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Preschool/playschool/playgroup workers/parents? Whats the routine?

16 replies

lunavix · 09/01/2006 23:00

When I've phoned two preschools (where they take 2.5+ year olds in case of confusion!) one was quite short with me and just talked about fees. The other was quite in depth about routines in their preschool. This has fascinated me, can someone tell me their preschool routine?

The lady said to me: they start with a story as everyone arrive, then they do the day and weather. Then she tells them about the day ie what will happen. Then they do an arty activity. Then they have a snack and drink. Then they do a learning activity. Then they go home (lunchtime) as the preschool only does mornings.

What about in your preschool or nursery?

OP posts:
helsi · 09/01/2006 23:03

I had a vist from my nursery as DD starts there on wednesday as she has just turned 3 - it is a school one not a private one BTW.

The teacher came armed with a great book with photos detailing what activities they do and how they stimulate/develop etc the children. she also explained how they fit into the first stages on learning when the children start school.

kid · 09/01/2006 23:05

DS's nursery is very structured. They all sit on the carpet for the register. Then they do the day of the week and the weather. The teacher then tells the children what activities are out. After a playing session, all of the children help tidy up (even DS!) and they gather for a snack (drink and piece of fruit) and then its playtime. Some more activites after playtime, then a story then lunchtime. Same sort of routine in the afternoon when the afternoon children arrive.

Hattie05 · 09/01/2006 23:12

When the children arrive they sit at their 'group' table with the keyworker for that group of about 5 children. They draw and discuss what activities they want to do that day.
Then they have register on the carpet, story and get to show something they have brought in from home.
Then its free play - where they have access to everything sand, water, painting, and good selection of toys which are different each day.
Then the book corner comes out and they can read books and choose one to bring home.
Then they have break time.
Then its a choice to play in garden or indoors, and often they will get out the large climbing frame.
Then singing on carpet before going home!

The older children get taken out for part of the morning to do a structure activity.

bobbybobbobbingalong · 09/01/2006 23:55

If it sways you at all the whole of NZ has an early years curriculum that is founded on the concept of child led play.

I'm all for one mat time am and pm, as it means the other staff can get out morning tea etc. but ds would go insane if he was forced to do art every day as he is absolutely not interested (mildly interested if glitter is mentioned).

Some kids wouldn't like the amount of sitting down that this routine involves.

Do they get to run around outside, dig in a sandpit etc?

I think you need to visit both places and see which your ds would be happiest at.

sinclair · 11/01/2006 10:07

Definitely say go for the option that allows free play rather than structured - but that might just be my kids! DS spends 2 hours running around in the garden but understands that when it's 'group time' he has to sit still and listen. DD was more home corner/music instruments but still enjoyed exploring it all on her own timetable. Depends on what's on offer and what you think your children would get most out of I think.

coppertop · 11/01/2006 10:31

At ds2's pre-school they start the day by sitting on the carpet for the register and to listen to any news etc. They are then free to go and choose any of the activities that have been set out that morning (these will vary each day). Although it is essentially free-play the activities have all been planned carefully in advance by the staff. No child is ever made to do an activity they don't like, although the staff may offer some encouragement and support. Then it's time for a quick snack, followed by playtime outside. There is a large variety of equipment outside. They then go back in to wind down again by looking at books and having a story. They then sing songs and nursery rhymes etc before going home. There are no afternoon sessions.

The routine isn't strict in terms of "We always do X at 10.15am and then Y at 10.25am" but the sessions follow the same pattern each day.

throckenholt · 11/01/2006 10:36

playgroup (same as preschool I guess) - 2.5 hour sessions.

Start with carpet time - go through everyone there, talk about the weather and what is available to play with, then free play - they choose which activities they want to do. Then tidy up time, story, snack time (everyone sits round a table), then outside for some running about (or inside group games if bad weather), then carpet time again at end when they do a show and tell session with things brought in by children, and may do some singing to.

Usually prosepctive parents are invited to come along for a session to see if they like it.

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 10:47

At the pre-school where I work we start with allowing the hildren to arrive and do free-play. They choose from the activities laid out what the want to do. After about 15 mins we do a register and talk about what we are doing that day. For instance this week we are doing shapes. They then split into keyworker groups and do an activity such as painting triangles if they want to. We usually have about 4 set activities all related to the topic of the week. Some prefer to go back to free play and may be encouraged later to do the set stuff. They have a drink and fruit and some garden play weather permitting. At the end of session we have story or song time and all the crafts are handed out for taking home or sometimes if the child agrees we stick it on the wall It is fairly structured with a learning goal but the emphasis is play and no child is made to do something they have no interest in. We have a morning session and an afternoon session with different children at each.

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 10:47

At the pre-school where I work we start with allowing the hildren to arrive and do free-play. They choose from the activities laid out what the want to do. After about 15 mins we do a register and talk about what we are doing that day. For instance this week we are doing shapes. They then split into keyworker groups and do an activity such as painting triangles if they want to. We usually have about 4 set activities all related to the topic of the week. Some prefer to go back to free play and may be encouraged later to do the set stuff. They have a drink and fruit and some garden play weather permitting. At the end of session we have story or song time and all the crafts are handed out for taking home or sometimes if the child agrees we stick it on the wall It is fairly structured with a learning goal but the emphasis is play and no child is made to do something they have no interest in. We have a morning session and an afternoon session with different children at each.

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 10:47

At the pre-school where I work we start with allowing the hildren to arrive and do free-play. They choose from the activities laid out what the want to do. After about 15 mins we do a register and talk about what we are doing that day. For instance this week we are doing shapes. They then split into keyworker groups and do an activity such as painting triangles if they want to. We usually have about 4 set activities all related to the topic of the week. Some prefer to go back to free play and may be encouraged later to do the set stuff. They have a drink and fruit and some garden play weather permitting. At the end of session we have story or song time and all the crafts are handed out for taking home or sometimes if the child agrees we stick it on the wall It is fairly structured with a learning goal but the emphasis is play and no child is made to do something they have no interest in. We have a morning session and an afternoon session with different children at each.

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 10:48

oops

XmasPud · 11/01/2006 10:53

Register and little chat on carpet (weather, any news etc, counting song)
Free play - with variety of activities. Always incl. physical craft, art, science/maths activity table, writing and drawing table, role play activity. Although free play, children are encouraged to move around and try different things
Snacktime - wash hands, toilet run wait till name called out, sit and serve each other. Snacks are rota basis to cover fruit, toast, yog, cereal etc drinks are milk or water
Story time on mat/sing song
Outdoor play - rota with individual stuff such as trikes, hoops, balls and sometimes group activity such as balancing beam, team games, dance etc
Back in, show and tell time.Each child brings something in from home based on half termly themes. Chance for them to talk to whole group
Song time
Home

hth

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 10:54

Forgot to say school nurseries and pre-schools (formerly known as play groups) are run quite differently and staff ratio is different. The adult staff ratio for pre-schools is 1:4 for under 3's (take them from 2.6 or just under) and 1:8 for over 3's. In a school nursery it is 1 teacher, 1 nursery nurse and max 26 over 3's.

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 10:55

should read Adult v child ratio - I'm losing it

dexter · 11/01/2006 10:59

I am so pleased to read what you've all described. i have just taken my son out of a nursery where I felt he was being pressured too much. The teacher was apparently fixated on this - there was one activity and all children expected to 'join in'. Presented to us as a big problem that he wouldn't join in.

Am so pleased that we took the decision we did because the routines people here are describing are so much more age appropriate - ie if the child doesn't want to do the set activity, they go back to free play.

We felt so nervous of removing him because of wanting him to settle; and now he is without pre-school provision which does worry me because he is an only child and starts school in september. However we are visiting a local pre-school on Friday so hopefully he will be offered some sessions there - and I'd rather he had no provision than the one he was in!!

Pinotmum · 11/01/2006 11:41

They were not meeting his needs and this should be the priority of a good pre-school. Good luck. I'd better get off to mine now as I start at 12 noon.

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