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Daily routines in pre-schools

(10 Posts)
birchykel Thu 13-Aug-09 20:20:41

I work in a pre-school and have done for 3 years, I love it and really have the childrens needs, wants and interests at heart. Recently though I feel the session is not how it should be and wondered if anyone could give me an example of how their pre-school sessions run?

Our children come in, find their names and put them up, go and play for a bit. bell is then rang and children sit where ever they are hands in lap (ideally) and names called. Then they continue playing. after hour and half of play we tidy up, have circle time in 2 groups where one does a story or songs, ring games etc and the other does letters and sounds then we change over. then theres snack and home time. register and home time are difficult for me,home time is crazy, people talking over children etc drives me mad.

Any help would be great, ideas on how the sesion could run smoother would be good too.


MegGriffin Thu 13-Aug-09 22:02:16

Hello birchykel. When the children arrive at our setting, we take the register as they enter. They then are free to play with any activity of their choosing. We have a rolling snack bar so the children can have their snack when they want it. This works very well as some children are starving very early on and others prefer to have a snack later. When they have their snack they self register by finding their name and sticking it on a board. We try and free flow inside/outside as early on in the session as possible subject to weather. About twenty minutes before home time we tidy up and have story/song time. This seems to work well for us and it means the children are not made to sit for too long which some find very difficult.
Of course every setting is different and what works for one does not work for another. HTH

birchykel Fri 14-Aug-09 08:51:50

Hi megGriffin, thanx for reply.
You say you take the register as the children enter, how does that work then? sounds good.
We did try the snack bar but we found some children were not having snack so staff didnt want to do this anymore.
Your session sounds as though it flows lovely.
Thanx again

MegGriffin Fri 14-Aug-09 16:00:38

Hello again.
When the parents enter we have two people on the door. One has the diary and one has the register. The register is marked off as the children enter. The legal requirement is to have a register to mark who is absent/present etc but you do not have to 'take' the register if you see what I mean. We find that the door is also secure to stop escaping children as there are two of us watching.
The key for a successful session for us is allowing the children to make their own choices and to allow for continuous play with as little interuptions as possible. There will always be one or two children who don't have a snack some days but mostly they do. If they don't want a snack we encourage them to have a drink.
I have often thought if there is any way I could change the way the session is run but it seems to work for us really well although I am very open to suggestions etc

birchykel Fri 14-Aug-09 21:07:13

Thanks again, sounds like a good plan.
The way we do it seems a waste really, We have one person at the desk in the lobby for parents to sign their child in and another person at the door (as we have a middle door) making sure no children go out without their parent/carer. The children put their name tag up on our clown and then go off to play for awhile. We ring the bell when all children are in and we ask the children to stop and sit where they are while register is taken. so its kinda like we dont need to if the parents have signed them in??
Then they go off and play again, which if free play, they choose their own activities etc, inside and out. then after hour and half of this the bell is rang again for tidy up time and then they children do the letters and sounds activity, songs etc then wash hands for snack time then its home time. Does this seem like their sitting too long? I dont know if we need to do letters and sounds, if its an Ofsted requirement? I see how you run things and ive heard of others running better and i think we are sitting too much (well the children).
Thanks for your help though, sorry im ranting on I just feel like im not happy anymore and i love working with children.

take care
K. x

UniS Mon 17-Aug-09 20:11:22

preschool my DS has been at 1 term. Has own building, playground and garden. Is in a city.

kids come in, hang coats up etc and go to sit on "carpet" parents deal with lunch club moneys etc with one staff memeber, another is on teh door, another is on the carpet. kids spend up to 30 mins on carpet doing register, finding name tags, counting who is there, who is staying for lunch etc, show n tell, chat about a theme or what ever.

Then free play indoors and out, a tidy up time, snack at tables, more freeplay. Some days one of teh freeplay sessions is instead a group activity for some or all teh kids. , maybe gardening or a craft activity, or music. some days they have a story, some days not. Story more likely on wet days , dry ones they seem to be out side as much as possible.

Their daily number work does seem to be paying off, DS is now quite confident counting and recognising numbers up to about 20.

The preschool DS will be going to after we move is VERY different. mornings only in village hall, so all has to be packed away at end of morning. No out door space at all.

Children arrive and are signed in by parent. then typically, free play inc climbing frame indoors. snack time , group game or activty at tables ,story time and register, circle time etc, while all equipment is put away to leave hall clear for a final 15 mins of physical activity of some sort. I love it when they bring out a duvet FULL of foam footballs and a mad mass kick about ensues.

So i guess what works in one setting won't in another. No out door time would be a big turn off if my lad were there all day, but for mornings only I'm fine about it.

MegGriffin Tue 18-Aug-09 18:49:55

Hello birchykel
A lot of the delivery of letters and sounds takes place during the session without you even realising. Musical instruments for rhythm, songs and stories for rhyming. Clapping out their names and so on. Sounding out things as you go along "shall we put our c c coat on? etc. There is a publication for 'phase one' letters and sounds which has got some really good ideas in it.

birchykel Tue 18-Aug-09 21:13:30

Yes I think I have that publication, maybe our team has gone a little over the top with letters and sounds, we have made it so its a last activity but I think I may suggest scrapping it and encouraging staff to involve it during play and like you said. There is def alot for me to think about, so thanx everyone for replies.


MegGriffin Tue 18-Aug-09 22:12:07

I know it's really tough to get the balance right. I think the key is keeping any group activities that require sitting at a sensible amount of time that is achievable for little ones. Good luck smile

birchykel Wed 19-Aug-09 08:40:19

Cheers MegGriffin. xx

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