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Hi, I was wondering if reception teachers have choose time each day. In this I mean a time when adults do no focus activities and the children can basically all do what they want. We are trying to persuade our school timetable but are being told we have to have this time.

 

I obviosly want children doing child intiated play but surely if they are in the areas in the classroom this is child initiated play. Just want to know if I am right or wrong.

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Choose time does just sound like child initiated, which our children are doing most of the day except for the periods when they are doing a focussed task. I would certainly see no need to have a specified choose time in year R but i can see that there may be a need in other year groups as the curriculum (rightly or wrongly) is a lot more prescribed.

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Hello kniemma, A warm welcome to the forum and thank you for your first post.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'choose time', could you explain how whoever is asking you to have this 'time' expects this to be implimented.

I too would think child initiated 'free play' would incorporate the oportunity for 'choice'.

I am not a teacher though and I am sure someone with more experience will be alone soon to help with your query.

 

Peggy

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Welcome to the Forum, kniemma - congratulations on your first post and here's to many more!

 

I am in pre-school so I can't speak with authority, but I was just wondering about the value of choosing time or golden time or whatever you might call it when basically the EYFS is all about child initiated learning and therefore could be seen as children 'doing what they want' anyway? During your 'choose time' each day do you have different resources available to the children specifically for this time, or do they get to choose from whatever is on offer anyway?

 

Maz

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Thanks for your speedy reponses. Choose Time is basically 40 minutes morning and afternoon when children are allowed to go in any room or in the garden.

 

When we are doing focussed activities our children are only allowed to play in that room (all room are area based 1 KUW room, 1 CD room, 1 CLL room, 1 PSRN room)

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Ah I can understand the need for choose time more then as true child initiated learning and continuous provision would mean that most areas are available to them all the time so if your set up doesn't allow that giving them a time when it is available makes sense.

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I can understand however if we changed the set up so each classroom had acess to all areas of the curriculum ie areas and the outdoor then we would not require choose time. Am i right in this thinking.

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Hi again just wondering if anybody has a copy of there timetable I can see the more evidence I can have toback us up the better. We as a team are desperate for change but no one will listen.

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I can understand however if we changed the set up so each classroom had acess to all areas of the curriculum ie areas and the outdoor then we would not require choose time. Am i right in this thinking.

Well remembering my earlier caveat, I would say that if children have free access to all areas of the curriculum all the time then 'choose time' would appear no different to them - so whether this time is labelled 'choose time' or not it wouldn't make any difference!

 

I can understand the perceived need to have choose time though if children are restricted at other times of the day to certain areas of your setting.

 

I'm really interested in this discussion and will watch with interest!

 

Maz

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I can understand however if we changed the set up so each classroom had acess to all areas of the curriculum ie areas and the outdoor then we would not require choose time. Am i right in this thinking.

 

Yeah I would certainly agree with that. As I said before ours have access to all areas most of the time.

 

Hi again just wondering if anybody has a copy of there timetable I can see the more evidence I can have toback us up the better. We as a team are desperate for change but no one will listen.

 

Here's a copy of our timetable, basically if they are not with an adult they are child initiated. Also we work as a year group unit so there 2 teachers, 2 full time TAs and a LSA for a hearing impaired child who is pretty independent.

 

23rd_February.doc

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The children are meant to have 1 hour minimum of uninterrupted child initiated play. We call it choosing time too. The children have lots of choosing time in the morning but can be called at anytime to do an adult focused activity, therefore it is interrupted. So in the afternoon we have one hour at least where the children can choose to play wherever they wish with out being called away.

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The children are meant to have 1 hour minimum of uninterrupted child initiated play. We call it choosing time too. The children have lots of choosing time in the morning but can be called at anytime to do an adult focused activity, therefore it is interrupted. So in the afternoon we have one hour at least where the children can choose to play wherever they wish with out being called away.

 

Is that stated somewhere because I've never heard that before. I know that they are entitled to child initiated play/learning but I didn't know there was a set time of uninterrupted play.

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hi,I am in a Pre-school so maybe not be as qualified to comment.The Eyfs is all about childinitiated learning through the continuous provision ie through all the areas so by allowing them to explore all the areas within all rooms would be child initiated learning so perhaps you wouldn't necessarily need choose time!!

Yes I heard that too somewhere about not interupting -heard you're only supposed tointerrupt children at necessary times ie a focus axtivity and meal times-we've been told by ofsted though that the EYFS is about a balance 50 percent child initiated and 50 percent adult initiated so we have a balance now! good luck though and I am sure someone else will be along son with some advice for you!!

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Well I don't know whether every single one of our children get an hour of uninterrupted child initiated time every day but they get plenty of child initiated time during the day and never worry about doing an adult directed activity, in fact a lot of them want to do a little job, activity, game etc... as they're at 'big school' now. I can understand the idea of the uninterrupted child initiated time but I think it's more important that children are getting plenty of opportunities for CI time during the day rather than it being a specified length. Also if the adult activity is exciting, fun, enticing, the children are asking when can I do that and so then it becomes CI anyway.

 

Our county hasn't said anything about the hour anyway, but I have been invited to a meeting with other people from around our county in May, including all the advisors so I will see if it comes up there.

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I agree with you SP61HJ, and if the children are asking to do the activity, I don't consider it interrupting their play. However, as I'm sure we all do, if I see a child engrossed in what they are doing, I won't call them to do something else, especially in the hour of 'uninterrupted' where I shouldn't have adult led activities going on anyway, I'm meant to be observing etc!

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