In our main room we take children from the age of 2 until school. Like the baby room our main play area is strongly influenced by the Reggio approach and also incorporates the Montessori Method. The most important thing we do with our main room is let the children decide. We closely observe the children and arrange our room to support their current topic led play. Our space strongly encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as ‘capable’ and the environment is their third teacher. As adults we ensure we are providing them with authentic materials & tools to complement their interests and abilities. The children also learn, alongside the adults for support, to respect the environment and care for their play space.
The children in the main room have access to a variety of different areas; all carefully planned and set up to encourage development. There is a balance each day between adult led, child initiated and free play. This balance helps and supports all children; who are able to access the inside and outside stations throughout the day in accordance to our free flow method. At the age of two onwards your child will be striving for independence and it is our job to make sure this is supported and that the right activities are offered to support this stage.
How does our day look? Each day is different but follows a familiar structure as outlined below.
In the morning children are welcomed by staff into the nursery and the children have the opportunity to place any ‘important’ belongings from home in their individual cubby hole. Once welcomed the children can have a rolling breakfast which is focused on self-service; and then choose a variety of activities to play with ranging from small world, role play, mark making and the computer room.
After breakfast the children participate in our daily registration time which incorporates establishing the day and month through both speech and sign. We go over the days of the week and months of the year followed by counting to the date with our magic rockets. We then choose a weather reporter who has the very important job of advising children what we need to wear according to the weather (sun cream and hats, coats with hoods or snow suits). After registration children go to brush their teeth using the brush bus system (we provide the brushes) and then write their name on our laminated sheets if they choose to. At this time outside is open and the children access inside and outside freely, including the snuggle den.
Some staff will set up adult focused activities relating to our termly theme, other staff will leave the space free for children’s choice and some children will engage in topic based play. Throughout free choice time children also have access to the self-service water and snack station.
In addition to free play the children participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including ballet, letters and sounds and forest school (see our extra-curricular tab for more information).
Before lunch time the main room have a tidy up time and children separate into two groups to participate in a group time. These group times vary from a story time to complex experiments (we have been known to make volcanoes erupt on a few occasions!) We base the group times on the children’s interests which last approximately 20 minutes.
Lunch time is at 12:00 and is served by Karen (lots of the children call her Nanny Karen the best cook in town). Toddler children find a seat where their individual photographed place mat is and the pre-school children collect their name card. The pre-school children have the choice to sit inside or outside in the shelter area (see outside play tab for information on how this emerged). Again the focus is on independence with children pouring their own drinks and serving themselves seconds if they wish.
After lunch there is free play opportunity until just after 1:00pm when the toddlers who sleep go for a rest in the snuggle den and the pre-school have a registration and quiet time until rolling snack is served between 2:00pm and 3:00pm.
After snack we have a story and song time and continue to engage in free play activities until 3:45 when we have a small group time followed by tea. Tea is served at 4:00pm and is a high tea focused strongly on self-service; making own wraps, sandwiches, ploughman’s etc. We pride ourselves on always having a ‘hot element’ to our teas. Therefore sandwiches are complemented by soup and ploughman’s with pasta (for example).
After tea free play and topic activities continue until home time. Children have a variety of pick up times ranging from 1:00pm until 6:00pm. At pick up time parents are asked to check cubby holes for ‘important’ items and even more ‘important’ work that children have chosen to take home. A member of staff will be ready to feed back about your child’s day through a daily diary sheet for the toddlers and a pre-school board for the 3+ age group. In addition you will have an online learning journey to check which include observations of assessed activities throughout the day.
The main room benefits from underfloor heating laid below our oak wooden floor and children are able to bring in slippers if they wish. Many parents also leave wellingtons outside on our rack to support outside play and village outings. Children are asked to bring in coats but in colder weather children have red trespass snow suits which facilitates free flow play during the colder winter months.