A couple of years ago at our school residential visit I made a worrying discovery. On the obstacle course our children clearly lacked basic skills that all children should have. They couldn't even give a mate a bunk up when climbing!
Obviously the school plan has run as usual (standards, leadership etc) however I had an alternative school plan. Get these kids out, running, playing & building snowmen.
We don't have a school field as we are too small but there's a huge village field and it is full of climeable trees. The first time I took children up there to climb them I thought our secretary was going to pop! But what about the risk assessment?! She's lovely & was just worried about me getting sued. I said 'I've done a risk assessment. Risk-child falling out of tree, action-tell child to be careful & not fall out of tree!' If they fall out we deal with whatever happens. We can't live our lives, and these children's lives, too afraid to do anything because we're too scared of being sued. They don't get to play out like they used to.
We always converge at the field at the end of the school year for an informal picnic & game of rounders. It's not a school event really has just evolved into something our school family do. It's lovely. This year unfortunately one of our mums pulled a tendon playing rounders. One of our TAs and a friend of hers went with her to A&E. I text our TA to ask how things were going. She updated me & then text 'please don't ban rounders at the field!' I text back that of course I wouldn't. It's a lovely end to our year as a school family.
I'm not wholesale criticising suing. If you can't work because of an injury you need the money. Having attempted to access personal payments (the replacement for disability benefit) when Husband was very ill there often isn't another option.
What I am trying to say though is none of that should stop our children learning how to live their lives to the fullest.
Children should run, if they run sometimes they fall. It's ok. When you fall you get back up, have a cry because grazes really hurt, then get over it. This is a life lesson. Your heart will take more grazes than your knees do.
Children should climb trees. Being close to that which gives us oxygen is healthy and they love climbing. It's natural to climb. There's a healthy fear of falling but we shouldn't promote an unhealthy fear of falling.
As I left the village field a tree shouted 'Have a lovely summer Mrs Moore' it was full of our children. Alternative school plan monitoring right there!