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New to EYFS and struggling with everything!


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This is going to be difficult to explain without seeing my setting but here goes!

I am a NQT (not early years trained) I applied for a year 2 position in an east London school and somehow winded up in the school Nursery when I came to start work.

I wasn't phased at the time, just relieved to have a job I guess! So I went for it with all the enthusiasm I could gather!

So I am in a 56 place nursery, the children are split into two sessions, they are 3+ with many EAL and a few SEN.

I have a team, myself, a level 3 and a level 2.

The area is huge! Enormous outdoor garden with all sorts of aparatus, a big carpeted space with home corner, writing area ets and a big messy space with sand, toilets the works.

I dont know how to split the area, I cant really split it three ways as I have to do the carpet sessions in the morning, and I cant spend the whole day on the garden or I would not have a good understanding of what is happening inside. I am struggling because I am not experienced in any of this and it's so overwhelming!

At the moment I do the carpet session when the chn arrive, they sit for 7-10 mins with me, we dance, say hello, do a visual time table and I send them off to do groups (my NN and myself take half each to do phonics/counting for a further ten minutes) then they have free choice. During the session I seem to float between all three areas to oversee what is happening as well as observe focus chn etc, I do interventions during the session for EAL/SEN. then there is the mad dash between sessions to clean and prepare for the afternoons.


Any suggestions as to how I split my time/staff in this huge space would be very welcome! How do others manage their areas?

Thanks in advance

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Hi and welcome to the forum and early years!!

It is difficult to offer an opinion when I don't know the setting the children or the staff. . . . . . .

It sounds like you are really lucky to have a big indoor space and lots of outdoor space too. You are onto a winner already!!!!!

Are the children split into two groups of 28?

If so three staff for 28 is good (and legal) we used to have 26 children with 2 of us.

With two of us we had one "float" and one doing the focused activity. . . . or that was how it was supposed to go. This went by the by with anyone upset, needing changing etc.

The float meandered between in and outdoors.

What did the staff do before you arrived? Did they think that worked?

We don't get the children to sit as soon as they arrive because there are always late comers and this would mean too long to sit for our new children. We play for a small while then come together for register and activate. 5 mins ish. Then we have free play. Then child initiated/ adult initiated or adult led activities. We come back together to tidy up and get our "work" from the home box before we have lunch.

Perhaps you could ask to visit some local nurseries to see what they do just to give you some ideas?

Sorry I haven't been very helpful!!!! x x x

Edited by Scarlettangel
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we are similar to you. got 31 between 3. we have free play when they come in, as like scarlettangel we have children arriving up to 15 minutes late. also it seems a shame to sit straight down when they are excited to be busy. then we have freeflow in and out and 1 adult out,1 in messy room with snack bar and other floats where more children are. we each have a week out, and a week in messy room and a week in other room. this works out fairly and we can follow up interests next day if we are in same room, and add enhancements. we have group time - teaching session -10.45, in key groups with key worker. then all in after this, just to ensure all children have some time inside, and we can get our activities done. we each do an adult-led activity at a time of choosing in the week. and at end of morning we do a story then rhyme session in key groups with key worker. then all to one room for goodbye song and chat/give out wows etc. if i were you i would get floater to do interventions in group time or story session or during session. then you would do every 3rd week as you would be floater!

hope this helps - it's a different set up in nursery but totally fab!!

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