adverse weather policy
We open as usual in normal wet weather
Adverse Weather Procedure
Warn customers of a possible delay or cancellation
If you don't hear from us its business as usual
In the first instance we will seek to delay the start of the session by 30 minutes
COMMENCE OR CANCEL
Depending on the conditions and forecast
Pre-school programme: alerts are sent via WhatsApp and email. We never cancel pre-school, we shelter at Core Collective until the adverse weather has passed.
For ALL other bookings: alerts are sent via email
BEFORE YOUR SESSION
2 hours before your session is due to start your leader will check the 2-hr Nowcast at www.weather.gov.sg and adjust plans for your session as necessary. We recommend all customers also use this website to check the current weather and the direction of any adverse weather to help them to make plans. During monsoon season, we may often see storms indicated in purple like this one below. We also look to see which direction the storm is travelling in and check for alerts from the National Environment Agency.
One hour before your session your Leader will check the weather again. If the session is likely to be wet please do ensure that you and your child are dressed appropriately for wet conditions as forest school goes ahead in normal wet weather and it is an outdoor programme.
IF ADVERSE WEATHER IS EXPECTED:
We follow a three-step process:
Alert - warn customers of a possible delay or cancellation, one hour in advance.
Delay - in the first instance we will seek to delay the start of the session by 30 minutes, we will announce a delay around 30 minutes in advance.
Commence or cancel - depending on the conditions and forecast. We will cancel as early as possible to avoid customers travelling unnecessarily.
If you do not hear from us then it is business as usual in Dempsey.
We only cancel if there is lightning overhead or other unacceptable stormy conditions which will not pass within a reasonable time frame. Unlike a 30 minute swim session or one hour outdoor sports class, our two hour sessions allow ample time for accommodating adverse weather and still having some fun in the rain outdoors.
IF ADVERSE WEATHER STARTS DUIRNG OUR SESSIONS
For Accompanied Sessions:
Depending on the severity of the weather we may decide to end the session early, or with immediate effect, for your safety. The decision lies with the session leader, however, customers may leave at any time they wish.
For Drop-off Sessions:
Should we experience adverse weather during a session we aim to remain at our premises for as long as possible for the comfort and enjoyment of the children. If we feel that lightning is approaching our area we will gather the children, their things and head to the shelter available at the main Core Collective building. We will commence sheltered activities and depending on the weather we may advise parents to collect children early where they are able to do so. We will be able to take care of the children for the entire duration of the session regardless.
We will alert customers to any change of pick-up location.
Adverse Weather Policy
The climate and weather plays an essential part in the Forest School experience. Participants gain an understanding of the world and how it operates through experiencing the weather and climate first hand. The weather effects almost everything that we do, from the clothes that we wear, the way that we design our homes and to the locations we choose for holidays. The Singapore climate and day to day weather fundamentally effect the way that we manage and deliver our Forest School programmes, however, wet weather is not a reason to cancel a Forest School session.
The Singapore climate affects:
Where we choose to hold our Forest School sessions, with some parts of Singapore less favourable at certain times of year than others.
When we hold our Forest School sessions, with morning sessions less likely to suffer from adverse weather than afternoon sessions.
Our ability to operate outdoors mid-day, from 12.30-3pm. This is not usually possible in the tropical environment, unless a particularly shady and breezy site is available.
The tropical Singapore weather affects:
How we design our nature space
For mobile sessions, where we make our camp, in / outside of shelters for example and how far from the exit we travel
The gear that we bring or prepare, and how we set up our experiences. We must all bring wet weather clothing and a change of clothing. Leaders must bring a groundsheet, tarp, ropes and pegs.
The types of experiences that we will plan for a session, and the changing weather promotes opportunities for 'in the moment planning' to make the most of the weather conditions at any time.
The clothing that we must wear in order to be comfortable in the outdoors.
The likelihood of mosquito and ant bites - they are more prolific after wet weather.
The level of risk posed by a potential hazard, such as a long steep slope or flight of stairs.
Given these effects, we will:
Ensure that afternoon locations have plenty of exit points and safe shelters from lightning. At our home in Dempsey, our shelter is 50m away at Core Collective, or customers can take a break at the restaurant before we recommence our session.
Monitor adverse weather warnings from the NEA via the mobile App.
For mobile sessions, we will prefer locations for afternoon sessions which are centrally, southern or easterly located and have substantial shelters or indoor options available, such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens, East Coast Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
Regularly check the real-time weather situation at www.weather.gov.sg before and during our sessions.
We recommend appropriate clothing in our Handbook.
Help the children to make decisions on where to spend their time each session taking the predicted or actual weather into the decision making process.
Cross-check against our gear packing list before every session to ensure that we are suitably prepared for adverse weather.
Research and develop experiences based upon the weather and the learning opportunities that it provides.
Weather-check all of our risk assessments to review hazards in the light of different weather conditions.
Link our communications plan to our adverse weather procedure.
What is Singapore's weather like?
Singapore is situated near the equator and has a typically tropical climate, with abundant rainfall, high and uniform temperatures, and high humidity all year round. Many of its climate variables, such as temperature and relative humidity, do not show large month-to-month variation. However, many variables exhibit prominent daily variations from hour to hour, indicating the strong influence that solar heating has on the local climate.
Singapore’s climate is characterised by two monsoon seasons separated by inter-monsoonal periods (see table below). The Northeast Monsoon occurs from December to early March, and the Southwest Monsoon from June to September. The major weather systems affecting Singapore that can lead to heavy rainfall are:
Monsoon surges, or strong wind episodes in the Northeast Monsoon flow bringing about major rainfall events;
Sumatra squalls, an organised line of thunderstorms travelling eastward across Singapore, having developed over the island of Sumatra or Straits of Malacca west of us;
Afternoon and evening thunderstorms caused by strong surface heating and by the sea breeze circulation that develops in the afternoon.
The occurrence of these events at different times of year is outlined in the following table.
Rainfall is plentiful in Singapore and it rains an average of 167 days of the year. Much of the rain is heavy and accompanied by thunder. The 1981-2010 long-term mean annual rainfall total is 2165.9mm.
Rainfall isn't equally distributed across Singapore but varies by place and time of day and month to month. There is a spike in heavy rainfall in November to December, in afternoons, in northern and western Singapore which will largely affect our afternoon sessions in Bukit Batok Nature Park, Hindhede Nature Park and to a lesser extent Singapore Botanic Gardens. Sessions held in the East will be less affected by heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.
The table below provides a good overview of all of the factors at play which will influence our Forest School sessions and these are all things that your Forest School Leader will be taking into consideration when planning and running your session.
DATE: 23rd November 2020
AUTHOR: Claire Seabrook
REVIEW DATE: 23rd November 2021