Information about what goes on at Leeside
Leeside opens at 9.10. The children are encouraged to hang their coats on their peg and to change into their slippers independently. A member of staff will be on hand to help if needed.
There is a self-registration table for each child to find their name block and to stack it on the name tower.
By encouraging this independence, the children gain self-confidence. Being able to change their shoes also helps to develop self-help skills, which they will need for when they go to school.
Self-registration encourages letter recognition and early reading skills.
The Key Person is responsible for developing a Key Group session.
Regular key group sessions are had at the end of each morning so the children get to spend some time with their key person although we feel we can develop the children’s skills through their play throughout the morning. There may be occasions when a Key Group has an interest in something and will therefore spend their time developing ideas and working on them together. This will lead to the group having more sessions than usual.
The children have access to all the resources in the nursery. We take their lead by noting their interests and planning activities around them. The activities planned will have a main theme or intention we hope to gain eg. threading a dinosaur picture will help to increase hand-eye co-ordination and pincer grip which are skills needed when learning to write.
Each activity area will have a carefully planned activity. Our areas are: Craft, Fine Manipulative, Small World, Construction, Story Corner, Puzzles, Maths, Science, Home Corner and Garden.
The garden is open for the children to use as their play takes them. We now have a covering over our Secret Garden so it can be accessed in all weathers.
The Snack Cafe is open by 10am. The children learn the snack system very quickly and are able to serve themselves within weeks of starting.
The children learn that they need to wash their hands before eating, they choose their snack – a choice of fresh fruit or salad is available, we also have a selection of carbs; crackers, breadsticks, rice cakes etc. they are encouraged to use the tongs provided as this helps with strengthening their hand muscles which, in turn, will help with pencil control. They have a choice of milk or water, which is provided in small glass jugs so they can pour it themselves. Some of the younger children need help with this as it can be a difficult skill to learn, we help them with hand-over-hand guidance. The children then choose a space at the table to sit and eat.
A member of staff is always on hand to oversee production and help out when needed. They are also there to strike-up conversation with the children while they eat to make it a sociable and enjoyable experience.
Once the children have finished, they take their cup and plate to the washing table and wash up what they have used.
We encourage parent helpers to come and help out with the snack table.
Tidy Up Time
Our mornings can sometimes get very busy with various activities and so at 11.30 the children are encouraged to help tidy away some of the toys they have had out.
A lot of the children don’t like this part of the day. We hear “I don’t want to, it’s boring!” quite often but we feel it is important for them to learn the responsibility of looking after the toys and for them to see that if we all work together it can be done quicker.
Singing and Story Time
After tidy up time the children go off to their key groups to do an activity together. Once the activity has finished the children gather for singing time. Different members of staff lead this on different days. Sometimes the children enjoy musical movement sessions and sometimes they join in with nursery rhymes and familiar songs.
Singing repetitive songs helps the children with language development. By learning new songs they learn attention and listening skills too.
Story time is a good wind down for the end of the day, it helps the children with concentration skills as they begin to learn that print has meaning and pre-reading skills.
The session ends at 12.10. Parents are asked to queue up at the front door and to collect their children one at a time. This can sometimes take a while but is done in this way so that we are able to sign everyone out safely and make sure each child goes home with their respective parent / carer.
Staying for Lunch
The children staying for lunch and / or the afternoon session will wash their hands and sit all together after the other children have gone home. Children bring their own lunch from home.