Snow…..glorious snow……..

We woke up to snow this morning.  Something unexpected but a wonderful surprise.  I love snow….like a child….I love how it makes everything look…..beautiful.  The only downside is having to drive on the back rural roads that never see the gritting trucks.

At school, the excitement from the children at the first snow couldn’t be contained.  “Will we be allowed to go outside?”  The continual question from every child first thing this morning.

I had re-written my snow and ice risk assessment in November, preparing staff for the first snowfall of winter.  In it was the process for shutting the school, clearing pavements, and at the end a full breakdown of letting children out in the snow.

When snow really is a one time a year (if you are lucky!) occurrence, how can you even question whether or not children can go outside?  Of course!  And yes, we will have a snowball fight……the headteacher will even join in!

If you have ground rules in place, clear instructions for where snowball fights can take place and advice about how the game should be played -consequences handed out  immediately if any rules are broken – and the children will have a wonderful and memorable playtime!  As long as all the staff are aware of the rules and keep an eye out, then everything should go along swimmingly!

Before break-time, I ensured that I ran through all the rules with the children during our collective worship.  Rules about boots, mittens, hats, coats, rocks, ice, no running, keeping snowballs below the chest, etc, etc.  We had many rules in place, but once we were all out on the field, it was wonderful to see all 200 children from reception all the way to year 6 build snowmen together and throw snowballs together (in the dedicated area of course!).  There were no accidents or injuries which is unlike most other play times.  There weren’t even the odd scuffles or tears.  Everyone played together and everyone had a smile on their face.  After an extended playtime (yes, we broke the rules on that one!) we only had a few cold fingers…..but they thawed out after a while.

So, for the headteachers who say that the children can’t go out in the snow…….do your risk assessment, get your staff out there with the children, and join in the snowball fight!

You’ll be glad you did and the children will remember it for a very long time.  Stop letting health and safety stop you from having plain, old fashioned fun……allow children to be children!

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