe weather warnings, the more able they are to adjust their expectations and manage a day inside. Children from May Mills House have been calling the office to find out whether or not the weather warning is still in place, and children in Preschool House have developed theories about the kinds of things meteorologists need to do their jobs well. Children who are informed are able to feel a sense of understanding, control and agency over the day, despite the decision to stay indoors being out of their hands.
Whilst we do miss our gardens on days when we can’t use them, we (educators and children) are all in agreement that it is important that we are safe “When the wind is going as fast as a car on the freeway.”