Getting to know you…

I officially start my post as Nursery Teacher on Tuesday 31st August. Initially it is only going to be a morning Nursery due to lack of numbers, so I’ll be teaching every morning with one afternoon a week dedicated to PPA/NQT time (making this a 0.6 post). The soon to be Acting HT has said that I may be able to work more hours after January after the new intake come in, but it is all dependent on numbers and is completely up in the air at the moment. But I figured out that even if I could work just two more afternoons for the Spring and Summer term, it would mean that my NQT Induction Year would be completed by the time my contract ends with this post, as I have already completed one term at 0.8… Potentially a huge weight lifted off the shoulders in terms of future employment!

We have four INSET days planned for the first week of term – the first two are dedicated to First Aid training, the latter we are having a outside speaker coming in to train us on dealing with behaviour management the ‘PPP way’. At some point in those four days I need to arrange my classroom as I can’t over the summer due to a) building work being done on site, b) the rooms being painted and c) the Under-3’s/Children’s Centre using our main Nursery room as their room over the summer break while their building work is being done. I’m actually thinking this may be a good thing, as I’ll be able to see how effective the room is being used by the children at the start and then change things around for a purpose, rather than what I think it should look like (and it not benefiting the children at all).

I was invited to attend the last staff meeting on term last week, so after a bizarre afternoon of supply (spending all afternoon ‘practising’ Sports Day) I toddled along to the Nursery. I really enjoyed it, I was immediately welcomed into the team and I can tell I’ll be happy there, they’re definitely my kind of people. I went into the Nursery again on Monday to have a look around while the children were there and to get to know some of the staff better and to start to understand where the current class teacher/soon to be Acting HT wants to take the Nursery. I’ve got a few little things to look into over the summer.

– I need to find some more exciting, more unusual items for the construction area as the current teacher is feeling it’s needing updating and isn’t used to it’s full potential. They have all the usual stuff; lego, duplo, train-tracks, bricks… She’s wanting something bigger and more exciting for the children to build with.

– Research some ideas on how to update the outdoor area, as the current teacher (soon to be Acting HT) expressed an interest in updating it (yay!). It’s going to be slightly tricky as it’s a fairly odd shape space and isn’t entirely flat. So there are a lot of paths to places, but there’s nothing much in terms of areas for children to explore once they get there.

– I need to dig out some of my old planning formats from university/previous posts, as well as look into finding some more up to date ones, as the soon to be Acting HT is wanting to update the planning they currently use as she doesn’t feel they’re detailed enough and isn’t happy with it as useful planning that people refer to regularly. By the sound of it it is done for the sake of being done, pinned on the wall and nobody refers to it afterwards.

For starters, I am trawling online for useful books for EYFS. Any and all recommendations of books you have found useful in your EYFS settings would be well received!

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2 Comments

  1. July 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

    For useful books on the outdoor area, have a look at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Early-Years-and-Outdoor-Learning/lm/RM87R3A4UV08D/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

    It depends upon precisely what you are looking for as to which one is most suitable.

    The best indoor construction materials that every nursery should splash out on are the blocks from Community Playthings. They also have free booklets about construction and blocks. Not cheap but will last almost forever http://www.communityplaythings.co.uk/products/blocks/index.html

    Empty boxes are fun too – ask parents to donate shoeboxes, big boxes and other little boxes. These can be used indoors or out and then recycled once trashed.

    For the outdoor construction area – get planks of wood of different sizes and ask the janitor (nicely) to sand down. These can be bought from DIY shops or builders merchants or sawmills. From sawmills also ask for logs of different sizes. They are cheap – the cost is the transport. Also look out for acquiring milk crates and bread creates. Very opened ended and versatile. Big loose parts is the trick!

    Planning – be prepared to experiment. Involve the children as much as possible to build upon their interests and experiences. A good way to get used to free flow and giving equal weight to the indoor and outdoor spaces is to put a vertical line in the centre of your page with “indoor” written at the top of one side and “outdoor” at the top on the other side. Sadly there is no tip-top universal planning format.

    • August 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Juliet, thank you so much for such a long, detailed reply! I am so sorry it’s taken so long to respond, the joys of home improvements and the wedding season meant that I’ve been rather swamped.

      My HT at my new job said that they’ve been using empty boxes for a long time and she’s looking for something a bit studier – the hollow blocks from Community Play Things look like just the ticket! Great idea on asking the janitor to sand it down, I’m yet to meet him. 🙂

      Planning: Sound advice! I had a nasty feeling that there’d be no tip-top universal planning format, but couldn’t help but hope all the same. I will have to sit down with the HT and TAs in the setting and find/develop a pro-forma we can all work with easily and works well.

      Again, thank you so much for your wise words and advice. 🙂


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