Holding Hands, Opening Minds, Touching Hearts
Below is a the structured timetable for each day, with further details listed below to explain some of the time-slots within this table.
|9.00||School Opens: Children hang up coats and change into plimsolls / slippers.|
|9.10||Registration and Circle Time.|
|9.30||Work Cycle – includes access to outside, choice of activities and snack.|
|11.45||Getting ready to go home: children put on their coats and shoes and gather for story time .|
|12.00||Home time/Lunch session begins.|
|1.00||Home time for Lunch Club children, children who stay the afternoon are encouraged to tidy away their lunch things and get ready for their afternoon.|
|2.30||Outdoor activity such as a nature walk or visit to the park / free play.|
|2.45 – 3.00||Get ready to go home (children put on their coats and shoes and gather for story time / rhyme time.|
- What is the ‘Work Cycle’?
After gathering as a group for registration and circle time, where we may have a group discussion or listen to children’s special news, the children carefully carry their chairs back to a table and then look for some work from the shelves. We guide and support them in their choice of purposeful activity.
There is a wide range of activities available to all the children that cater for their particular learning requirements at any given time. Once concentration sets in, the child enters a period of real learning and we are careful not to interrupt him or her at this time. A child’s Work Cycle begins when he or she freely chooses an activity and starts to work meaningfully with it. The child may engage in several activities during the work cycle, returning each piece of equipment to its place on the shelf for the next child to use. Extended periods of concentration are more likely to occur in the child after the age of approximately 2½ years, and the equipment in the classroom is specially arranged and chosen for this purpose.
As Montessori teachers we guide each child to work with equipment appropriate to his or her particular learning needs, constantly observing and recording their progress. We anticipate each child’s next level of progress, so that we are ready to introduce the subsequent level of work at exactly the right time for that individual child. This keeps the child constantly motivated.
- What is the Planned Activity each day?
Alongside the free choice opportunity for the Work Cycle, the following activities are there for the children:
Monday: Nature Walk
Thursday: Music & Movement
*Art & Craft materials are available in the classroom every day, and we aim to have different techniques available for the children to support Expressive Arts and Design. Musical instruments are also freely available throughout the sessions.
The Planned Activity enables children to be introduced to a new activity within a small group of children. Children are never forced to participate if they do not wish to take part, but we gently encourage them to join in when we feel the time is right. Yoga, baking and art & craft usually take place in small groups whilst other children are engaged in their own chosen work in the prepared environment. Once the first group have finished the activity, they return to their self-chosen work and the next group can begin the activity. This way, we can cater flexibly for children wishing to complete a self-chosen activity before participating in a planned group activity when it feels right for them.
- What happens at Snack Time?
Snack time happens when the children feel ready. It consists of toast and water / milk. Plates, cups, food and water are available on the snack shelf for the children to take when they wish. We encourage them to find their name card and display it on the snack board, before setting their place, so that everyone knows they are having snack. Children are supported to prepare their own snack. At all times good table manners are promoted, in order to encourage sensitivity towards each other’s needs and feelings.
Children may leave at 12.00, or they may prefer to stay for our hour long ‘Lunch Session’. For this, each child can bring their own packed lunch which is refrigerated/stored as necessary by us from the beginning of the morning session. There is also a hot meal available as an alternative to a packed lunch which is prepared and cooked at the setting at an additional cost of £2. The children are encouraged and helped to set the table together, and their packed lunches are unpacked and eaten with proper crockery, knives, forks and spoons. Lots of happy chatter and interaction is encouraged, along with nice table manners! This is designed to be a pleasant, enjoyable occasion for the children. During colder months, we can heat food supplied by you for your child in the kitchen using our microwave. On warmer days, we have picnic lunches in the garden!
Once everyone has finished their meal and tidied away, the children participate in games and singing or an outdoor activity until it is time to go home at 1.00. This is a relaxed, spontaneous session with plenty of laughter and movement.
- Water Bottles
Children have access to a drink of water throughout the session, but children are welcome to bring a filled bottle of water each day with their name clearly displayed so that we know who it belongs to. Each child’s bottle of water will be accessible to him / her whilst they are at school. This is especially advisable in the hotter weather.