Upon arrival children spend time in their key group sharing news, calming down from a (sometimes) busy transition into the setting and engaging in mindfulness activities to prepare for the day ahead.

Following this soft start, children access a gentle routine where they are encouraged to make plans, carry them out, and reflect on what they have done. In doing so, children learn to take initiative, solve problems, work with others – their play becomes more purposeful and focused, learning is promoted, and it informs practitioners to build on children’s interests and intrinsic motivation.


Practitioners’ welcome children into nursery, a social time to be together to promote belonging and security. Practitioners introduce their role in nursery for that session.  This could be showing children a provocation as a ‘hook’ for engagement.  Or it could be showing children a visual of where they are based so that children can suggest where to take the learning once in that space.  This supports children to make their own choices and supports children to understand what is on offer across the setting.  It helps children build confidence to explore new /unfamiliar spaces, knowing where their key person is based provides security, but they understand they can go wherever their interests lie with any adult. Children then decide where they would like to be for the beginning of the session. In their chosen learning area children now interact/engage with the adult/area of provision.


This is when children and adults are engaged in their play, initially in their chosen space. This facilitates high quality interactions between staff and children.  Adults respond immediately to children’s fascinations revisiting or opening new lines of enquiry ensuring learning is predominantly child lead. Sustained shared thinking is promoted and high levels of wellbeing and engagement are nurtured.  Children are free to explore all areas of provision as and when their interest takes them elsewhere.


A time to refuel is carefully woven into the flow of the day.  Children can choose to eat indoors or outdoors at their own pace and preference.  This is a social time to chat, recharge and take a break from explorations.


The flute signals the time to pause and come together. A time to gather to share the wonders of the day. Children are supported to share their own recollections of the session and suggest where this may lead next.  Children less confident to speak out in a group are supported by sensitive adults who listen and share their contributions with the group on their behalf (trusting relationships).  Practitioners encourage contributions by using prompting questions and scaffolding language so that over time, children develop the confidence to contribute to group discussion. This may be enhanced by visual prompts such as an iPad image, a printed image or something created by the children. The focus of the discussion is on the process of learning and not just on the outcome.  This helps children to develop the understanding of what is available across the provision and may prompt them to explore a different area where their interests lie in the next session.

Tidy up

A time to pay respect to the environment by returning everything to its space.  Adults model this and encourage children to join in.

Family time

Family group time. Time spent together with friends sharing a story and songs. A time to reflect on the day, a resting time and a gentle transition to hometime.