Exciting New Change January 2017
During the Christmas break we are going to be making changes to the structure of the setting which will come into effect January 2017. The changes in structure will be that we are going to merge Baby Bears and Little Bears together as one and incorporate a freeflow system between two room using the now Little Bears room and Pre-School room. The now Little Bears room will become a quiet room with a sleep area, sensory area, book corner and quiet activities. The now pre-school room will consist of messy activities, food area, physical play, role play area and music and movement. Pre-school and Jaks will move into the now Baby Bears room giving them a vast amount of storage space to store resources that are not being used allowing more space within the room for the children to learn, play and develop.
How the new structure will work? The babies and toddlers will freeflow throughout the morning between the two rooms and outside, the pre-school children will free-flow with the setting for an hour in the morning/ 45 minutes. During sleep time the children who do not sleep will be able to play in the middle room and freeflow outside. After afternoon snack the children will be able to freeflow again once the children are all awake. The ratio of staff to children will still be same and with having the two rooms to freeflow their will be plenty of resources/activities to keep the mixed aged group children stimulated. All activities are planned and will be adapted to support all children’s needs. There will be more resources and making sure the children are stimulated through purposeful play, staff keeping the children engaged and more space to to learn and explore and the use of outside area during freeflow with activities. Risk assessments will be carried out in all areas.
A lot of research has been put in to this move, as a setting we discussed the room changes and new structure and how it will work overall with our Early Years Advisors and Board who agreed that move would benefit the children hugely. The staff agreed that there would be pros to this move including:
- Younger children benefit from older children, boosts their confidence, extending play and socialisation.
- Bigger space to play, learn and offer different environments through holistic play and free-flow to further extend learning and development.
- All ages benefit from the sensory equipment.
- Children to stay with key person ideally to the age of 3.
- All ages will have the advantage from having a quiet room e.g. supporting children who require additional support with activities and to support children in making the choice to have some quiet time enjoying the sensory equipment and books.
- Greater independence – As children are able to access the different environments freely it helps them develop greater independence. They are able to make those independent choices as to whether they play outdoors or access the activities inside. Older children especially strive on being given extra responsibilities and this will help them later on in life.
- Progress at own pace – Children shouldn’t be rushed in their learning, it should be about giving children time to fully embrace the skills they are learning. Free flow gives children the opportunity to develop at their own pace, for example they can decide to either spend the morning outside participating in the stimulating activities or sitting at the table manipulating play dough.
- Decision making – As children are able to choose where they would like to play and with what, this is developing their decision making skills. As they get older they will begin to learn that their choices may have consequences.
- Physical well being – Offering children the choice especially the outdoors enables them the opportunity to run around and build on their physical skills. The outdoor space is great for those children who prefer to be outdoors, as practitioners can use their skills and mirror the indoor activities outdoors.
- Learning about the different environments – As children explore the different environment it opens up many learning opportunities as they discover the difference between inside and outside.
Overall as a setting we are all really excited to implement this new change and to further support all the children to reach their full potential through providing a safe, caring and stimulating environment for your child.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this structure change please don’t hesitate to speak to your child’s room leader or the management team.