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Routines


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free flow is when the children can move around your setting freely choosing what they want to engage with, hopefully choosing to learn and play indoors and outside.

 

there should be lots of open ended activities to choose from .... maybe you call it something else

 

VeeCee

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Might be called something different in different areas?

 

Its where the children arent seperated into rooms/groups ie 2-3 years and 3-4 years they all have free access across the nursery during the whole session.

 

We used to group our children and are finding this quite hard to have them going between rooms as the little ones just seem to charge around the place?

 

Our routines used to be quite set

 

Ie 9-9.30 circle time and register

9.30-10 exercises brain gym boogi beebies

etc

 

 

This is so hard when children are accessing both rooms its quite hectic! Routines seem to be out of the window!

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oh good yes we do .

got me a bit worried then!!

however on another post Sharonash said that she had been told to forget the long/med term plans and just plan for free flow???

is this right sharonash??

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Yes thats right Im just so confused?

 

We had Long term plan that covered topics events and festvals.It also showed ELGS tded to cover over the year.

A medium term plan that showed stepping stones that we were covering by focus activities?

Now we have nothing apart from a calender of events which shows festivals visitors and events.

 

 

I feel I am starting all over again and getting nowhere!

 

What do you have?

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I've found that 'routine' has to be planned differently for different children ( just to confuse you all a bit more :o )

ie: My basic routine, say for a child who stays all day 8:45 - 15:15

arrive, eat lunch, go home. This happens in the same sequence every day at the same time.

 

What happens in between these times is directed by the children. Yes we plan to have a welcome time ( circle), a story, a walk, a focus activity, some singing, some physical excercise. However these sometimes fall into a set sequence, but not always, for example if the children are totally engrossed in their 'spontaneous play' at the start of the session, i do not stop them to come into a circle to say hello, it disrupts what is good purposeful play. We always plan to go for a walk allowing time to get back before 11:45 ( morning only pick up time) sometimes we leave the preschool at 9:30 and are out until 11:15, sometimes we are only out for 30 mins, depends if we are doing the snack bar shopping, visiting the beach or the park.

If children are engrossed in play, I don't always stop for a 'group' story, sometimes the groups are split and the young ones have a story in a seperate room whilst the older ones play and vise versa, or they have 1-1 story with an adult throughout the day. depends on which children are in what day, what they show they need, ie: Mondays children tend to need lots of outdoor play, gross motor movement ( possibly a weekend spent indoors)

 

I have some children who need a very structured routine to their day, a visual timetables that directs what sequence of activitie they will do over a period of an hour.

 

It is complicated, not all black and white, my principle is to Plan the routine around the child and not the child having to conform to an adult routine.

The majority of the children respond very well to a start, middle and end. We do find that this ethos helps children to 'cope' with the unexpected, ie: fire drill, visitors, even changing from lunch around the table to lunch outdoors as a picnic, they all take in their stride.

 

Peggy

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I don't think it's a good idea to have no medium term plans in place at all. We sketch out a basic theme for the term and plot out some key points as 'Possible Developments'. In the absence of the children taking us elsewhere with their own interests it gives us a base on which to hang our activities. When we return after half-term we will do some activities based around Eid as it will have been a recent important experience for quite a few of our children. Likewise we will encourage children to record their experiences of firework night the week after. However if children return and want show a huge interest in something completely different then we will go with that. Sometimes we stick quite closely to our plans, sometimes we end up having done less than half. What it enables us to do is to highlight the skills and knowledge we want our children to develop but is flexible enough for us to adapt to children's interests. Often we can get over those skills and knowledge in a different way, which engages the children more.

 

I think it's dangerous simply to work from the children. It's about striking a balance between working from the children and giving them planned new experiences. If you've never experienced something you don't know whether you like it or not or if it interests you. WHat you should not do is keep to an adult agenda if the children are not enjoying it.

Balance is a good word. Sometimes the balance will be towards the children's interest's sometimes the adult's. When things go well, the adults introduce something and the children then take it to unexpected places. That's part of the joy of teaching for me.

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Thank you x

 

The problem has been too many different people cming in yes we have had ofsted who want to see rigid, then we have had several stand ins from Early Years whom seem to be saying different things! and then our college tutors who are saying they are teaching students -(NVQs ) on Long medium and short termplanning.

Even our viusla timetable isnt relevant anymore because the children are doing sooo many different things!

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Hi - it's so reassuring to hear that other settings have the same problems as we do!! We have torn our hair out a times by being told totally different things by OFSTED, Early Years advisors etc, and it always appears to contradict what parents, children and common sense tell you.

I think that we have come to the conclusion that as long as we can justify our point of view, we must be right!!!

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Currently in a state of utter confusion with regard to planning, as I'm fed up of spending soooo many hours planning to an LEA proforma, but finding that planned activities aren't being covered, because there is so much more to gain from children's ideas. Loved the idea of identifying only skills and knowledge and then taking a retrospective look to identify how these have been achieved, and next steps. Still it can be a bit scary to have such an open ended approach....

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