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Our children self register when they come in and it's free flow play til tidy up time (we are a packaway), so the formal register is done over their heads. But I would like to have a coming together time on the carpet where we say good morning and talk about the day ahead. I know Ofsted are not particularly happy with stopping children in their play to do register. Any thoughts?

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We do register at beginning. Children do self register whilst we wait for everyone to arrive. We use the self reg labels for keeping a check on who has and hasn't had snack. So after self reg there is the few minutes as we wait for all children to arrive. Once last child in and door locked we do real register. Found this helps children learn each other's names, count how any present how many grown ups how many boys how many girls. Sometimes we get to play a game. Depends on how well children will sit. Then the children have the test of the session to play.

Hope this helps.

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Hi annah, could you not start with a short carpet time before they all go off to do their own thing? It is an opportunity to come together - say hello and tell the children some of the choices they can make! The formal register can be done by one person whilst another is leading the Hello Carpet? Maybe? Dont think O can complain too loudly about that! Children do need some order and boundaries to their day!

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hi-our children self register - once in we all sit on the carpet and sing our hello song-a quick chat about what is on offer today then children go into small group,as these are all hands on activities they are all happy - once finished they all go and play. rest of session is free flow except at the end when we come together for song time,then split for story.

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We do register time, as above they self register too and we use that then at snack. Resister is a formal good morning, as we work closely with local schools we have taken on things they have said would be good, also it's when we ignite interest in activity choices doing a quick overview of diff activities. Quick days of week song, count kids and off the younger ones go, older ones have extended group which lasts 5-10 mins extra more 10mins as we get into summer 2.

Do what you need as a setting but whatever you do just be prepared to back it up with why! Just like in all we do x

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We only have the one hall, some days hmm, well most days - our first children come in at 9.15 and it can be 15-20 minutes before the last one arrives and we finally encourage the mums who really like to chat to each other to leave! I can't imagine having a register time during that going on - and I know I could put a stop to it by probably doing a register time, however, as the children come in and they see all the equipment and resources out I really do not feel it is appropriate at that point to call them all to the mat for a register time.

 

The register is taken as the children arrive by me or deputy at the front door and then the children also self register and then go and play. Yes sometimes I would like to explain what's on offer or talk about how there are different things to do but they are just itching to get going and be with their friends I wouldn't stop that for the world.

 

At 11 we call them to the mat to tidy up and then they return to the mat for story time, after which they have snack. Once snack over they are free to play again until we go home.

 

We have not had (touches wood), any problems with children settling in for a very long time, the routine is so simple they get it very quickly. We had one boy start last week he had been elsewhere and had a bad time settling so mum withdrew him from that setting. She was obviously concerned when he began with us 2 days in and he was telling her to go - no problems at all. I attribute their settling quickly as partly due to the fact that they can immediately get on and play and be with their friends.

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Thanks everyone. Panders - we pretty much to do the same, as we found children settle much more quickly if they go straight off to play. But a couple of my staff want to have a formal sit down for register!!

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Thanks everyone. Panders - we pretty much to do the same, as we found children settle much more quickly if they go straight off to play. But a couple of my staff want to have a formal sit down for register!!

Say No! But thinking about wanting to let the children know what is on offer - could you compromise with your staff and set up some kind of board for outside when parents can show children what there is to do today? A series of photographs maybe of resources you are planning using - quite a bit of work initially, but your "register time" staff might be persuaded to "run it".

 

One of my staff suggested moving story time from end of morning to just before snack because one or two were sooo tired at end of morning they weren't getting much out of it or could be disruptive because of their tiredness. This has been an excellent move particularly for those two children. We made more of story time being interactive to keep them interested and I am pleased with the result. We can still have an extra story or singing at the end of the morning if we need it.

 

We very much try to go with the flow if the children are engaged their "sitting time" gets extended a little but if things are going badly we move on at a pace and change what we do.

Edited by Panders
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We do self registration, free play and then welcome time when we all sing good morning to each other and do a short adult led activity. As the group gets bigger, we all sing together as one and split into smaller developmentally appropriate groups for the activity, each group doing a totally different activity dictated by their developmental age and stage and next steps. It's all very informal, but does seem to be working well at the moment. Whole thing is 5 - 10 mins max and then the children move into snack time! No rolling snack I hear you shout in horror!! No, we try it periodically and if it works go with it but at the moment the needs of our cohort of children are best met with a whole group snack. We used to have a more formal register time but scrapped this a number of years ago as we felt that the children gained little from it. Also once we started to take 2 year olds we had to alter our entire routine to meet the developmental needs of all of the children and register time was the first thing to go!!

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The children self register on arrival and we have an open door policy until 9.30, so it's at that point we lock the main door and call everyone to our 'Imagination Room' (a side room off the main hall). We do the call name/good morning, quick count of how many children are here and then any message stars, which is news the children wish to share from home about any significant events or visits they've been on.

 

I have just been on some training with Shonette Bason Wood and she has a 'menu for play' at the start of the day which picks out a few of the key areas that you want the children to play with or just be aware of (maybe topic related, adult focused, an area where you have identified a gap or a new provocation you have set up - whatever you do in your setting) You ask each child in turn what they would like to play with and they all have a turn at either one word answers or longer sentences, depending on their age. It doesn't last very long and helps the children to be part of conversations, turn taking and also gives them a focus on what is available for them to play with (as well as all the other continuous provision etc) We've bought blow up microphones and 'interview' the children - it's been very funny this week but also very productive as all the children came out of the room and went straight to an activity (it doesn't matter if it's the one they chose or not) so there was a lot of focus and not a lot of mooching/flitting around.

 

It's all new, so I'm keeping an eye on the time it takes as we got picked up on the length of time our register was taking when we had an LA audit as we did register, head counting, message stars, bit more chatting...., but as someone else said, if you are secure in your reasons for doing a register or group time, Ofsted can't really argue with that.

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Our children self register whilst I get the parents to sign them in on the 'proper' register. We then have free play whilst waiting for the stragglers to turn up then have a quick circle time, sing the days of the week song, do the weather board and talk about what is out for them to do then off they go.

 

I do like the idea of having a focussed time after the circle time so will be suggesting this tomorrow.

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annah there is no need to self register or gather everyone together. For us neither of these things work. I have a lot of children with eal and sen and to put them under pressure to answer questions in a group of 30 is not appropriate in my setting. Self registration is often about teaching the children to recognise their names....there are plenty of other ways to do this! we open at 8.30 and we still have parents dropping off at 9 or even later (as we have one commuting at the mo!) so trying to get everyone together at the beginning of the day just won't happen. Do what is right for your setting and your children and ofsted will be very happy (we're outstanding and self registration was not even touched on!) go with your ethos ;)

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I can't say I'm overly keen on formal registers because it can put a lot of pressure on children, can take a long time (especially if you're young!) and I don't really see the benefits - or certainly none that outweigh the free-play they would otherwise be having.

That being said, I do like the occassional group/circle time and feel it can be very beneficial when lead properly. But only if children are encouraged to join, not forced

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Say No! But thinking about wanting to let the children know what is on offer - could you compromise with your staff and set up some kind of board for outside when parents can show children what there is to do today? A series of photographs maybe of resources you are planning using - quite a bit of work initially, but your "register time" staff might be persuaded to "run it".

 

One of my staff suggested moving story time from end of morning to just before snack because one or two were sooo tired at end of morning they weren't getting much out of it or could be disruptive because of their tiredness. This has been an excellent move particularly for those two children. We made more of story time being interactive to keep them interested and I am pleased with the result. We can still have an extra story or singing at the end of the morning if we need it.

 

We very much try to go with the flow if the children are engaged their "sitting time" gets extended a little but if things are going badly we move on at a pace and change what we do.

 

some great ideas there thank you!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

a great discussion here. we have self registration, free play and once everyone is in there is a formal register.i am more in favour of doing the hello song (in the different languages of the children that attend) but the room leader pushes for the formal register as this is what happens in school and many are off to school this year, which i think is fine and hopefully justifiable tot Ofsted but she does them in the morning and afternoon :/.

 

Would it be too much to do the hello song and formal register in the morning? followed by activities on offer.

 

i have also suggested using a musical aid like a tambourine to signal transition tot he carpet but was told "the children are not animals" i.e we shouldn't herd them in that way.

 

any thoughts?

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Well I'm with you Salus but it does perhaps depend upon the setting you are in, we are quite laid back about most things and do not have (my favourite word STRUCTURE) as many of our competitors do. The "S" word seems to resound with parents.

 

We use a signal for carpet time . I give a five minutes to tidy up time warning - not that it means much to the children I'm sure, then we turn the lights out, briefly, they immediately stop what they are doing - it's uncanny - then come to the carpet quite independently and without any fuss, (important I think if you need to gain control of all the children quickly for some reason). We then tidy up and someone is chosen to ring the bell for storytime and again they all know that's when they return to the carpet area.

 

I personally take the formal register as the children arrive (entering time of arrival too which is an Ofsted must), then they go into the hall to self register, I don't really see the need to prepare children for a formal sit down register which is something that will happen maybe 18 months away - I often feel we prepare too much and that we should leave some experiences to do with the early days of school to be new and fresh to the children, if they have "been there and done it all" how boring things will be for them.

 

How much nicer to sing hellos and sign hellos, and if it is a different group in the afternoon - by all means another register time, but if it's the same, why bother - do something else at that time

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