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Does creativity lose out to fears about safety? Opportunity and Risk in Outdoor Environments - Harry Harbottle
 

Does creativity lose out to fears about safety? Opportunity and Risk in Outdoor Environments - Harry Harbottle

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Harry Harbottle. ...

Harry Harbottle.
* More than 25 years representing consumer interests on EU child safety committees
* Co-author, European playground safety standard and European guidebook on subject
* Former Head of Consumer Protection/Public Health/Regeneration, Leicester, UK
* Currently working establishing bespoke playgrounds around Europe with Richter Spielgeraete
* Partner, Rattlin’ Boag Play Company
* MD PlayfortheSenses GmbH

Curriculum for Excellence - A Creative Curriculum,Friday 24th & Saturday 25th April 2009, Crawfurd Theatre, Glasgow.

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  • Not in education “ HH” – character from children’s book” Vol/public/Private sector
  • This balance that requires judgement
  • Inquisitive about their environment. Every little mistake is useful.
  • Deliberate decision to offer challenging equipment in school environment. Not just random but considered – e.g. 70 degree posts, diameter of posts, access limited etc.
  • Accept that children play everywhere In these matters, more than others, the need for more creativity/nature – not sterile colourful equipment – maybe not so much equipmen Some of these aspects particularly important when it coes to children with special needs when narrow minds interpret DDA to make life even more boringg for children affected by disability. Structured play itself can be discriminatory.
  • Grass is not a new material! About turn has cost millions. Children faced with a material almost primeval in there consciousness as opposed to an alien material.

Does creativity lose out to fears about safety? Opportunity and Risk in Outdoor Environments - Harry Harbottle Does creativity lose out to fears about safety? Opportunity and Risk in Outdoor Environments - Harry Harbottle Presentation Transcript

  • Does creativity lose out to safety? Opportunity and Risk in the Outdoor Environment Harry Harbottle A Creative Curriculum Strathclyde University April 2009
    • More than 25 years representing consumer interests on EU child safety committees
    • Co-author, European playground safety standard and European guidebook on subject
    • Former Head of Consumer Protection/Public Health/Regeneration, Leicester, UK
    • Currently working establishing bespoke playgrounds around Europe with Richter Spielgeraete
    • Partner, Rattlin’ Boag Play Company
    • MD PlayfortheSenses GmbH
    Harry Harbottle
  • Our hopes
    • Children accepted as beings
    • Full contact with nature
    • Develop a sense of place
    • Increased independent mobility
  • Mummy, please let me play out , by Lorna MacLaren. The Herald , 5 August 2002. Article an accompanying photograph about innovative schemes to help parents and children learn how to have fun removed for copyright reasons.
    • Contra –effect of regulation
    • Fear of litigation
    • Over-protection of children
    • „ Conspiracy“ against children
    • Disproportionate effect on children affected by disability
    • Flight from judgement
    • Benefits of activities not given equal value
    Our fears
    • in relying on technical safety whereas behavioural safety is a bigger factor
    • the qualitative loses out to the quantatative (benefits cannot easily be counted)
    • the rational loses out to the emotional
    • judgement loses out to measurement
    • creativity loses out to “safety”.
    The real danger is:
  •  
  •  
  • What’s yer chances? 1: 610 Burn/Scald at home 1: 8,200 Pregnancy related death 1: 16,800 Road Accident 1: 14,000,000 Lottery Win 1: 18,700,000 Lightning Strike 1: 30,000,000 Fatality on Playground
  • Conflict/Balance
    • Between:
    • Children’s need to experience risk, and
    • Requirement to offer an acceptable level of safety
  • „ Kinder sind Grenzgänger“ Working to the limits – their own limits.
  •  
  • “ All children need a place to play. They need space, informality, freedom to move around and make a noise, to express themselves, to experiment and investigate. Lady Allen, Kidscape
  • The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland
  • “ We need to ensure that parents, communities and professionals recognise the value and long term benefits of play and to promote how critical play and the arts are for children’s development” Early Years Framework
  • Fridthof- Nansen Schule, Hanover
  • Fridthof- Nansen Schule Hanover
  •  
  •  
  • The Reality – Nature and the Elements
    • Strong force
    • Greater potential
    • Playful engagement with nature feeds mind body and spirit
    • Bonds with landscape
    • Dealing with danger
  • Children and the elements - EARTH
  • Children and the elements - FIRE
  • Children and the elements - AIR
  • Children and the elements - WATER
  • Nature versus “Nintenditus”
    • If play is based too much on a structured environment the resulting social heirarchy is more likely to be physical competence based
    • If based on a more natural, free environment social standing may be more based on language, creativity and inventiveness.
  • Your Duty
    • Did you have a duty of care?
    • Did you take reasonable care?
    • Were the consequences foreseeable?
    • Likelihood of coming to harm
    • Severity of that harm
    • The benefits, rewards or outcomes of the activity
  • “… the question of what amounts to such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable depends upon assessing, as is the case in common law negligence, not only that the likelihood that someone might be injured and the seriousness of the injury that may occur, but also the social value of the activity which gives rise to the risk and the cost of preventative measures. These factors have to be balanced against each other”. House of Lords 2003 The Law
  • The Guidance “ Even when there is a risk of fatal or permanent disabling injury, this risk may sometimes be tolerable” “ A paddling pool, even if shallow, involves a low but inevitable risk of drowning but this is normally tolerable. The likelihood is typically extremely low, the hazard is readily apparent, children benefit through the benefit of water play and finally, further reduction or management of risk is not practicable without taking away the benefits”
  • The Policy “ Improving outcomes and children’s quality of life through play”. “ While we must act to limit young people’s exposure to risks that they cannot control, giving children responsibility and allowing them to explore the world in a way that is appropriate to their age and development in a way that the can control is a key part of developing confidence. There is a feeling that, in recent times, there has been too much focus on eliminating all risk to children rather than understanding risk. We must reverse this trend and equip young children with the skills to manage risk and make positive choices based on assessing the situation facing them” Early Years Framework
  • The Policy “ Children are entitled to take part in physical activities and to play, including outdoors and have the opportunity to experience and judge and manage risk” (Article 31) UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implementation Guide – the concept of Risk Benefit Analysis www.playengland.org resources
  • “ Risk-taking is an essential feature of play provision ….. Play provision should aim at managing the balance between the need to offer risk and the need to keep children safe from serious harm.” “ In play provision exposure to some degree of risk may be of benefit because it satisfies a basic human need and gives children the chance to learn about risk and consequences in a controlled environment.” “… and secondly to lessen serious consequences caused by the occasional mishap that inevitably still occur in children’s pursuit of expanding their level of competence, be it socially, intellectually or physically.” EN 1176:2008 Introduction The European Standard
  • “… because children more easily identify the larger seat as a hazard and the benefit to children of playing on these is high.” (Pt.3, 4.6.3.)
  • “ If there are borderline contradictions presented in this part of EN 1176, play value should be favoured after consideration of the professional judgement of approved, reputable test houses.” (Pt. 6, Annexe A)
    • Grass is a low cost, readily available and environmentally friendly surface that is like by children… it can.. enhance opportunities for incidental and unstructured play.
    • Grass can, on playgrounds with a low intensity of use, be successfully used below and around play equipment, removing the necessity to install specialist Impact Attenuating Surfaces.
    • The suitability of grass has to be determined locally by risk assessment.
    • The maximum fall height of the equipment is less than 1.5m.
    Grass has made the National foreword!
  • What does all this mean?
    • Outside experts don’t have all competence
    • No need to be risk averse
    • Pendulum swinging back in favour of children having a richer life
    • Good for children = good for all humanity
  • “ As much play value as possible, as much safety as necessary.” Julian Richter