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Pre-school Routine


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Hi

 

I have been doing this job for many years but need some thoughts on how to structure my 3 hour pre-school sessions. We currently have a very much free flow environment but do stop the children for key group time, which happens early in the session, story time towards the end of session and circle time to say goodbye. Would just like to hear from other sessional settings as to how they run them.

 

Look forward to hearing all responses.

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Guest terrydoo73

Our children come in each morning to the free indoor play time - we have just 2 1/2 hour session each day. This free time lasts for 1 hour and we ask the children when they are finished in an area to tidy away except where another child is continuing to play in the area. The children all have animal symbols and we choose 1 each day to be the leader. The leader is allowed to choose when he has snack and puts his symbol on a little snack chart beside the door. The remaining 9 children then follow with their choice and an adult goes with the first 4 while our volunteer prepares the food and drink necessary. The volunteer then hoovers between the snack table and the main Playroom - usually I remain in the room with the other 6 children and attempt to co-ordinate a group activity but only if feel it is necessary ie if children are contented and playing well in areas then we leave them alone to continue in free play. I usually would wait until the last few children go to the snack table and swap roles with my Deputy. After snack time we give a verbal warning of tidy up time coming. This is usually signalled by flicking our main lights and each child in each area is responsible to tidy up that area. All the children line up with the leader at the front and move out to put on coats and then enjoy outdoor play time for about 1/2 to 3/4 hour depending on snack duration and weather. We try as much as possible to be out every day unless it is pelting down or blowing a real gale or as in these past few days really cold and we noticed the children shivering themselves! When we come back in we move to the reading area where we do rhymes as we have found this works with our children aged just 3. Sometimes we will do a quick story but it has to be short and sweet to keep the attention span. The children do respond well to rhymes and we have a set number added every month with the old ones being returned to again and again. We do have a group activity such as gluing and sticking, painting, floor jigsaw puzzles or games on the odd occasions when the weather has been against us.

 

We have only been open for a year but this pattern is one we established from the beginning and find it has worked. One of our parents questioned the time outside one day but we couldn't understand why as we try to balance both indoor and outdoor time - this parent left us shortly after this comment to a Playgroup who do not offer any outdoor play time as they haven't got the capacity.

 

Hope this helps - will be interesting to read other comments!

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Our session starts at 9.15 when children come in, self register and then choose what they would like to do. At about 9.30 we do a focus group for a few children each day dependent on their 'working towards' sheets. This is done in a separate room. At about 9.40, our messy play opens as does cafe style snack. In warmer weather (because we struggle to heat our building), a section of the garden is also opened at this time.

 

10am - an area is tided and children can choose whether they join in with a singing/music session.

 

10.45 - tidy up - younger children go outside and get a small amount of time outside without the older ones.

- older children have a circle time (split into two groups) - we do counting and then have a short focus session.

 

Older children go out and then at about 11.50, younger children come back in slightly before older and there are two story times (for different ages).

 

12.15 - end of session

 

This is very felxible and based on a group of 28 (2-4 year olds)

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We are open from 9-12 then 12-1 pm or all day.

 

The morning session is like this:

 

9.00 self-register/free-flow between inside and outside.

 

10.15 - 10-45 snack bar is open, after which a member of staff checks nappies/supports toileting

 

11.20 - tidy up time

 

11.30 Circle time, after the initial coming together and large group song, a different group each day are taken to another area of the setting for a PSED small group whilst the remaining children do a Letters and Sounds activity/singing. They all come together again and join in a song or two, then it's story time.

 

12.00 Home time/lunch

 

If there is enough time after snack we might go on the playground or on the school field, depends on how engrossed children are in activities, how snack has gone and whether children have been outside for example on Monday not many children accessed the garden during free-play so we all went outside after snack to find a Mulberry Bush to sing around as it had been such a cold and frosty morning. This time might also be used to explore musical instruments or we might bring a story to life by planning an active drama session around a book.

Edited by Deb
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We have 3 hour sessions with quite a few staying all day.

Children arrive at 8:45 and after self-registering have free play - including outside once the parents have all gone and we have checked the number of children against the register taken by the adult at the door.

Snack gets put out almost straight away as we have several that don't have breakfast.

After a warning and visual reminder of a timer, we stop for group time. Children are only asked to tidy the carpet areas for this so they know they can go back to what they were doing afterwards. If the children have made something like a train track on the carpet, we try and move it out of the way so again, they can carry on later.

Group time is when we work on next steps or address areas that children aren't accessing - for example children that do not choose to go outside may have some outside group times to introduce them to the fun to be had! We are trying a new way of doing this now with each staff member planning for a particular area of learning for the week (there are 6 of us and usually 6 weeks in half a term so it works out nicely!) We discuss these at our weekly meetings and we all write (our own key children) the children identified as needing to do the activities on each other's plans to ensure that the children that most need to work on the adult led activity will be chosen for that group over the week. Hope that makes sense!

After group time they can go back to play until around 11am when those having lunch but going home will be given a warning then sent to wash their hands and sit for lunch. The rest of the children continue to play until 11:25 when they tidy up properly and come to the carpet for a story. Any still eating can still listen.

11:45 the children going home, go home and the others either play, read in the book corner or if they are particularly hungry that day, start their lunch!

We let the afterrnoon children in at 11:55 and after they are in and counted, those having lunch have it and the rest play in and outside. Group time at 1pm. Then snack comes out. Tidy and story at 2:30 then home at 2:55.

 

Phew!

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We have 3 hour sessions with quite a few staying all day.

Children arrive at 8:45 and after self-registering have free play - including outside once the parents have all gone and we have checked the number of children against the register taken by the adult at the door.

Snack gets put out almost straight away as we have several that don't have breakfast.

After a warning and visual reminder of a timer, we stop for group time. Children are only asked to tidy the carpet areas for this so they know they can go back to what they were doing afterwards. If the children have made something like a train track on the carpet, we try and move it out of the way so again, they can carry on later.

Group time is when we work on next steps or address areas that children aren't accessing - for example children that do not choose to go outside may have some outside group times to introduce them to the fun to be had! We are trying a new way of doing this now with each staff member planning for a particular area of learning for the week (there are 6 of us and usually 6 weeks in half a term so it works out nicely!) We discuss these at our weekly meetings and we all write (our own key children) the children identified as needing to do the activities on each other's plans to ensure that the children that most need to work on the adult led activity will be chosen for that group over the week. Hope that makes sense!

After group time they can go back to play until around 11am when those having lunch but going home will be given a warning then sent to wash their hands and sit for lunch. The rest of the children continue to play until 11:25 when they tidy up properly and come to the carpet for a story. Any still eating can still listen.

11:45 the children going home, go home and the others either play, read in the book corner or if they are particularly hungry that day, start their lunch!

We let the afterrnoon children in at 11:55 and after they are in and counted, those having lunch have it and the rest play in and outside. Group time at 1pm. Then snack comes out. Tidy and story at 2:30 then home at 2:55.

 

Phew!

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THanks for the reply. It seems that you are running your sessions very much like ours. What time are you stopping them for group time each morning as this has been a discussion for my team as some are saying that the children have got to involved with their play and we should not stop them.

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