We have been excited to introduce ‘Discovery Time’ for our Squirrel and Wise Owls Rooms. This enables our two groups of oldest children to mix together in order to benefit from social interactions and access to a wider range of activities and resources by using a ‘Free-flow’ approach. The children are able to access the two base rooms as well as the terrace and garden areas as and when they choose. We also sometimes include the Rainbow Room as an additional space. This area is particularly good for the messier activities! The Rainbow Room also contains our Interactive whiteboard which is often used too.
Discovery Time takes place daily between 9.30-11.15 am and 3-4pm. Before Discovery Time commences the children spend time in their key groups having ‘Planning Time’. This is when the children talk together about what is available to play with and share their ideas of what they may like to do, what resources they might need and who they may choose to play with.
The staff from both rooms are then spread across the whole accessible areas including where they have planned experiences for their key children. Key persons use the Early Years Foundation Stage principles to ensure children have access to a variety of learning experiences which helps each child to reach their full potential and work towards their ‘Next Steps for learning.’
After Discovery Time the children then rejoin their key groups for ‘Review Time’. This is when the children and key person are able to reflect on what they have been doing highlighting any achievements or challenges. Discovery Time in the afternoon is an opportunity to give the children the chance to finish or extend play ideas or indeed start new ones and start the process all over again!