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Maintained Nursery Routine/Timetable


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I work in a a maintained nursery with there being just me and the teacher ( we have a volunteer for 1 morning and 1 afternoon each week who does cooking!), so 1:13.


Since our Ofsted put a very heavy focus on EYFS Phonics we are under massive pressure to cram a huge amount into 3 hours. We have children from 3 - 4+, so quite a range. We had always done a group activity, varying each day so sometimes a maths theme, sometimes UW and so on, with a story, then did a phonics phase 1 activity at the end of each session. We did this in 2 groups . so 1 would be those going to school in Sept, and the other our younger children. In between we did free flow in/out with the teacher and I taking turns to be out.

Post Ofsted we are now having to fit a group activity as before, a phonics session for those going to school in Sept ( this has to be in 2 groups as there are a lot of them!), then a story time at the end altogether. This means our free flow time is greatly reduced and I feel that the groups, then phonics are taking up too much of the session leaving too little free flow in/out time. The Head is keen that that doesn't happen, but it is proving impossible to juggle the time usefully


I would be really grateful if anyone in a maintained setting with the same ratio could share their timetable /routine to see if we can improve things.

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I'm in a school Nursery. 2 adults to 26 children

Here's my time-table:

8.45am Wake and shake/rhymes/mouth exercises/number rhymes/phonics songs etc, the quick register, prayer

8.55am - 10.50ish Free-flow. All adults involved in supporting and extending play through CI activities. We occasionally have a focus activity running similtaneously if it works better this way but not usually.

11ish - group times, so split into 2 groups Monday and Tuesday where one group does phonics and the other another activity e.g. music/r.e. Then Wed to Fri we split into 3 groups as have a student and do small-group activities.

11.20ish, gather for whole-class story and letters (which the children won't let me forget!)

If I only had 2 staff all week, I would still do small group activities but split each group into 2 smaller groups and swap (where necessary)

With phonics: I used to do phonics every morning in 2 groups but will leave this until the summer term as I have a group who are ready to start phase 2, just need a bit more practise of aspect 7. (And may not do every morning anyway!) What I did was, go through the letters and sounds document and made a grid to show which activities from the document were incorporated into the daily routine or 'spontaneous' activities, then decided that if the got 1 group phonics session a week for the activities that are better done in a small group I would be covering it well. I also do some of the activities as part of my P.E. warm-up e.g. moving in different ways to different instruments, marching to the beat. Nowhere does it say that they have to do 'a small group phonics activity everyday' just that they have planned phonics opportunities daily. So I make sure that one of our core books each half-term is rhyming etc.

Green Hippo x

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