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pre school / nursery timetable full time


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I'm new to teaching preschool as I have previously taught Year One for the last 6 years. My children range from 2 years and 8 months and 3 years and 5 months. They are at school fulltime.

Please could you look at my timetable and give suggestions. I should also mention I teach in Egypt which is why there are Arabic lessons.


This is the basic timetable:

8am-8.40am - free choice play inside

8.40am-9am - Phonics (currently doing phase 1 activities)

9am-9.20am - breakfast

9.20-10am - Arabic

10-11am - free choice play outside and focussed tasks inside

11-11.20am maths

11.20-12 lunchtime

12-12.30 nap / rest time - I am thinking of changing this as nobody actually naps or seems to want to lie down quietly!

12.30-1pm free choice play - inside or outside

1-1.20 - circle time - songs / stories etc

1.20-1.50 bikes

1.50 hometime


On one day it is the same except we do 'write dance' at 9.20-10am instead of Arabic and at 12.40-1.20 we have PE.

On another day we have music at 8.40-9am with a specialist teacher and another day we have assembly.


Thanksin advance

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Hi, your timetable looks a bit strict for that age children with not as much free play as we would have in a UK nursery. 40 minutes of arabic, 20 of maths and phonics is quite a long time for children of this age to focus on each day. How many children do you have and how many staff as I was just wondering if you could be more flexible and allow children to access self service snack for example and include your phonic and maths work as part of your continuous provision so that more time could be spent on free play and following the individual chidlrens interests. Just my opinion of course and I obviously don't know what curriculum constraints you are under in Egypt but as you are asking the question I am assuming that you may not be comfortable with your timetable either

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thanks for the quick reply. I'm not entirely happy with the timetable as like you said I don't feel like they get to play enough. We are a British school so follow the british curriculum. It is a private school and the parents are quite pushy. We are expected to teach some maths and english / phonics a day. Although it is down as 20 mins on my timetable, in reality we only spend about 10 mins on phonics and maths as I feel this is all they are capable of at the moment.

In regards to the self service snack, although I think this is a good idea the children here are not as independent as in the UK. If it was self service many children wouldn't eat anything and some children are not able to feed themselves. I have one child who will not eat anything unless she is fed!

This is why I like them all sitting down together eating, I also eat with them, so that they can show good eating habits.


Do you think I should have a nap time. At the moment I find it quite stressful as nobody wants to nap. Should I just cut it out and let them go and play once they have finished eating. Some children only take 15 mins to eat whereas others take over an hour!


I feel like they should have a nap but nobody sleeps. So far only 3 children have slept on seperate occassions. I could offer naps to those who want it but send the other children outside to play. What do you think?


I only have 12 children at the moment and 2 full time members of staff plus myself.

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It's not easy is it with how long some can take to eat lunch.....our children are 2-5yrs and they never have a nap (on the very rare occasion someone has gone to sleep during preschool is because they,re not 100%) we stagger our staff over lunch time so wouldn't be able to let them go back outside straight away (would that cause ratio probs with only 3 staff and when do they have their lunch break - maybe you have diff employment regs to us) once a few have finished they can leave the tables and either go into book corner or a floor mat and choose games or puzzles from the shelf.....anything more exciting causes the ones not finished to decide they don't want the rest of their lunch :/

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we don't have nap time, we have sleep mats available and children can access them if they want to sleep, I feel part of my role as an early eyars practitioner is to encourage independence. Lunch is 12.30 til 1 and the children can clear their lunch away and play at quiet activities until everyone has finished and then full free flow recommences. Some of my children are only 2years old but we encourage them to be independent at snack time too and they soon get the hang of it when 1. they realise no one is going to feed them ( but someone is always there for support) and 2. they can do it themselves. I think we all have our share of pushy parents but as a professional, once I have shown them how much maths and phonics they are learning within their everyday play they are fine with our timetable, we also have some weeks where our focus is on maths/ language/ art etc and this again shows that we do spend time on these skills

Edited by max321
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Here's my timetable if it helps


8.40 free play

8.50 register

9.00 PE, library, computers or music (dependant on day)

9.40 free play

11.25 tidy up

11.30 story/singing/chatting.

11.40 lunch

12.40 next session begins


Hope that helps



Snack is free flow throughout the session. During free play is where we join in and help the children to move on.

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In all our groups we basically free play all day - the Pre-school group does this on a free flow basis between indoors and outdoors. There are plenty of planned and adult-led activities going on as part of the provision during free play. We all tend to sit down in our groups at about 10ish for a story and singing, lunch at 12, milk and biscuit at 2ish and tea at 4. The younger children can nap after lunch if they need to but it isn't compulsory ;) The pre-school group (older 3 year olds) will do letters and sounds activities and circle time discussions but the 2 year olds just about manage a story tbh!

My advice would be to relax things a little. Offer maths and phonics if you need to but as part of the daily provision rather than a sit-down activity. Make it more play-based.

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