A Day in the Life of a Nursery Child

At Stoke Park Nursery, we offer five days (30hours) or two and half day (15 hours) sessions for children aged 3 and above.  We can take up to 26 children in each session. The Nursery is staffed by Mrs Williams, a highly qualified and very experienced Early Years teacher, she is supported by Annette Daly, an Early Years Teaching Assistant who has a Level 3 Early Years Practitioner qualification.

Nursery learning is very play-based, and mainly child-led.  Children will experience some carpet times within their sessions in preparation for moving up to their Reception Class, when they start at school.  Some of our children go on to Stoke Park Primary but not all and we are open to all children (aged 3 and above).  

The outline below is only one example of a typical day.  Our planning closely follows and responds to the children’s interests so therefore, things can change throughout the day and the week ahead.


8.40a.m - Our doors open to the children and their parents/carers and we offer a ‘soft start’. This means that parents are encouraged to ‘stay and play,’ with their child, helping them to settle at an activity. This is always a good time to have a chat with the class teacher, see any new work or ideas that have been displayed and the children are also always keen to share their news from home! Before coming into the classroom, the children are encouraged to hang their coats and bags up on their peg independently. We encourage children to do as much of their early morning settling-in ‘jobs’ themselves to develop their independence. 


9.00a.m - The children sit on the carpet for their first teaching session of the day. We sing good morning to each other, welcoming everyone to the Nursery, we sing our ‘days of the week’ song, weather song (discussing and learning about the weather) and we also find out how many children are present and how many adults. We then go through the visual timetable so the children know what to expect throughout the morning. We will then have a short teaching input, usually with a Literacy or Topic focus.


Following our carpet session, the children are able to choose and be fairly independent in their learning. We offer ‘free-flow’ in our Nursery and this allows children to independently choose to move between the inside and outside environments, as well as the Reception classroom.   Activities in both spaces would be carefully planned and set out, leading on from the children’s interest or an activity planned to build on a new skill. One of the activities may be adult led and the children are encouraged to join in with the activity at some point during the morning. Children have the choice to free-flow, throughout the whole Early years base, inside, outside and to and fro from the Reception class. We believe this enables the children to socialise with different children and adults as well as offering the children many different learning and development opportunities.

Nursery staff complete observations of the learning that takes place in ‘free-flow’ and they record what the next steps to move their learning on will be. The adult-led activities, as well as other activities provided for the children target these next steps.  

We aim to provide each child with a wide range of different opportunities and experiences throughout their time in our Nursery.   We have been very fortunate to have had some lovely experiences, including hatching butterflies.


Snack time  - We come back together for snack time on the carpet, which means the children are able to choose what they would like to have for their morning snack and share with others their learning from the morning. The children are taught to wash their hands before they have their snack and they are encouraged to independently open drinks and fruit.

Following snack time, we have another teaching input, usually ‘Funky fingers’ an activity that is designed for developing muscle strength in hands, preparing children for writing.   For example, this could be dough disco, threading, or developing cutting skills.


The children then have the opportunity to continue their ‘free-flow’ learning until lunchtime.

11.30-12.15 After tidying up, the children prepare for lunch; going to the toilet and washing their hands. They are encouraged to do as much as they can during lunchtime, feeding themselves, opening packets, using knives and forks. All of this is to develop their independence.

After eating their lunch, the children go to the ‘big’ playground and enjoy the opportunity to play on the climbing frame and outside play equipment, using the bigger space to develop their gross motor skills.



12.15p.m - We begin the session with a welcome song and go through the visual timetable for the afternoon. The children then have their first afternoon teaching input, this is usually letters and sounds ( Teaching Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds) or Maths. 

Following this, the children choose their own learning, again through ‘free-flow’ using both the inside and outside environments and the Reception classroom. We then come together mid-afternoon for a drink and we share and talk about our learning. We then usually have a different activity, this could be Forest school. The Forest school is on site and we explore and learn about the environment, enjoy climbing trees and hunting for mini-beasts. It also develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. 


3.00pm – After tidying up we come together to listen to a story and join in with some songs before the children are collected at 3.15pm.


(Please see our school admissions page if you are interested in your child starting at Stoke Park Primary school)