Weather

Context

There is a need for common practices that support Work Health & Safety and Sun Smart policies on days of extreme heat. Students and staff have the right to be as comfortable as possible on these days.

Those involved in and affected by any outdoor activities, events or sports need early notification of any changes to prior arrangements.

Definitions

The ‘Hot Weather Policy’ will be applied on a day when: A forecast maximum for Noarlunga of 36C or greater is reported on the Bureau Of Meteorology website at 4:00pm the day before.
Heatwave: a prolonged period of excessive heat

The following procedures will be enacted throughout the school on “hot weather policy” days.

Recess and Lunch Breaks

Students will be encouraged to play in the shade. Passive play activities will be encouraged and high-energy activities may not be permitted. This will be determined by the principal in staff and will be dependent on factors such as: the time of day, the actual temperature, how prolonged the extreme weather has been. 

Large cool indoor areas such as the gym, hall or atrium may be made available and other yard areas may be closed. During heat waves, the principal in consultation with staff and Governing Council will make a risk assessment, and determine what recess and lunch time activities will be suspended and what alternative arrangements will be made. This could include no outside play, passive play in the shade at recess time only, classroom only activity. 

Parents will be notified regarding the special accommodations in place to minimise health risks during heatwaves.

Physical Education Lessons

In line with our Sun Smart Policy, PE lessons will be modified to accommodate the heat. The PE teacher will have priority for using the gym on these days to enable the program to continue in a suitably modified fashion. Frequent water breaks will be provided. There will be no outside PE lessons by PE teacher or classroom teachers after 11:05 am on “Hot Weather Policy” days.

Homework

Students will not be set any written homework on nights of extreme heat.

School Sports and Practices

Sporting matches and practices will be cancelled on “Hot Weather Policy” days. Exceptions to this rule are possible, eg an air-conditioned stadium or for sports that start and finish early in the day. Having made a risk assessment, the Principal may approve a match or practice. Coaches are responsible for communicating this decision to players and parents.

Sports Day and Special Events

The principal in consultation with staff and Governing Council will make a risk assessment, to determine whether an exception can be made to allow Sports Day or other Special Events to go ahead on a “Hot Weather Policy” day. Considerations could given to modifying the program; changing the start, finish, or duration; moving the event indoors; postponing it. To minimise confusion, early communication of alternative arrangements is desirable.

Communicating the Policy

At least once per year, through the school news blog, parents will be reminded of the policy and the hazard minimisation measures it contains.

Guidelines for Wet Weather

If it is raining heavily at the beginning of recess or lunch play time, the Principal/Deputy will ring the siren 3 times. If rain begins during a play period the teacher on duty in the Terrace yard duty area will send in a messenger requesting the rain bell to be rung.

This means that the children will remain inside the classroom, supervised by teachers. The buddy system will operate with 1 teacher remaining in each unit.

If the rain stops during recess or lunch play the principal or a delegated representative will ring a one bell siren, signaling a return to play time. Normal duties will resume.