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If you are a mixed age setting could you discuss you daily routine?


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We are an open plan setting and are struggling with the influx of 2 year olds coming in at the moment. We are trying to cope with the nappies, toileting and extra supervision/ comforting some may require on top of providing a learning and challenging environment to help meet the needs of our 3 and 4 years old and snack and outdoor play plus senco. Our group times are a mess as we are struggling to find a balance between adult led and free play. We normally do registration that lasts 5/10mins followed by splitting into age groups for a group activity. Some staff have complained this is too long. We then group together before lunch and after to do a group activity then again before home time. Show we doing whole group times or splitting them up al the time?? We keep getting told different things and we have lost our routine and structure :-(

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We do similar to you, but after a short registration we just go straight to free play. We don't do 'group activities' as such anymore, just focus activities that are carried out with small groups throughout the session.

 

We do have to come together at the end of session for whole group story/songtime though - as we have to clear the hall and be out straight after the children go.

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We stop for 5 to 10 minutes for Hello time at 9.30am but split into 3 separates groups. . Free flow inside / outside including snack until 11am. Then a whole group circle time (apart from Monday when approximately half are younger so we split) All outside after circle. 11.40 tidy up and story.

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We have lost group time at the moment. Straight into free play/continuous provision. Children who need extra support will work with SENCO on interventions. Door to outdoor area open 9.45ish. Snack begins 10ish. 11.30 tidy-up then come together for singing and story time. Lunch 12 and some children go home. The key word in our daily routines is 'ish'. It's taken us a while to realise that we have to be flexible in order to meet the needs of all ages of children. The other thing is if it doesn't work dont be afraid to change it. We use afternoons to give extra time and support to the older children - old rising fives!

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We recently changed to free play until 9.30 - then quick registration with staff supporting the younger children, then focused groups (only 2x4 children) the rest continue with free play. We are finding it works well, snack is cafe and the 2 yr olds cope well - it can be difficult with nappy runs etc but the 2 yr olds seem to settle well into the routine.

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We have 2 groups

Red Group - our 3/4s keep coats on and after self registration - go straight outside with 2 staff and have directed Physical Play! -

Races, Team games or something like Going on a Bear Hunt! Lots of moving (to wear them out)! :) Rain or shine. for 20 mins or so.

 

Blue Group come to a carpet, self register by posting their names. We all hold hands ands sing - Will you be my friend? Then pretty much go off to choose their play. This gives them time to access all the lovely resources in relative calm before Red Group come in!

 

Then its free chaos - sorry play - and during this time small communication groups are done or sen support 1-1

 

Staff are pretty much on the move all morning - going to where we are needed - Teaching in the Moment!

 

Snack - runs 10-10.30ish - take it or leave it. Little ones like the sit down :)

 

In good weather we are freeflow so that takes the pressure off and in wet and colder days we all go out to play about 11.30ish and one or two staff stay in to packaway, clear the room and if there's time we may have a couple of circle games before hometime.

 

Sounds fab written down does'nt it.........

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Can I ask how many staff you have each day?? The most children we have is 24. We then normally have 5 staff but then one of these maybe out to do key time. We do a cafe snack at 10 til 10.30ish time we have cleaned and tided and the the last few have finished. We then do nappies which takes two staff members leaving just two other staff with the children which is fine if they all want to play in one area.

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We split into 2 groups for registration those leaving for reception are one group and then the younger ones stay together

then it's free play for all, plus we do focus groups depending on ability, no more than 4 ch to 1 adult

We have song time, snack time and story time altogether as we have to readjust the room or packaway at the end and this can only be done when all are sitting together in a group.

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Children arrive at 9 , self registration

Free play until 9.30 , register length dependent on age group , attention etc , having been doing puppet story this week so has kept them engaged for longer

Snack - rolling or group depending on number of children

Nappy changing - 1 member of staff as per rota

Free play until 11.15 inside and out - tidy up time for all

 

Group activities split into younger/ older

 

Lunch at 12 - some come in and some go

Continue with afternoon session

 

Key group time / tapestry time rota , staff use common sense as to when best to do this .

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We open at 8:45 and straight into CP free play. We all get together briefly for a song and the register then back to free play. This is when any focussed activities that are needed are done, any SEN intervention etc. We now snack in our key groups and these are done from 10 am. Then its tidy up time and we all go outside. We then all come together at the end of the day for a story, songs etc.

We find it increasingly hard to meet the varied age range needs hence the less structure in our daily routine. I do find it so frustrating when I am with an older child and have to be pulled away to control the two year olds and the destruction that they can cause!

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We don't do registration (well we do but the children don't.....I don't see the point now...I did it for years I wouldn't go back!)

Free play for us in and out until half an hour before the end then we settle down...those children having trouble accessing this are taken in to the small room to do small group language or behaviour stuff. Everything else is done during the session

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Soooo comforting to know that it is not just our setting that has the same days as everyone on here....with 2 year olds ....I have a seperate room for 2 year olds...built last year but not used as such...just

as an overspill now...but when i finally get extra staff I shall def have as 2 year old room...esp after yesterday...manager finishing off a learning journey for child returning to America...turned her back to answer the phone..and an enthusiastic 2 year old practiced his 'mark-making' on her work.....

enough said ....has worked fine with mixed ages for 11 years since opening but recently the behaviour of the childern in general is not so respecful to their parents,friends,us or the resources...does anyone

else feel this is the case ?

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Yes absolute tosh we have some children aged 2 to 4 years but they are all very very young children. Even some of 4 year olds have tantrums whilst 2 year olds seem to wonder around getting into mischief. Some days we seem to have more 2 year olds then 3 and 4 years olds :-/ Today I sat down with my older children doing some craft but had to constantly intervene with the 2 years throwing sand, flooding the floor or falling off chairs. When you say focused activities can I ask what you mean??? I've only worked in this pre school and to be honest they haven't moved with the times. Children have access to the toys although we have to reduce resources due to making some much mess. We do group times splitting the 4 year olds, 3 year olds and 2 years. I'm just confused by it all and what we are doing. My managers don't seem to have a clue either.

I'm just not sure what continuos provision is or when you say focused activities is this linked to your topic???

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