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When School Nursery Children Arrive In The Morning?


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Hi, I am going to be teaching nursey next sept (52 children) and was wondering what the children should do when they first arrive. Currently they come into the room and choose where they want to play staight away but then a bell is rang 15 minutes later to sit them down so the register can be completed. I was thinking of trying to get the children to sit down in their key worker groups as soon as they arrive and had said bye to their parents. Doing it this way would mean the register is taken safely (very big unit and hard to keep track of children arriving at the moment). After the register had been taken could also talk to children about the activities on offer before they go and choose? Thinking by doing it this way I would not be stopping the free flow of play after just 15minutes to complete a register?

 

Any thoughts, comments and other ideas would be most welcome please!!!!

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Ive worked in a setting where the children have gone straight to their keygroups as soon as they come in and I run sessions where the children arrive and then after a little mingle go and sit in their groups

 

if the children are old enough to understand the routine and go and sit in their groups then I found it better to go straight to groups but will you be chatting to parents at the start of session or settle crying children? are there enough staff to manage the groups and allow staff chance to chat to parents otherwise does it mean that children are sitting around waiting for staff to come to the carpet. (picturing a small group of children just sat waiting while adults need to chat

 

we opted for the 15 minute settling in time so that we could sort parents and crying children but then we found the children where getting engrossed in their play and we where taking them from an activity to do group time and it just didnt feel right either, so some children where left to play while others sat at group time and over the course of a term it all went pear shaped so next term we need to look at changing it or abandoning it and doing keygroups at the end of session our children are young the average age is 2-3,

 

if your in an older group they could have some quiet activities in each of the keygroup areas(books, puzzles, threading) while they wait for all the parents to arrive and children to settle, that way its a bit of both they still get to play for a while but its contained to the key groups area, as the term progresses and children settle quicker you may be able to get key group time done almost immediatly at the start of the session.

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We are a much, much smaller group but.......

 

One staff member completes register as children arrive.....and children 'self-register' as they enter the room - 'find' their name and post it into box......

 

Free play straight away!

 

Sunnyday

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Our children come straight into free play after registering their picture card on the board. Free play continues until 10am

when register is taken and discussion as to what's on offer! Our children are always very excited to see each other in the morning and i feel they need time to 'catch up' with news etc before they are expected to sit down quietly for the register.

 

Imagine how we would feel if we saw lots of people we knew in a room, had lots to say to each other, but were hurded off into separate groups without time to chat!!!

 

We were also advised by our EY advisor that 'carpet time' should be kept to a very minimum, especially if you are in a mixed age group setting and concentration spans differ.

 

dottyp :o

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As our children arrive....... supposedly for all to start at 9am, they choose a book and sit on the carpet. They are free to chat with friends until majority of group are in.

 

Sometimes we take the register silently so as not to disturb the children with their books and friends, other times we put books away and then take a normal register.

 

At this point we might have a story, or activate and a quick chat with anyone with news to share.

 

You can tell the mood of the group on any given day so we tailor what happens next to their needs and the mood.

 

Some days this coming together time at the start of the session is quite brief!

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Confucius he say 'I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand'.

I say forget circle time and let the children play!

 

I would totally agree with the sentiment...... (here comes the but.....)

 

I find the sessions that start with a brief group time are calmer and more focused, some sessions the children come in and want to run around the room they are excited and hyper most have already been stood outside playing and running around together and they have got the whole morning to play so if it is workable into the sessions then a 5 minute news/ show and tell/bring and brag time as early as possible just helps to calm the children down ready to play more productivly

 

children do need group times as well as free play

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Hi redgirls.

 

Like Alison I have done this both ways in the past, but have to say that for me I much prefer letting the children play when they first arrive, which allows me time to chat with parents and even more importantly allows them to share an activity with their child. I always found this an overwhelming benefit to parent's understanding what we did. However it was my Head teacher who didn't like it ad expected us to leave parents at the door! (well they did allow a week of grace when they first started!) and they then moved to the sitting in groups time first thing. I never liked this, I never had time to chat to parents (they had to make an appointment) and I felt that sometimes the children were just waiting for their friends to arrive and it felt very uncomfortable to me. I also felt that given that most of my children lived in high rise blocks with no gardens, that many of them needed fresh air and physical activity on arrival, so we always had access to outdoors for those that needed it.

 

I would go with your 'gut' feeling but if you are in a new school, you might want to see what is already being done too, you presumably have staff to work with who have been there before?

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We use the same approach as sunnyday. The children are checked in and ticked off on a list by a staff member as they arrive. They then self register (by making a choice of drink using their names) and go straight into free play.

 

As the parents leave, the same staff member checks to see who will be picking the child up and whether they are staying for lunch. This system was brought in following an inspection where Ofsted picked up on registering, and at the next inspection they were happy with the change.

 

It's a good way to be sure who is there and who is collecting.

 

We don't go into outdoor free flow until all parents have dropped off because the door to that is the same one as for when they arrive and it wouldn't be safe.

 

Hope that helps.

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Although we are a free flow child initiated (or so I like to think!!) setting we do have 'optional' small group times throughout the session. A triangle signifies that it is 'story time' in the book corner (usually initiated by a child) and a song indicates that a group activity is about to start on the big carpet. Children are then free to access these if they wish. We will also have adult assisted/directed activities from time to time but again they are all optional. We usually find that there is enough happening to keep the children occupied and learning (they just think they are playing!!)

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Thank you everybody for your responses. Has helped a geat deal, lots to think about before going back in september!!

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We are a 39 place nursery unit and we have a member of staff in the cloakroom taking the register. The children self register when they get into nursery and then all go and sit in our book corner where another member of staff is waiting and will do a group time when most of the children are there. Our third member of staff is in the main part of the nursery to talk with parents, help with crying children etc. This works very well for us, the children are safe when there is still an outside door open, a huge amount of learning goes on in that sitting down period, the children are well focused and when they leave we can direct some of them to activities of our choice if needed (especially the older ones)

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