The daily routine
When children arrive for their session, they are welcomed by a member of staff, in most cases this is their key worker. The key worker system enables the children to feel secure and to develop positive relationships, which in turn encourages learning and development. Throughout the daily routine children are given opportunities to rest or sleep as required with parental guidance. As a setting, we firmly believe in learning through play, so throughout the day it is predominately free flow with indoor and outdoor sessions, however key workers incorporate some focused adult led activities these are more structured and are planned for using the children’s personal plans and Individual Education plans and follow the children’s interests. These activities are punctuated by meals. Even adult led activities are flexible and can also be initiated by the children. We promote good health and hygiene practices such as cleaning teeth after meals and hand washing. We talk about how drinking water makes our tummies work and how milk makes our bones strong. We also encourage the children to be aware of their environment and teach them to be respectful, by recycling and energy saving where possible. The Personal, Social and emotional elements of the EYFS plays a huge part in laying firm foundations for the children therefore through example we encourage the children to contribute to the community and to be respectful to each other, therefore preparing them with essential life skills.
A sample of the daily routine
Set out below is an example of how a typical day at nursery runs, but those people who have worked with young children or indeed have young children of their own will know that each day is different and unpredictable. The day is led by the combination of children that attend each day, their ages and the interests of the children. The routine is important but also flexibility and opportunity are key factors which we always try to consider. Each child is unique and has their own individual needs and the key worker system allows us to accommodate and meet their needs.
Children are welcomed into the nursery. The room is set up for free play.
8am - 9am
Free play: resources’ and activities are set up ready for when your child arrives. These are inviting to engage your child in play. The activities and resources are chosen with the children who are attending that session in mind. Children can play outside if they wish.
Tidy up time and hand washing. Children take turns to ring the ‘tidy up bell’ and everyone sings and ‘signs’ the tidy up song. Children are encouraged to help their key-worker with tidying up. In small groups children are then supported through the bathroom and to wash their hands.
9.10am - 9.30am
Snack time. Children sit at tables with their key-worker and in family groups. Children are offered a variety of foods dependant on the day, from cereal, toast, croissants, and fruit, with a drink of water, milk or fruit juice. The key worker may also do a pre planned activity with the group such as a floor puzzle, game or colour work. This is a very social time for lots of conversations, also ‘show and tell’, the weather chart and the visual time table.
9.30am - 11.15am
Small groups of children engage with planned activities with their key-workers, this could be inside or outside. We are fortunate enough to have an undercover area in the garden which lends itself to outside play whatever the weather. There is also an element of free flow play happening. The activities are often linked to ‘our new experiences’ or to our ‘Talk for writing story’. Or it might be to meet children’s personal plans or schemas. Cooking is offered as an activity at least twice a week and regular music and movements sessions take place. All activities will support children towards the 7 areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. Outdoor play, mark-making, creative and small world, construction, books, puzzles and malleable activities are available throughout the day.
11.15am - 11.25am
Tidy up time.
11.15am - 11.45am
Children are grouped into ages, ‘The bunnies (under 2’s), ‘The squirrels (2-3 year olds) and ‘The wise owls’ (3-4 year olds) The children then enjoy, a story, song or circle time while the room is set up for lunch.
11.45am - 12.45pm
A 2 course cooked lunch is served with healthy choices available. Children are seated in small mixed age groups with an adult at each table. This is a time for social interaction.
The children then visit the bathroom for toileting, nappy changes and teeth cleaning. Nappies are changed throughout the day as required. Children are encouraged to wash hands before meals and after visiting the bathroom throughout the day to promote good hygiene practices.
1.00pm - 2.00pm
The morning session ends and the afternoon session begin at 1pm. quieter activities are pursued as some of the children are sleeping. Sleeping routines are flexible and we are guided by the child and parental requests. The pre-school group have planned activities and quiet time for the children that are not sleeping; this could be ‘Read, write Inc phonics, time to look at the visual timetable again and the ‘letter of the week’.
Free flow play indoors and out with selected groups taking part in activities, cooking, music and movement, musical instruments, planting and growing activities, plus a varied toy selection. There is also a cafe style snack of fresh fruit being served.
3.45pm - 4.15pm
Time for high tea, children sit in small groups with an adult at the tables; children eat and drink and have the opportunity to recollect the events of the day.
4.15pm - 5.45pm
We have continued indoor and outdoor play, free flow and quieter adult led activities: listening to cd’s, stories, games, small world and construction until the children go home. Babies have the events of the day recorded in their daily log book and the older children’s parents have verbal feedback from their key workers.