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Day nursery routines - formal or not

4 replies

minkybetty · 24/06/2010 16:18

I have just moved and changed my DDs day nursery. At her old day nursery, whilst alot of the day was about painting, playing, having fun etc the children did spend time sitting down practising how to write their names and learning letters and numbers.
The new day nursery doesn't seem to do this - there doesn't seem to be any formal teaching. Is this normal? The old one was a small place with only 5 children to the one carer whereas the new one is much larger. The children all seem very happy and they spend alot of time playing outside, painting but they seem to be able to do what they want rather than there being any structure.
I am really worried that DD will end up being behind when she goes to school (she is only 3.5) and also that she will lack discipline if she is not taught to sit and concentrate - would you let me know how your day nursery operates please

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CMOTdibbler · 24/06/2010 16:27

At 3.5, she should be running around lots, and the recommendation is that activities are supposed to be child led.

They learn to sit at circle time and meals, and thats quite enough. Reception isn't all sitting at tables, and they start from an assumption of children knowing nothing, so she won't be behind

FWIW, DS is 4, and his room at nursery are on freeflow - so they can go in and out as they please and do activities as they want. They have some structured activities, and although the children are encouraged to join in, they don't have to, and they do try to get them to do a variety of things. Their topics are child led and stem from what the children start talking about at circle time

Al1son · 27/06/2010 09:05

At this age your child needs to learn to be a learner. She needs lots of interesting and stimulating resources to explore and investigate under her own steam. She needs staff to follow her lead and play with her, asking questions, offering additional resources to extend her thinking and supporting her social and emotional development.

These activities will help to develop her learning dispositions. She will be more motivated, confident in her abilities, resilient, creative, and able to persevere when things are difficult. These quailties will stand her in good stead for a lifetime of education and are massively more important than being able to write her name.

She doesn't need to be sitting down doing structured work just now. She should not be expected to do very much once she is in reception either. A large amount of the curriculum should be child chosen play activities right up until the end of reception as this is the context in which children learn best.

If the activities in the nursery are varied, exciting, child chosen, fun and there is a friendly, relaxed atmosphere which allows children to try things and fail while still feeling happy and secure then I would be very happy.

Missus84 · 28/06/2010 00:33

I'd say it's pretty unusual for a nursery to sit children down to learn numbers or letters, so your dd won't be behind other children at school.

Every nursery I've worked in, there has been some structure to the day - but it's group activities like circle time or a craft activity, interspersed with free play, going outside, meal times. I've never been in a setting that has sat down and taught children anything since I was at nursery as a child - times have changed since then and the Early Years curriculum now is very much based on learning through play and experience.

minkybetty · 28/06/2010 12:47

That's brilliant - thanks guys for your tme and really useful feedback. I now feel confident that DD is in a great nursery - As you say, i think she will learn far more this way, going to look for activities and exploring and being creative on her own rather than expecting the nursery staff to provide something to stimulate her. It has a great big outdoor space so as you say that has to be good for her!!
Thanks again

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