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Hi

I'm a nursery teacher ,struggling with contradictory advice . Can anyone out there send me their time table of how long one spends doing adult led/adult initiated/ child initiated work with the children in a 2 1/2 hour session? :o

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Hi shyla, welcome aboard! :o

 

It's so difficult when you get lots of confusing advice, isn't it!

 

I'm in a daycare setting, but probably the approach is the same these days. We work largely in a completely child-led way. We have abandoned topics, although we do mini ones around festivals etc, and find that we can develop and enhance children's play so that lots of learning can be included, while the children engage well in activities because they are effectively 'calling the shots'. This means, of course, that I can't send a timetable!

 

I realise in a school there will be some requirement for a focus activity, but I would just have one a day, set in a context close to children's current interests, the rest of the day being free play with enhancements. Well, as much as possible - of course you have different literacy and numeracy requirements to me!

 

Has that been any help?

 

Please let us know how you get on, and come back with queries as much as you like! xD

 

 

This article might be helpful?

 

Sue

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Hi there Shyla, welcome aboard.

 

Are you a nursery teacher in a school? Sometimes there are constraints and demands of being in a school environment are different from those that are in other settings, so it would be helpful to know if this is your situation.

 

Would you be able to give us an idea about how things are working for you now? How many staff and children do you have?

Generally speaking I would suggest one focus activity involving one adult which can run over several days or all week depending on the type of activity. Then I would have no more than a couple of times when you stop and do things altogether.. perhaps in the middle for circle time/snack/key person time/music etc and then at the end for maybe a storytime or similar. Some people prefer to just have a group time at the start of the session (eg registration) and then one at the end, with free flow snack so no need to really stop in between.

 

So our day looked roughly like this

 

9.00am self registration, free play, time to talk to parents.

9.15 ish any focus activity would begin, children would be invited but not forced to join in.

10 ish circle /snack time in key person groups.. I called this chatting time because that was exactly what we did.

10 20 ish free flow including outdoors, usually at this time one adult would do a music and movement session indoors

 

11 10 ish tidy up and have together time Sometimes this would be the whole group, sometimes it would be key groups.

 

11.30 home time for the mroning children, lunh for the full timers.

 

In my previous school, my head insisted we did phonics first thing as well, which I never liked, as it always felt like we were stopping and starting all the time and the children didnt really have enough time to play. Are these the sorts of constraints you have too?

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Hello Shyla, A warm welcome from me too and thank you for your first first. xD Once you've had time to have a good look around the forum I think you will find that you are not alone when it comes to receiving contradictory advice. :o

I was preschool based so have little knowledge of school restraints, however, I would like to say that timetabling and planning in any setting is best understood by the people who work with it on a daily basis. Yes, advisors are a useful resource but at the end of the day, you know what works best for you and your children, so 'advice' should be negotiable.

 

Why not try a review of your day or maybe even a week, do an event sample observation noting how many times, and for what duration, adult led, child initiated and adult initiated activities occur, from this information you will have a clear comparable percentage of how time is used. (if I have time I'll produce a quick Event sample obs sheet for you if you like)

 

There is reference to the appropriatte balance in the EYFS documentation, but forgive me, I don't know exactly where, although I do know it has been referred to before in previous posts. Maybe someone more knowledgable on the EYFS publication can help you here.

 

Peggy

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Hi, there have been other threads on this - the general consensus seems to have been that the time you spend at the end of the session having story and songtime might be your only Adult Initiated activity within that session as children are freely accessing the continuous provision you provide. A lot of settings offer an adult initiated activity for a specific purpose, around a theme, and we do this and we spend as long as the child wants to take over it, Today for example, 3 children sat and made patterns with the magnetic shapes and whiteboards - and they got me to make specific patterns on my board for them to copy on theirs. They stayed with this for about three quarters of an hour - much longer than I had anticipated that they would, and want to return to it again tomorrow.

 

So I would say, keep your timetable as loose as you can to allow for this interest in your activities - or not as the case may be!

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Welcome to the forum shyla. xD You have received such good advice already that I am just here to lend my support. There seems to be a lot of confusion at the moment about what practitioners should be offering and what form that should take. Until things settle then there will be conflicting advice, as everyone is interpreting things in their own way! You need to become practised in smiling, nodding and saying thank you to all your different advisors. :o However, at the end of the day you need to find the way that works best for you and any other staff members, and your particular set up. Good luck! :(

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hi I am a nursery teacher in a school ,

9-9.10 self registration

9.15-9.30 1 member of staff group work/ 1 member of staff outside/ 1 member of staff adult led activity.

9.30-10.30 child initiated time

10.30 -11 1 staff outside/1 member staff snack/1 member of staff adult led activity

11 singing/phonics/11.10 tidy up........story......home for 11.30

 

I'm not sure if this timetable is right? :o

 

i

Hi there Shyla, welcome aboard.

 

Are you a nursery teacher in a school? Sometimes there are constraints and demands of being in a school environment are different from those that are in other settings, so it would be helpful to know if this is your situation.

 

Would you be able to give us an idea about how things are working for you now? How many staff and children do you have?

Generally speaking I would suggest one focus activity involving one adult which can run over several days or all week depending on the type of activity. Then I would have no more than a couple of times when you stop and do things altogether.. perhaps in the middle for circle time/snack/key person time/music etc and then at the end for maybe a storytime or similar. Some people prefer to just have a group time at the start of the session (eg registration) and then one at the end, with free flow snack so no need to really stop in between.

 

So our day looked roughly like this

 

9.00am self registration, free play, time to talk to parents.

9.15 ish any focus activity would begin, children would be invited but not forced to join in.

10 ish circle /snack time in key person groups.. I called this chatting time because that was exactly what we did.

10 20 ish free flow including outdoors, usually at this time one adult would do a music and movement session indoors

 

11 10 ish tidy up and have together time Sometimes this would be the whole group, sometimes it would be key groups.

 

11.30 home time for the mroning children, lunh for the full timers.

 

In my previous school, my head insisted we did phonics first thing as well, which I never liked, as it always felt like we were stopping and starting all the time and the children didnt really have enough time to play. Are these the sorts of constraints you have too?

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Hello Shyla, A warm welcome from me too and thank you for your first first. xD Once you've had time to have a good look around the forum I think you will find that you are not alone when it comes to receiving contradictory advice. :o

I was preschool based so have little knowledge of school restraints, however, I would like to say that timetabling and planning in any setting is best understood by the people who work with it on a daily basis. Yes, advisors are a useful resource but at the end of the day, you know what works best for you and your children, so 'advice' should be negotiable.

 

Why not try a review of your day or maybe even a week, do an event sample observation noting how many times, and for what duration, adult led, child initiated and adult initiated activities occur, from this information you will have a clear comparable percentage of how time is used. (if I have time I'll produce a quick Event sample obs sheet for you if you like)

 

There is reference to the appropriatte balance in the EYFS documentation, but forgive me, I don't know exactly where, although I do know it has been referred to before in previous posts. Maybe someone more knowledgable on the EYFS publication can help you here.

 

Peggy

you are very kind. the EYFS says a 'BALANCE' this is the problem as school wants more teacher directed skills taught and advisors want experiences' :(

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Hi Shyla again

 

Be comforted that this is very common in schools as I indicated in my post.

You shouldn't however be caught up between the advisor and the Head, you could ask the Head for a 3 way discussion between yourself and them, so that you can agree some common ground and probabaly this will involve some compromise. You could also as your head what 'more' they think you should be doing that you arent already covering in one way or another.

 

When I look at your timetable I would only ask one question. If you have one adult in a group one in a focus and one outside, who is available to play/suport/deal with accident toilets etc with the children not engaged in any of those? And what sort of things are you doing in that group work., does this not meet the expectations of your head?

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Hi Shyla again

 

Be comforted that this is very common in schools as I indicated in my post.

You shouldn't however be caught up between the advisor and the Head, you could ask the Head for a 3 way discussion between yourself and them, so that you can agree some common ground and probabaly this will involve some compromise. You could also as your head what 'more' they think you should be doing that you arent already covering in one way or another.

 

When I look at your timetable I would only ask one question. If you have one adult in a group one in a focus and one outside, who is available to play/suport/deal with accident toilets etc with the children not engaged in any of those? And what sort of things are you doing in that group work., does this not meet the expectations of your head?

Oh they dont realise that small children need first aid or clean clothes! I had a very loose time table and staff were made available to support the childrens play and learning but adult led activity is what they want more of! I'm quite frankly worn out as I achieve nothing! :o

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9-9:10- Adult initiated

If between 9:15 -9:30 and 10:30 – 11, the children are still given free choice whether to participate in group and adult led activities then I would consider these times to be adult initiated (although not clear if outside play enables total ‘free play’)

11-11:30- I’d consider to be adult led.

So your timetable indicates to me that:

 

 

TOTAL 55 MIN -Adult initiated 30 MIN- Adult led 60 MIN - Child Initiated

 

This is just my perception, so 75% with adult direction (led or initiated), 25% child initiated, but this really depends on what choices or not the children have during adult initiated times (as described above).

 

Maybe your head only see's the children as having 30 minutes adult led (11-11:30), yet shown this way there is quite a lot of adult interaction be it direct or not.

Plus there are 3 staff available during child initiated play for enhancing, modelling or just joining in with the children at their level.

 

Me personally for nursery age children would extend the child initiated to 11:15 and incorporate phonics into a shorter 15 min story time. I think 15 mins is long enough for a whole group activity, unless movement is involved. :o

 

So, there you go another advisor, but then I'm only going on limited information, like all your other advisors. xD:(

I cannot judge and value or know what your class needs, I would agree that children benefit if timetables are flexible to their needs, and only you know what those individual needs are.

 

Peggy

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Hi Shyla and welcome.

 

I presume, although you dont say that your head wants you to be more formal and that your advisor either supports you or wants you to do things very differently.

 

Unfortunately many of us, as teachers in nurseries and in school reception classes are caught in that dilemma. I know Ive been there and many others will have been too. The trick is to play the game really. Sometimes, you can make it look like you are playing the school game while actually operating in a way that you feel is more appropriate.

 

A lot of what you can do will depend on your resources. As you have 3 adults in your setting I assume you have 39 children for each session? Are any of them full time? Hopefully you will have a big space to allow you all to have keyworker space?

 

I have worked recently on supply in nursery, which had a good reputation. Although this was pre EYFS I cant imagine they will have needed to address any issues to meet new requirements. It was well resourced inside and out with large rooms and a reasonable outside space that most importantly was resourced too and had cover and shade.

The children gathered in groups, I teacher and 2 NN in each for registration and greetings, They had toast and chatted about what was on offer, and were shown a specific task for the area they would be working in. I think that lasted for about 20mins and the they would move to the room they were based in, the rooms were set up in curriulum zones or outside where they stayed until 10am, accessing the AF activity and had opps to free play. AT 10am the rooms were all opened up and the children could free flow across inside or out for an hour. At 11 they tidied for snack, milk and fruit in class bases with a story etc before going home at 11.30

Every week they took lots of photos of all activities and wrote a resume of the weeks focus in the curriculum zone with individual notations of the individual child. these were shown to parents at regular intervals on a 1to 1 basis and they could borrow the books to take home too.

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Hi susan

thanks for your post

 

The issue is that they want skills 'taught' which they feel can only be achieved by doing an adult led activity. therefore we have this 'sausage' style situation going on where children are ticked off a list when they have been to an activity every day plus group work going on.

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