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Hall Based Setting Clearing Away


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Hi All,

 

Our setting is hall based so we get out and clear away each day.

 

We run free flow system, though we stop for circle time at 10.45 - children split into three groups for particular developmentally appropriate activity - some resources are put away such as craft and water. Free flow again until 12 when we split into two groups, whilst 2 adults clear away the hall. Children are sitting down for around 10-15 mins - usually do weather, show and tell and story. We then have whole group activity at 12.15 in the hall such as creative dance, parachute, pretend to be in a space ship etc etc. - We all sit down again 12.30 for singing time - children go home at 12.40. Sessions run for 3 1/2 hours.

 

My questions is:

 

Should we really be putting away whilst children are there ?

 

and should we therefore cut our session time to 3 hours, and only put toys away when children have gone, bearing in mind we have to be out of the hall by 1pm.

 

How do you all do this - are we behind the times ? :o thanks in anticipation for any feedback Dot

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Hi Dot,

we are in a similar situation, when we are tidying up one of the staff do something with the children such as simon says or action songs. This is in the hall that is being tidied and works well as the children know that they can help by putting things in the boxes but they have to go to the end of the hall with the "non-tidying" staff member whilst the boxes and big equipment is being put in the cupboard.

We run for 2 1/2 hrs and only have the hall for 3 so it is the only way we can do it.

 

Oh for the use of a sole purpose property :o

 

Sal

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we too have to clear away each day, we finish at 2.45 so at 2.30 we finish the session with a story or ring games and songs, two adults are in charge of looking after the children whilst the other two adults clear away, we have introduced a trolley to bring most of the equipment in and out of the room we invested in new clear plastic boxes for our toys to fit in the trolley making it less disruptive and quicker to clear the room as our store room is down a corridor! we are always aware of the children in the room and make sure the safety of the children is considered at all times.

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i know how you feel. we are quite lucky as our hall doesn't have to be packed away everyday but when we do have to we try and do as much of the activities outside as poss to make it easier. i personally feel that you shouldn't be packing away whilst the children are there but i know sometimes you have no choice not all staff want to stay around to help!

the best investment we made were some couboards on wheels which we can just push back to the walls at the end of the session.

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Hi - great feedback already - sadly, we are the proud owners of two most lovely sheds outside, so everything has to be carried outside - anything on wheels no good - my concerns are that because we move into two group times, it is not always developmentally appropriate for some of thes children to be in these groups when they are under 3.

 

Dot :o

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We use a church hall and have had to clear away as much as 4 times a week so I do sympathise. Personally after 13 years I dread setting up and putting away but its probably good for my waistline!

 

Your point about what's the best way is a very valid one but one that ultimately only you and your setting can agree. If you wait and tidy away after the children have left you will incur extra wages costs, good will soon wears thin in a lot of settings.....

 

My Ofsted Inspector was in on a Friday when we clear the hall at about 11 am and one of the staff has the children for a focussed time until the job is done. We then do PE in the wonderful free space. If you can substantiate why you do what you do and ensure you have done full and comprehensive risk assessments then, if my Inspector is anything to go by, no-one will criticise you.

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Hi LJW,

 

I agree totally with what you say - we did the parachute today, balls flying everywhere wonderful !

 

I suppose one of the reasons I feel so fed up, is that we have a couple of children with SEN - one with behaviour - anyway to cut a long story very short had a visit from one of our early years advisors today, when I explained that when the child was within a group of 10 children I had implimented strategies such as "child sits next to adult for support, waits to end of activity so he is anticipating his turn and so on" she questioned why we sit down such a large group why is he not is a group of 3. I then explained the situation of our tidy up time I felt quite demoralised by her, found myself rambling on and feeling totally un-suported. There are loads of settings getting everything out and putting away, finding ways of displaying kids work with no need for pins in walls etc - anyhow now ranting again. :o Dot

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Hi Dot. I know exactly how you feel with regard to the development worker. I am meeting ours tomorrow, with her in her inclusion hat. I am very defensive already as I feel she will explain away our child with behavioural issues as being our fault for not having her interpretation of Continuous Provision.

 

We work in a similar way to you although one thing we do differently (if I read your OP correctly) is that we have the children help tidy up. The large stuff is left until they leave but that is easier than having them help with it. All resources are put into boxes and along with medium sized items carried to the cupboard by adults and children. Some days it looks a bit hairy but the children learn quickly how to carry things together and safely.

 

We too have some children who need extra support at times and our development worker has questioned why we don't have everything out all the time and use a rolling snack bar. We have tried to stress to her how much we feel the different things we do benefit the children, how we are supported in this by parents, and more especially how the particular children in question do not only display this behaviour after tidy up time, but during the freeplay part of the session. Unfortunately I do not feel she is experienced enough to look at settings and see that difference can be good. She does tell us often about a setting which has to pack away every day and how they manage it her way. What she doesn't know is that I have spoken to this setting and know for a fact they do not have to be out of the hall as quickly as we do and that their staff get paid for more than the 15 mins after the children leave that we get. Unfortunately we don't have anymore money to pay our staff for more.

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we are the same children go into small room 10-15 mins before end of session for circle time and story with 2 members of staff - then 2 tidy big hall and 1 the garden - no ideal but has to be done when there are other users using the hall :o

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we're based in a church hall and we set up and put away every session we have free flow for most of the session about 30 minutes before the end we start to tidy and then put away and everyone helps staff and children then once all the general toys are away(about 15 mins before end of session) the children go to the carpet with two members of staff for songs, coats and pictures while 2 staff tidy the larger furniture away, it works for us

 

ofsted where ok at our last inspection and we have always encouraged the children to learn that tidying up is an important part of play, the children aresafe and out the way for the moving of the large equipment, I think as long as the tidying up and putting away is all part of the learning expereince then theres not reason not to tidy up during sessions children need to know that things need to be tidied away

 

on a good day the hall is totally tidy withing 10 minutes of the children leaving one a bad day Im still there an hour later moping and cleaning

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We have to clear most things away but we are all paid for half an hour after the children (supposedly) leave. The children all help with tidying the toys into boxes and putting them by the door and in theory put back anything they have got out ready for the next child to use. There is ten minutes at the end when the children are all in the little room so two of us can usually get on with clearing.

 

We review and plan briefly in the half hour, often while some of us are washing up.

 

THis morning I've got time to be here because it was parents evening last night and we left it set up since we were last in.

 

Al

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Same here have to set up and clear away every session, don't get paid either end of the day - we get a good hourly rate but given the fact that 1.5 hours a day are unpaid it kind of wipes that out! However as others have said before we don't do the job for the money.....although when you are really tired and still packing away knowing you are not getting extra money it can be upsetting.

Hard work isn't it girls!

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We have to pack away most sessions, it amazes me how much clutter collects in the two sessions that I can leave out!!! What ever sort of mess would I be in if I could leave out all of the time?!!!

The children help put the items back into the boxes, we leave them near the cupboards to put away later. We then have story, song & movement time in a separate hall, this is when the tables & large equipment is stored away with no children in the room. I insist that no big items are moved while the children are in the main hall.

One thing that we have found to work well is to have a finishing song in the little hall to let the staff know we are coming back through, we always end our movement time on "if your happy & you know it" then we have big physical play or whole group games.

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Hi All

 

Thanks for your comments - we too include the children in tidying up. They are only on the mats when we have to move tables chairs etc and they are split into two groups with an adult on each with an age appropriate activity. Our physical creative whole group session activity at the end will always vary to how the children have been that morning, ie calming music, or re-enacting the Bear Hunt and so forth.

 

I feel though, that development workers who are supporting us, need to understand the different issues that we encounter - we all know that mat time with 10 children is not always ideal, but we all have to make the best of what we have and sometimes it would be nice to receive some positive feedback, or an idea on what we "could do". There is a big difference in hall based settings who have to put everything away to those who have their own premises, all settings are different and hold their own value, just like we are all individuals and deserve to feel valued, as we indeed value all children in our care.

 

On lighter note, we explored flour today, the diferent marks we could make and what happens when we mix it with a little and then a lot of water - well by 1pm this afternoon, I understood what happened when I spent around 20 mins scraping it off the floor - kids loved it though and all looked like snowmen when we had finished - "

 

Thanks for feedback - Dot :oxD:(

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Very true words spoken dot, I think they should have a national positive feedback week (which will hopefully kickstart a longer period). xD

 

Sounds like a lot of fun flour a water play, it's worth the mess isn't it. :o

 

Peggy

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It all sound so familiar, all ur posts make me feel better, i agree with all of u. We have to get it out and put it away and also free flow most the morning till about 11.15 when children help apck up most resources and then sit down with a book and staff member, rest of staff put away tables, chairs and storage trollies (thery r a godsend we have 4 and they store loads of stuff, on wheels too! easy) etc.. I always feel guilty tho that staff should be sitting enjoying stories and songs instead of doing all the heavy lifting, also i find trying to have a group discussion or even listening to a story, it can be distracting with equipment being hauled around the room and very noisy too. So for that reason alone i like to have the majority left or put away before we start stories and songs. We should start a campaign to lobby the government for our own dedicated classrooms. but then half the village halls in the country would shut down because i bet like us u r the halls main users and they'd have no income if we wern't there anymore!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

We are the same - village hall, clear away as yoga, pilates are hiring hall in evening, nightmare when you have sand, earth, rice to ensure every tiny bit swept for these groups. We are in so early to ensure the hall is as child friendly as we can get it, its a dreary old hall and wetry and put as many boards, childrens work up as possible to give it the child element, its a thankless task however, as we cant compare with lovely purpose built buildings where you can put lovely murals on the walls both inside and outside. But enough with the moaning

 

We do try and get the children to play otuside so it doesnt affect them the clearing up and allocate two members of staff to clear - should it rain then there is physcial activities or drama activities planned, or large runaround games where you can access the large space such as hockey or ring games

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How do we tidy our hall?

Grumpily

Begrudgingly

As quickly as possible

Wearily

Together

 

The list is endless and I can't believe I'm still doing it after 13 years. I HATE IT :oxD

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How do we tidy our hall?

Grumpily

Begrudgingly

As quickly as possible

Wearily

Together

 

The list is endless and I can't believe I'm still doing it after 13 years. I HATE IT xD:(

 

Now that's not the spirit! Try doing it in a CHEERY fashion:

 

Clean the

Hall with

Energy,

Efficiency and

Renewed

Youthfulness

 

:o

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we wouldn't mind if we could come into a clean hall actually find getting out every day gives a new environment and regulate changes... ours is often filthy ..

 

this morning before i could set up i had to

clear out the kitchen of unwashed cups left in the sink

clean the toilets , including those unflushed from previous day

mop all the floors to get rid of the puddles of dried brown liquid left by other users

stack the chairs so they were safe and out of our way

clean all surfaces covered in sticky brown puddles

ensure kitchen was clean

vacuum the carpets -

 

And they say we are being piccy!!

 

then we had to set up!!

 

we would just love a day when we did not have to clean up everyone else's mess.. our problem is it is the ideal location and needed in the area.

 

Inge

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How true Inge. At least it makes me feel better that we are not the only ones! The other user groups of our building also think we are picky and look at us like we are mad every time we ask them to make sure they leave the hall as they found it. If we ever leave something out by mistake/forget to empty the bin/etc we get such grief too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All - just completed EYFS course, and now realise that to ensure all our activities are 50/50 child initiated, we have to really sort out our storage - I would be grateful if anyone could advise of any trolleys that their settings uses and where they were purchased from - they have to be light as we have to get them down steps into sheds etc. Thanks Dot :o

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