Educators start the day with a team meeting, during this time we decide who will be deployed where during the day to lead experiences: breakfast; start (group gathering time); leading focused experiences inside or outside; snack; nappies/ toileting; end (group gathering).
We open the gate to welcome children in at 8am and 9am. During this time we listen to parents about any personal information. We value all information as important because these changes in their daily routine have a huge impact on the children’s well being.
Educators and children help to find the child’s own photo and name to hang their bag on. We sort out their lunchboxes and store them in the kitchen. We wash the children’s hands on arrival to limit the potential spread of germs.
The children can explore their environment as they relax into their new surroundings. Some children bring their own breakfast to eat, others enjoy a selection that we provide.
Educators and children set up experiences for the morning, inside and outside.
We promote talking about how we are feeling so others can understand and help each other. In the home area we are exploring different technology resources such as cameras, keyboards, phones, headphones. We provide different dressing up opportunities daily which consist of different costumes, bags, hats, jewellery and role play props such as dolls, small clothes, blankets. There are many different mirrors to help the children make self-connection, developing their self- awareness. The children have a huge sofa to sit on and just be, to offer a home from home feeling we love sharing stories from the bookcase and conversations.
Outside, we focus upon a small world experience of the mini people and houses. We promote story telling while interacting with these resources, listening, sharing and supporting the children’s conversations and play ideas. We offer the malleable opportunity of playdough, where the children can manipulate the dough using their fingers to develop hand eye co-ordination and position petals on it. We provide more mark making in the art studio in the treehouse, exploring the medium of water colour paints and different coloured paper.
We have a water area where we are transporting water from the fountain in watering cans, pouring down pipes in the water house and onto different areas such as trays and huge pans. We have two large sandpits where we are exploring our imaginative ideas creating different mixtures to serve in kitchen/ restaurant.
There is a smaller den for more quiet times for sharing story books and more conversations.
There are climbing areas consisting of a huge ladder up to the climbing frame and slide, different combinations of tyres, balancing planks, crates to investigate and a tyre swing, hanging from our elm tree. There is a sensory path with flower boards for the children to touch, smell while walking down. Pet area for the chickens and cockerels and hutch for the rabbits and Guinea pig.
We have music areas where the children can make their own sounds while interacting with different metal resources, beer barrels, cooling racks, spoons, pans, musical mobiles which we have created with the children upcycling tent poles, metal circles and bottle caps.
We have an observational lookout to connect the children to their immediate community, allowing them to watch the parents and other children arriving, the older college children and their school bus’, changes in the carpark and overlooking the much-loved giant bins eagerly awaiting bin day!
Helping with personal care
During the day, we are supporting the children’s individual personal care requires, such as visiting the bathroom, helping them to find their belongings dressing and undressing themselves promoting independence skills especially when putting on their waterproofs and wellies.
Identifying which day it is, what the weather like, which experiences are available, jobs time-helping to care for our environment, tidying up and resetting up for lunch ……
During the morning or afternoon we offer beginner off site adventures. Focusing on stopping. Listening. looking.
Back to base – jobs and gathering time
Back at base, we have more time to explore and then jobs time. 11.45a.m group gathering time- Lisa leads retelling the story of ‘We are going on a Bear Hunt’ exploring different yoga moves.
We say goodbye to children leaving / welcome in other children for the afternoon. 12 o’clock is lunchtime! Some children sleep after lunch or chose to have a rest.
Educators change the daily experiences for the afternoon session.
We sing goodbye to children leaving at 2.45-3p.m.
We all help to wash and tidy away ready for teatime at 4pm. Next, we offer quiet time often involving pet care and stories. The remaining children stay till 5p.m.
Debrief and planning
Throughout the day Educators are recording the children learning by writing observations, taking pictures entering them into their personal learning journey books. At the end of a session, we reflect together to share our observations, children’s involvement, and well-being levels, look at negatives and positives from the day, share developmental tips and our own feelings with each other, clean, sort out washing and resources ready for the next day.