Yoga and Mindfulness sessions take place within every full day at Kindergarten.
Our Manager and Owner at Faraway Tree kindergarten, Kristie Chesters is a fully qualified Forest School Leader. We have two scheduled forest school sessions weekly, alongside the use of the philosophy as part of our continuous approach to learning and play opportunities. In addition, we run a weekly forest school club- known as the 'let's go club' on Wednesdays from the Much Hadham Pavilion. Please see our services page for more information.
8.00-8.30 - Morning wraparound.
Arrival, All children and families are welcomed and morning handovers begin. Parents share any information to support the child's day, and practitioners spend time settling the children. This is also child initiated learning time. One or two of our practitioners takes observations of the children's engagement with the morning play spaces.
9.30-9.50 Circle Time.
We sing our welcome song and have a circle time activity. This is sometimes singing, music and movement, parachute games, ring games, talking games, age appropriate maths games. We focus the circle time to the needs of the group attending on the day.
The children wash their hands, and help to set the table for snack. They put out plates and cups for their friends, and know we place the flowers and the fruit bowl on the snack table. Snacks are balanced and healthy, we are a meat free setting.
The children can choose to have milk or water. Typical snacks often include: Rice cake, cheese, avocado. Malt loaf, fruit. Fresh fruit, natural yogurt, honey. Cheese, crackers, cucumber. Hummus, mixed vegetable sticks, bread sticks. Independence is encouraged, the children choose what they would like to eat and drink, prepare it where appropriate e.g peeling, chopping, with gentle reminders about eating a rainbow of foods every day to keep our bodies healthy.
Toileting** and changing into outdoor clothes. We have all in one, yellow wetsuits for the children to wear on wet / muddy days. We have thermo-fleece, orange high visibility jumpers, and children's high visibility yellow jackets to be worn while out walking. The children change to wellies / outdoor footwear.
Morning session. This is generally an offsite session. We typically spend time on the village recreation ground, walking on footpaths crossing historic parkland, nature reserves, and open spaces in Much Hadham. We care for an allotment in the village, spend time in nearby Elsie's meadow, enjoying the local ford. The children see numerous dogs, birds of prey, garden birds, horses, donkeys, lambs, sheep, rams and mini beasts galore, they saw a Heron and a stoat recently! Woodland and bridlepaths. The children enjoy as much of the green space around them as they can access. This session is where we use most of our 'in the moment planning'. We take basic kit* out with us, the items change to fit the weather / seasons and the needs and interests of the group. Our practitioners spend time observing the children in their play, identifying the 'teachable moments' and extending the learning as it happens 'in the moment'.
We often take our lunches and have a picnic outside to allow the children additional time to engage in their chosen play.
12.30- Morning session ends and changeover for the afternoon session begins.
If we haven't had it out, the children have lunch. Toileting, nappy changes and setting up beds begins. The children have folding beds, their own sheet from home, which smells familiar to them, any lovvies, comforters etc. One practitioner reads a longer chapter story, gently, (currently Sam Pigs trousers (Alison Uttley) while others settle the children using head stroking or patting if required.
Sleep / Rest time. Any older children not requiring a sleep or rest in the day spend time one to one or in a small group with an adult. These are planned sessions to target the children's specific needs. They could be mark making or counting / sorting activities, colour / shape recognition, sounds, reading together as a general idea.
Children start to wake, rolling snack begins. Toileting and nappy changes.
Afternoon session begins.
Sometimes this incorporates a second offsite outing, with some more adult led within it. For example, den building, allotment, pond dipping etc.
Other times, it could be an indoor session. We complete art projects, we have sand / water / messy play / sensory play / light and shadow / tents and dens / role play. We follow the children's lead. Adults spend time observing, completing interventions, one to one and small group work, work on our 'floor books' the practitioners logs and reflections of what we get up to, recorded and presented for the parents to see and for the children to use to revisit their experiences.
Gather for circle time and a story to finish our day.
We re-cap on our actions and learning. We tell the children stories, we might have song or dancing time. We talk about what we would like to do tomorrow.
The children begin to get their shoes on and bags, items to take home, ready.
Parents collection and afternoon handover.
Afternoon wraparound. One to one games and play to re-cap on learning. Child led play if preferred.
We have hammocks, a slack line and hanging equipment- ladder, trapeze swing, rings etc, various bubble wands and a bubble machine, parachutes, tarps, a wagon to pull our equipment and / or tired toddlers! Child-size tools and PPE for the allotment, an action camera. All of our indoor equipment can be (and are) taken outdoors. We take out books and musical instruments often.
** Toilet training children need often reminding that they may need to visit the toilet, especially if busy in their play. We ask the room if anyone needs to go several times a day, which usually prompts the children to think about whether they do or not.