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Motivating Staff


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I know all the theory to motivating staff but need some practical ideas!!


I feel we're in a rut, we've had a year of loads of children, who all very independant and it's suited our setting to have a relaxed free play environment, this has stretched out and rather than being free play with structured activities at times, the sessions is almost all free play with activities there is the children wish to access them, from September we have less children and I would like to structure the session much more, the problem is that we've had changes to staffing in this last year so this will be new to them (they are also new to child care).


Has anyone got any practical ideas how to motivate staff into being more "pro active" in enaging with the children and leading structured activities? I thought about doing a staff training session but if anyone has done this before I could do with ideas how to run this?


many thanks

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Hi darlinbud, well a nice tin of biscuits goes down well with my team. :o No seriously we have also been questioning and evaluating our adult led activities, or what we used to call structured time, which has seriously eroded since the introduction of the EYFS.

Now i personally love the free play aspect of our provision both indoors or out but i do feel the children are missing out on some of our core practice.

So from September we are going to trial for the first 30 minutes free play, then children will ring bells to go into key groups, this is when we will do activities around letter, shape, colour of the week, these will be both indoors or outside. They will last for 10 mins maximum and then back to free play for the rest of the session.

Certainly feel this will aid observations, post its, language focussed activities and fingers crossed be so fantastic that all the children will want to be part of it.

Will let you know how we get on.

As for the staff, they are generally receptive to change if it has been explained and shared with them all.


Good luck. xD

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Do you have learning objectives up for each area/ activity? Doing this can really focus the staff in on what the children are meant to be getting out of the CP and make them encourage more meaningful play. You could maybe give each member of staff an area to focus on each week, not saying that they have to stay in a particular area but ask them to do some observations of that throughout the week. There are loads of ways you could do this, e.g:

-Ask them to focus on and write observations for each of their key children in a particular curriculum area, at least one observation per child for the week. Then the next week, change the focus.

- Give them a particular objective and ask them to observe who is achieving it/ working towards it/ needs support.

however it would fit in best with the way you run things.

Another way I've used in the past of motivating staff is to give them responsibility for setting up and area. you could tell them what outcomes you want and ask them to come up with ways of the children achieving these. then ask the staff member to choose, gather/ make and set up resources in the area. If they've put the work into creating an area, they'll want to make sure the children are using it!

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