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Organisng Staff During Free Flow


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hi i was wondering if anyone could offer some advise about organising staff during child initiated time when children are free flowing. we have 3 recpetion classes that are all linked and an outside area that can be accessed through all classrooms.

 

i want staff to move around and take it in turns to go outide rather than staying in own rooms but not sure how to organise this. i was not sure if setting up a rota would make it to structured and dictated and if staff swoped each day would this stop them building on childrens previous learning and experiences. oh help what could i do?

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We have specific roles on our rota each day, and staff have a different role each day. This ensures that they all experience every aspect of the provision. This includes outside activities. If we left it to the staff, no-one would initiate anthing, thinking that someone else would do it instead. It would also provide opportunities for staff to "avoid" areas they may not enjoy or feel comfortable in.

 

Therefore, I would say, tell them who goes out and when!

 

Hope this helps your dilemma.

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I agree with what Di.S says but think it depends on the experience, skills and motivation of your staff team - at my last nursery, the staff sorted it out themselves very effectively but where I am now everything has to be spelt out and documented at the moment!

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We have a rota too. Everyone does everything over the week. No confusion, no arguing, no choice!!

Much the same in my group - although staff do swap around if they feel the need. So long as ratios are maintained and children are kept safe and secure (and the staff don't stand around chatting rather than being with the children!) I don't much mind who is where. Having a rota at least ensures that all the bases are covered - and as Shiny says there can be no confusion.

 

Two observations I'd make about staff deployment: Helen Bilton told us during a presentation on outdoor play something to the effect that "staff who don't like being outdoors have no business working with children" but I'm not sure how I feel about that...

 

Also, at Pen Green they told us that staff spend the whole week in the same area of their nursery because they feel it gives continuity and enables staff to extend children's play and develop their thinking more effectively because they know what has gone on before.

 

Just goes to show that for every group there's a different way of doing things!

 

Maz

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We also do a week in each area, it started as a day then two days but came from the team that for continuity we all feel a week works best..hope you find a way that works for you!

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We have a staff rota which is divided into teams of 2 staff per team.....each team are allocated jobs for the session. We have 4 or 5 members of staff in each day. I am doing the rota today as the days have changed for some staff so when I have finished i will download so you can see what I'm talking about! :o This has worked well for us but I think it would probably depend on your own staff...we have a very good team that work well together whoever they are working with at the moment which really does help. Although the rota is there it does get swapped about sometimes but as long as everyone has been told and still know where they are for the session it's fine.

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Two observations I'd make about staff deployment: Helen Bilton told us during a presentation on outdoor play something to the effect that "staff who don't like being outdoors have no business working with children" but I'm not sure how I feel about that...

 

As a child I hated outside play with a vengeance - I'd always much rather be warm and cosy inside. As an adult I still prefer to be inside as a preference although that doesn't stop me going outdoors if needed. I really don't think that disqualifies me from working with children though! :o

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Much the same in my group - although staff do swap around if they feel the need. So long as ratios are maintained and children are kept safe and secure (and the staff don't stand around chatting rather than being with the children!) I don't much mind who is where. Having a rota at least ensures that all the bases are covered - and as Shiny says there can be no confusion.

 

Two observations I'd make about staff deployment: Helen Bilton told us during a presentation on outdoor play something to the effect that "staff who don't like being outdoors have no business working with children" but I'm not sure how I feel about that...

 

Also, at Pen Green they told us that staff spend the whole week in the same area of their nursery because they feel it gives continuity and enables staff to extend children's play and develop their thinking more effectively because they know what has gone on before.

 

Just goes to show that for every group there's a different way of doing things!

 

Maz

Can you imagine being outside for a week in the drizzle and cold in January, with just that small hard core of children who would be outside in 8 foot of snow!!

 

If you don't like an area at least you only have to do it twice a week. I like all areas but especially outside. I revert to my childhood out there, if you are cold it is because you are not playing hard enough!!

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Two observations I'd make about staff deployment: Helen Bilton told us during a presentation on outdoor play something to the effect that "staff who don't like being outdoors have no business working with children" but I'm not sure how I feel about that...

 

 

Methinks Ms Bilton might be a tad over zealous! xD

 

Our staff deployment changes daily although none of us work a full 5 day week. Must admit I do like to be outdoors even in the winter (best remedy for hot flushes I know) (but thats another thread!!!!!). :o

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It can be more difficult in Reception as the support staff are very often not qualified for early years per se although they may have excellent skills and do not appreciate the learning opportunities in the same way, particularly if they are in school were staff move around alot and they may have taken on a different role initially. It is difficult as the teacher to motivate in these circumstances.

Clare, I have been where you are now and I hope you get this sorted soon. Have you tried talking to the team as a whole and explaining the rationale etc, I managed a similar situation responding like that.

 

I have worked on supply in nurseries where the staff changed at approx 30 min intervals, responding to the children's needs ie how many were outside, where roles such as who set up and who was putting away, who was doing story were rotated rather than individual staff and in a nursery where everyone moved areas regardless every 30 mins. I preferred the former!

 

Personally, I find it very difficult to work outside in the summer months as I do not like being in the sun.

 

Good luck.

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