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26 3/4 Year Olds And 2 Adults


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As a nursery teacher, myself and my NN can have 13 children each, so we generally have 26 in the AM and 26 in the PM. If you are in a similar situation, or have any thoughts for me:


- How do you organize your sessions/session so that you fit all the integral aspects in with only 2 people. I find that I am really struggling with fitting in observations, freeflow, snack, general help (such as writing names on paintings, sorting out squabbles, toileting, resourcing) and adult led activities such as circle times, L+S and PSRN. Not to mention the important bit of spending some quality play time with the chidlren and also modeling how to use the resources etc.


My timetable until lunch (this is repeated in the PM) is as follows:


8.45-9.10- IWB registration, day, weather, songs and discussion about choices in the room.

9.10-10.40- Free-flow (there is a rather small bit out the back that is currently used). 1 adult will do adult led activities and the other will have the task of observing their key children (we each have 26!) at the same time as supervising both the indoor and the outdoor, sorting snack, and also sorting out toileting issues etc.

10.40-10-50- Whole class numeracy session

10.50-11.20 - All children go outside (to the front which is a very big space)- whether they want to or not. One adult out with them- and one stays inside to tidy up, wash dishes and clean toilets. Especially not happy about this as it disturbers their play, or the fact that all chidlren will be outside with 1 adult (the head has said that because the second adult can see them through the window- this counts as ratio??)


I'm not happy with things in general, and I would love to use the huge front outdoor area for free-flow (even though it is tarmac and a tiny strip of grass (which the head wants to replace with astroturf!)


So- any ideas for improvement. Also if you have similar amounts of chidlren and an extra adult- how did you manage to wangle it? I would love another adult, for one in- one out and one floating.



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I'm afraid I have no advice except for doing all in your power to disuade the head from putting down astro turf instead of grass! I remember falling on that stuff in secondary school whilst playing hockey and it hurt like nobody's business,; can only imagine how painful young children would find it. Also grass might get muddy but that's one disadvantage against all the advantages of grass. There's always minibeasts and usually daisies to be talked about if nothing else and it's good to have even just a little strip of nature in the children's environment!

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We have always worked within these ratios in the nursery attached to school!!


I think maybe you have too much time all sat down as a group together and maybe not enough free flowing indoors and outdoors, regardless of the size of the area.


I am not familiar with your settings circumstances but I think the all outside, everyone outside is a very outdated idea.


We also have a cafe for snacks so valuable time is not taken up everyone with sitting for a snack.


Sorry I also think all children outdoors with one staff memeber whilst the other tidies is not safe!!


Having just re read your thread I think the session is broken up too much and I don't feel personally that a whole group numeracy session in the midst of everything is a good idea.


Sorry. Just writing it how I see it, not meaning to criticise.

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We have 3 adults and 39 children so the same ratio. This is our day

8.45 - 9.00 settling in

9.00 -9.15 group time (phoincs speaking listening maths or pse)

9.15-11.10 free flow 1 adult outside 2 inside (1 focusing on the childrens targets or the week the other targeter manager)

11.10 - 11.25 singing

11.25 washing hands for lunch

12.30-12.45 story time

12.45-2.30free flow 1 adult outside 2 inside (1 focusing on the childrens targets or the week the other targeter manager)

2.30-2.45 group time (phoincs speaking listening maths or pse)

2.45-3 hometime

We get the children tidy up and then at the end of the day do the extra tidying. Also the target manager keeps an eye on the children tidying as they finish playing with the equipment.


We have all full time children but when we had part time we just made sure the afternoon and morning group times were working on the same objectivites.

Hope this is helpful

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Forgot to say that milk and snack(fruit) is avalible all day so the child just come in and help themsevles when they want it. Milk is labelled with names

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I symapthise as I did have this in the past and I know it's a nightmare. Eventually we did get another adult but at the beginning did rely heavily on parental support for picking up dropped paint pots, helping on the computer, putting lids on pens etc:

However our timetable if it helps was

8.55-9.10 carpet hello rhymes/weather etc

9.10-9.30 All children group time - LSL/topic etc:

dren in group time - LSL/numeracy/topic etc

9.30-9.40 snack in their smaller groups with a story etc

9.40-10.50 free flow CIL with one member out and one in (1 trying to do observations which I admit was hard and which finally got us our other adult!)

10.50-11.00 tidy up time - very, very strict on all children helping both outdoor and in and giving rewards for goo tidiers etc:

11.00-11.15 story/sing o r 1 day a week music


It wasn't perfect and very hard work. I am currently looking at free flow snack although maybe on only a couple of days a week as I do like the fact that 1 group sits at a table for snack and we teach conversational skills, how to help give food out, remembering to say please and thankyou etc. Every day good manners which some children just don't get taught at home. We also do another story which can only be an advantage.


Also looking at completely changing in light of flexible hours! Anyway hope this is of some help :o

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We just have 24 children but this will go up to 26 after Christmas. Our children come in at 9.00 and have free play until about 9.25/9.30 (during this time we focus our obs on child initiated). We then have carpet time for about half an hour - this is our focus time when we might discuss what they did over the week-end, what they are going to be doing that night or this week we're looking at dinosaurs. The children are then free to choose from the activities on offer - including snack. From about 10.25 we gradually start to tidy up and the children are encouraged to go outside - usually with one staff member whilst the other puts away snack plates etc. From about 11.00/11.05 we start to come back in have fruit and a story/songs or use IWB to play a game. Parents start coming about 11.20ish - we finish at 11.30. I do feel that we don't really have time to do much apart from trying to encourage children to join in various activities, keeping noise level contained and stopping the squabbles!! I have visited other Nursery's to find out how they manage their day but any changes I try to introduce are met with disapproval (we are suposed to be a foundation stage unit, but the Rec teacher does her own thing - she doesn't like me doing mine!)


Don't know if this is any help what-so-ever but seeing it set out like that makes you aware of where you can change things if you need to!!!

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We have 26 in the morning and 24 in the afternoon, (19 are full time and the others either do A.M 9-12 or PM 12.15 - 3.15). We have a small number of mums who come in on a rota, but not every day. We also have a prefect system at school and the YR 6 children come at break and they help to finish the tidying up which we do with the children. They also come at lunchtime when they play with the children (the school starts at 1.10). we do as many observations as we can, lots of 'anecdotal' obs, but what we can't do we don't do. We can't do two focus activities if there are only two of us in as the other children seem to sense a lack of 'supervision' and take advantage! We vary snack, sometimes it's a snackbar and sometimes we all sit down together after tidying up, sometimes we might have a story or watch something on the computer - basically doubling up on activities!

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Thank you for all of your help and support, as always the EYFSF comes through!


You have all given me some great ideas to go back with to my head and my NN- to try and agree a timetable that works- both for us adults and most importantly the chidlren.


Scarlettangel- thanks for your input and I completely agree will all of your comments. I love constructive criticism- as without it and self evaluation- we would all be doing what was done at the beginning of time! We all have to be thick skinned in this profession.


I have definitely decided that the 'all out' method for outdoors needed to go- especially as there was only one outside and that the chidlren need more free-flow time. We already do a cafe style snack which works, but I will be tweaking with the timetable. I think I will also contact a local AST in Early Years to come and have a look and see what she things.


Thanks again!


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I work with upto 26 in the morning with my TA and up to 13 pm on my own. We provide 'Flexible Delivery' - so some children are there all day every day and some do all mornings or pms (or a mixture of each) and some do odd full days! I find the only way to keep track of who's done what is by keeping a tick sheet of 'Focussed activities'. We have continual snack throughout the sessions. Our sessions run from 9-11.30 then 12.30 - 3. We provide breakfast/afterschoo/lunchtime club.


We run an open door policy from 8.45 - so children are dropped off and free play from then till around 9.15 when we have carpet time/weather/story/singing. I try to get some 'Letters & Sounds' in during the morning too. We go outside (all of us) around 10ish for 20-30 mins depending on weather. Come back in - more story time/PSRN/on carpet - 'free choice/focussed activity'. Then I put the tidy up music on at around 11.10 - the children tidy up and we have another 5-10 minutes on the carpet for stickers etc.


V hard work - I'm new to Early Years so baptism of fire for an NQT!!!!


Really appreciate the help from everyone!



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We are a team of eight people - who complain because they are overworked - perhaps I should print some of these off and have them laying around perhaps enlarge them too.

our routine is:



09.10-09.30 self registration and child initiated play- staff observe


10-11am the doors open for outside and the snack time table opens two members set up and go outside with the children and two staff set up the snack time table the children help each other the older ones help the younger ones wash hands.


11am everyone tidys up both outside and inside


11.10ish depending how messy the room is and how attentive they are

we all sit down for group song time

11.30ish the children go into group time 3-4's work together, 2's work together, each member of staff has 4-5 children each to plan focus activities.


we tidy up again and go into circle time followed by story and home time at 12.30pm


Then we have to put everything away - this includes wall hangings tables, chairs, everything.

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Baby Beat...... How I would love to have 8 adults in my room!How many children would you usually have for a session with 8 adults- and how old are the children?


Chill- in my experience, I would agree with you that maintained settings appear to have less free flow time. When I worked in a private nursery, I would have 2 other adults working with me, and I wasn't being pressured into fitting loads of stuff into a session. Now that I work in a maintained setting, my head is wanting numeracy sessions, literacy sessions, hall time sessions etc and with only 2 staff it means it is easier to sit them all down together.


Update: Spoke to my head today and she is happy for my new timetable to go ahead. Hoorah! Basically consists self registration, group time such as letters and sounds/num for 10 minutes max, and then straight into free-flow. I am no longer doing numeracy everyday as I can justify this through activities throughout the week. The head has even agreed to let the children get messy in the mud and grass provided that they have appropriate clothing.


Thanks for all of your help guys!




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