Jump to content
About Us

Daily/weekly Routine


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I'm getting a bit bogged down with my planning at the moment - worrying if I should be fitting more things in/have more of a set routine to our week?

Currently our daily routine is:

8.45am Register children. Quick intro to activities which sometimes includes a story/rhyme/song. Then prayers.

8.55ish Continuous provision and focused activity (this is usually an activity that all children can be involved in)

9.45am Doors open for choice of indoors/outdoors (this is soon to change to free-flow)

10.15am All children outdoors (staff breaks)

10.30am Tidy-up outside

10.40am Tidy-up inside

10.50am Story/songs/circle-time/rhymes/phonics/IWB/music (whole-group)

11.10am Get ready for lunch or home-time

We operate a snack-bar system from 9am until 10.15am


My worries are as follows:

1. We rarely get time for Key-group time (this is 13 each) - have sometimes done circle-time or focused activites such as dance in key-groups

2. Should I have a weekly routine of what happens at 10.50am? E.g. story on Monday, circle-time on Tuesday, Rhymes and songs on Wednesday etc. Currently I don't have any routine for this time - just plan what fits??

3. Feel that I should read a story everyday but when? Have read somewhere recently that smaller-group storytime should be offered everyday, possibly in key groups - but when is the best time??

4. I currently include objective for my whole-group time even though I have these on my continuous provision sheet for 'Routines' (feel I should fill the empty space!)

5. I don't have a routine of covering all areas of learning each week - I plan activities that meet the children needs and these mostly cover more than one area of learning. So some weeks CLL may be included 4 times, where as PD only once etc. Is this ok?


Sorry for all the questions but they are spinning around in my head and I'm sure there's some good advice out there!!

Thanks Green Hippo xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi - I shall be watching this post with interest.


We seem to be in a similar position and we are spending the next few weeks sending staff out and about to other local playgroups/nurseries to try and get more ideas on 'routine', particularly from those who have had a recent outstanding ofsted. Is this something you could do? We currently are 9-12 morning sessions and are free flow with focussed activities running alongside. we open doors for outside at about 9:30am and have snack bar 10:15-10:45 ish. We have a grouptime at about 11:30 which may be song/story/counting etc ready for hometime at 12.


We have however had concerns from parents about 'lack of structure' which I think has mainly stemmed from no longer having a group snack time gathering.


I was going to ask you whether or not you have the same children everyday, if you do then having story one day circle time the next etc. might work, but if not then it could be that a child coming on certain days never has storytime etc. (This is a problem we have and haven't yet found a way around it which has made grouptime a bit ad-hoc!!).


We also may cover more of one learning area one week and less of another, and I don't think this is a problem. In fact I think this is inevitable if you are responding to children's needs. We currently have a very large cohort of 'boisterous boys' and have noticed that the amount of art and craft we are offering has dropped, but that we are using the school playing fields ( we share a site with primary school) so much more. We do however have a planning and assessment co-ordinator and one of her jobs is to check through planning and highlight on a master sheet over a half-term all the objectives which we cover and that way we can at least see gaping holes in coverage. HTH Zoe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have to do what suits you and your children - if you are feeling short of time then i would get rid of whole group register and intro times. We did this some time ago and intro things to children in small groups or as they show interest in activities, this might give you time for key group work which seems to be recommended at the mo.


We have also cut whole group story/rhymes counting etc down to 10 -15 mins max as the children find concentrating and enjoying for much longer difficult.


Tidying up is also something we have worked on really hard and now take 3mins to tidy up - outside starts just before inside so children are all ready for story at same time, one member of staff can do further tidying out or in during story. I have found that too long for tidying and the children lose interest and mess around whilst the staff are the only ones tidying! We do have a rule that children must tidy up as they leave an area and try and teach and reward children for doing this throughout the session.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi green hippo, I think we are all still wondering if we are doing the right thing! I feel if something works for you then go with it. We have free-flow all morning except for snack and story time at the end of the session. Staff talk to children as they play, scaffolding if necessary, moving play forward if necessary, encouraging language development and communication. Children can take part in adult led activities if they choose, last week one member of staff was making pasta and another member of staff was outside playing hopscotch (the rest of the staff were playing with the children). We spend approximately 10 minutes on tidy up time and then 10-15 minutes at the end reading/sharing books together (in 3 smaller groups). Works well for us and so far parents have not complained about their children not taking home a painting etc. every day (I am touching wood really quickly here!!) mrsW.x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey all same problem in our nursery routine is really a problem!!!

our routine at the mo is as follows: we are in private day


0715-08:40 continuous provision ie free play

08:40 -09:00 toast time

09:00 -0:915 -free play (staffs breaks)

09:15-10:00 -focused activity

10;00-11:15 freeplay

11:15-11:30 story time/weather board

11:30-12:00 dinner

12:00-13:45 quiet time

13:45-1445 messy play

1445:1515 free play

15:15 -15:30 -song time

15:30-4:00 dinner

400:18:15-ply til home time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ours is

9.15 children arrive to free play - child intiated

9.35 welcome time- all children encouraged to join in

9.50 -11.15 -free flow child intiated time

11.15 tidyup outside and inside

11.35 - 3 small groups for story and singing

11.55 ready for home

12.00 home time


snack is from 10.15 until 10.45 ish rolling snack bar-only accessed if children choose to


each member of staff has an allocated day for key working sometimes it maybe an adult led activity or child led

it is always done with what intersts the children never as a large group as types od learning intersets are vert differeing from child to child


planning is done weekly and our topics are usually child led

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9am Our children arrive to book time whilst any stragglers meander in.


Between 9 and 9.30 we activate and have a start tot he session wich may be a story or circle time activity etc.


9.30 - 11.10 free play with focused activity group work going on.

doors open for free flow.


11.10 tidy time indoors and out.


11.20 back to carpet. give out work, sing, maybe have story/ circle time


11.30 home or lunch time


Our cafe is open from 9.30 as sometimes children are hungry when they start. It closes when we tidy up..... it is one of the children's jobs to do this


We just had all goods and outstandings in Feb so hopefully the way we work is OK!!!! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi would you like to see ours? Have attached it for you. We have been advised not to be to regimental, to let things flow!!!!! So to be inclusive of all the dys activities we don't put the time in. Just when we start and when we finish.


Hope this helps




Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our routine is 9am arrival, self register and off to play.

Outdoors available as free flow once all children in - about 9.20

Cafe snack starts at around 10 to 10.15...until 11am.

11.25 is 5 min warning for tidy up...then tidy up at 11.30

by the time thats done we have about 20 mins left for story or rhymes and getting ready to go home or washing hands for lunch.


Some adult led activities are planned eg cooking but often an adult will simply take up a childs initial idea and extend it and be joined by a group spontaneously (activity then written up later).


We dont do keyworker time either ..though would like to try and fit in some time with group - have thought of splitting up story / rhyme time and going our seperate ways to do it then but space is an issue!


Used to do a rota of activities for group time ( story one day, music another, physical, talk circle etc and rotated that each week on a different day to ensure coverage of all children but became tedious in the end and we abandoned it this year.


We plan to enhance the learning opportunities for an area of learning each week (eg physical, creative, PSED...) - across all the provision...this ensures we are thinking how all areas can be adapted to bring out different learning areas. Naturally all other areas are being addressed too but we focus strongly on one area each week for assessment and planning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi green hippo.

Are you in a school setting?

Could you use your greeting/prayer/registration time as key person time?

Could you have your end of day session as a story maybe in your key groups?


the other issue you might like to think about is the staff breaks. There is no legal entitlement to a beak mid morning and I know it can be hard in a school when other staff get breaks but its worth thinking about how much your routine is dictated to by the need to include a break? Without one, you could have longer free flow and cut done the need for two tidy up times... just a thought to consider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 key children... you poor thing!!! i find it hard with 6!!


we have a pretty relaxed routine, where all children have free choice all day. we fit things in during this time, and children get to choice whether they join in with things such as story, and music. the adult initiated activites are with our key-children, and involve things such as maths, literacy etc. snack time is a cafe system.


the only thing that isn't free choice at our setting at the mo is outside play, this is because we are a small setting, taking only 18 a session, we usually only have 3 members of staff on. we find that supervision is a problem when using free-flow!


in my opinion, you have to do what works for your setting, being laid back is ok for us, but there may come a time when we choose to become more structured! at the mo, we seem to cover all areas of development, and the children are happy.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for all your replies. It seems that I'm generally doing what others are doing at the end of session time.

As there are only 2 of us we struggle to do key group time at the beginning of session as one of us needs to be available to meet and greet and man the doors! We have tried doing story-time/circle-time in key groups at the end of the session but we have not got 2 separate areas so it proves difficult.

I would prefer to not take a break and didn't at the beginning of the year, however, the other staff are used to having a break and were feeling guilty if I didn't take mine! I'm in a school setting so other staff in the school also get a break at this time.


Thanks for all the advice so far

Green Hippo xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)