This Thursday, I am running the first of two sessions in my back garden, for my local Woodcraft Folk group. The children will get the chance to use a fire steel to light a fire. I thought it would be interesting to carry out a risk benefit assessment (RBA) to help with my session planning. The RBA format I have used is similar to that set out in Managing Risk in Play Provision Implementation Guide (the guidance that I co-wrote).
You can download my RBA here [pdf link]. Completing it, it seemed to me that with this activity, the ‘benefit’ side of the equation did not make a big difference. In other words, the decisions I reached would have been similar if I had used a conventional risk assessment. Though one plus is that RBA does make very clear the kind of learning and experiences I hope the children will gain.
What do you think: does RBA make a difference here? If so, how? Any feedback on my thinking? Have you used RBA in your own workplace or voluntary work, and has it made a difference in your case?
I will post a follow-up after the second session in a couple of weeks.
(Thanks to Simon Harding of http://www.broomheath.co.uk/ for advice and ideas on the session.)