The children and parents/carers arrive at 9.00 a.m. and spend a short time together with the activities out, so that children have time to settle in before parents leave.
We have a short circle time on the carpet, for most of the children. This is an opportunity for talking about “what activities we might be doing today” and the children will have a chance to share any news or show their friends something of interest that they have brought in from home. Circle time allows the children to take turns to talk and listen to a group, with adults supporting them. Younger children (2 year olds) are not always ready to take part in circle time, (they gradually build up their involvement during their first year.)
The older and younger children will be encouraged to explore the variety of activities available with staff, throughout the morning: such as puzzles, sorting sets, play dough, sand and water trough, creative table, (paints, collage, drawing, chalking, etc) role play with dressing up, puppets and props (usually a home area although it can be a shop, café, hospital or rocket!), physical toys: such as balancing beams, tunnel, stepping stones, bowling and hoopla sets, and our “small world” toys like the cars/garage, train set, airport, farm, dolls house, diggers and trucks, our construction sets (Community Playthings wooden bricks, magnetic shape sets, Duplo, for example)
Our rising fours are given a small group time each morning. This may be Literacy related: to look at letters and sounds activities, (sound games and songs), may be to read a book / story sack (with puppets) together
Topic Based Work
An activity that is linked to our half-term topic may also be available, usually for the children to access on the “free creative” table, (such as firework sparkle pictures, leaf printing) or occasionally as a 1:1 craft activity with adult support, such as moulding air-dry clay around a tea-light and decorating with beads, for Divali celebrations. This will be for all ages, though may need to be modified for younger/older children.
We offer all the children a snack time from around 10 a.m. We usually begin with two children “helpers” who cut the bananas ready and count out the cups and bowls with an adult. The children are encouraged to take part in snack time in small groups. They choose from a selection of fruit/vegetables/bread sticks or crackers/cubes of cheese and have a choice of milk or water to drink.
After snack time is over, we usually encourage the children to have a short, quiet time, which we call our “book time.” Using our quiet, carpeted area, we encourage the children to look at picture books and board books, individually or with a friend and staff will read stories to groups of children.
During the last hour of the morning session, we go out to the nursery garden, where the children can climb (on the wooden climbing frame, or tyres, logs), ride trikes, play bat and ball games as well as play at seasonal activities such as: raking up the leaves into wheel barrows and making pretend “bonfires,” or planting bulbs and seeds and having “picnics.” We also have an outside “Wendy House” for imaginative play, lots of number activities, chalks and drawing boards.
When we go back indoors, it is “tidy up time” (we have a tidy up song!) and all the children are asked to help clear up the toys into boxes or drawers with the staff.
Then the children will often end their morning with a music time, (we have a large selection of percussion instruments and music to play) and this will often include singing action songs and rhymes and dancing (we have ribbons and pompoms to dance with) and circle games. Sometimes we encourage the children to make their own “shaker” style instruments to play along with or make masks to dance with (e.g. animal masks).
"Staff use 'letter of the week' to teach children about letters and the sounds they represent. This contributes to children's good language skills and helps them gain skills in readiness for reading, when the time comes"
Ofsted report Nov 2019