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Early Years Practice

My First Week Working at Fennies

Early years Educator, Emma, shares what happened during her induction week at Fennies.

practitioners taking part in loose parts activity

My name’s Emma, and I recently joined Fennies Nurseries as an Early Years Educator. I’ve  just completed my first week with Fennies, and I’d love to take you along for the ride and share my experiences. Firstly though, a little bit about me. I’m a level 3 qualified practitioner, and I’ve been passionate about working in early years even from a very young age. I started out as an Apprentice working in other nursery sites before joining the Fennies family. Here’s what happened on my induction week with their Academy Lead, Jamie.

Day 1

Ahead of the onboarding process, I received an email letting me know what to expect from the induction week and letting me know the location and parking details. I arrived at Fennies Head Office and met Jamie who introduced himself right away and helped us get settled and ready for the first session. He explained that the idea of the induction week is to help provide more support around the job role you’re about to start, as well as to learn a bit more about the company. 

Jamie kicked off with an icebreaker to help ease any of our nerves and for us to get to know our fellow new starters. As part of this, we were asked to chat with the person sitting next to us and find out something that we both had in common. I sat next to the wonderful Ellie who was joining as a Third in Charge at Fennies Teddington. We shared what we had learnt about each other with the rest of the room (Ellie and I discovered that we both love elephants!) which was a great way to help everyone feel comfortable and get to know each other a little better. 

Learning about Fennies 

After the icebreakers, we learnt about the history of Fennies and how it has grown since its opening in 1992. It was great to find out that it’s a family-run business all as learning about the head office team and how each department support each nursery.  

As well as this we learnt about the core values at Fennies Fennies LIFE, which stands for Lead, Inspire, Family and Empower. This really stuck with me throughout the week and will be something I continue to use within my practice. 

early years training presentation

Finally, we were shown how to use the parent app to share pictures of the children’s progress with parents, complete observations and care diaries, and how to use the staff app that’s used to keep up to date with staff from other Fennies nurseries and share ideas. We were also given vital information around how to communicate with parents, all policies and procedures and best of all... our brand-new uniform!

My day 1 standout moments

As well as learning all about Fennies, Jamie kept us on our toes with lots of fun activities during the day. Through these, we learnt about our own personal values that we stick to both in our childcare practice and personal lives. It was really interesting to hear other people’s perspectives and what’s important to them.  

The next activity included a set of challenges that we completed as a team to score points. These challenges included completing new child starter forms, booking onto first aid courses, creating an account and sharing a post on the staff app to name just a few.  

We also had the opportunity to go through our job descriptions. We were asked to highlight the areas that we felt confident about as well as those we may have felt like we needed some more support around. I found this to be very beneficial as we were all able to share our ideas with each other 

Day 2

By Tuesday, there was still an air of nervous anticipation, but that was starting to subside due to the excitement and that we all felt a lot more familiar with each other. We started by recapping our activities and reflecting on the key parts from day one. 

The main topic for day two was care routines and child protection in education. Jamie talked us through the Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters documents and explained Fennies policies and procedures around safeguarding and care routines.  

One thing that really stuck out for me was learning more about early brain development, this gave me a much deeper understanding of how important delivering good quality childcare is.  

trainer and nursery practitioner talking

After this, we went further in depth about mealtimes so that we knew what to expect when we started in the nursery. We ran through how to support children with any dietary requirements, how to log mealtimes on the parent app, and how to support positive mealtimes at each age.

Day 3- Observations

By Wednesday, I was really excited about what the day ahead. As I walked into the training room, I spotted Ellie again and sat down next to her. 

Shortly after, Jamie shared that today we were going to learn all about observations. This would cover how to observe children correctly, and how to plan activities based on our observations and assessments.  

People writing on whiteboard

As the day went on, we learnt how to create meaningful interactions with our key child, from building trust during caregiving moments to building meaningful relationships with their families, and how we would then share information with their parents. We had an in-depth look into the parent app that we’ll be using to share observations and learn how to use it. I found this morning really helpful and felt much more confident ahead of starting at the nursery.  

We then moved onto assessments. Even as a qualified Early Years Educator, completing observations and assessments to the best of your best ability can be scary. Jamie was there to support and guide us on how the assessments are done at Fennies. 

Day 4

practitioners group activity

Day four was filled with fun activities such as The Brain Game, a game that helped us reflect on our own early experiences and the impact they can make. This encouraged teamwork as well as understanding how to support children in being able to regulate their emotions, helping us to build our knowledge on attachment theory and how we can use this in our setting.  

Within this session, we also learnt about good practice and how to set up stimulating environments. Jamie provided us with exemplary examples to help inspire us.  

I left the induction at the end of the week feeling inspired, confident and ready to start my new job role. The induction allowed me to feel prepared and less anxious before throwing myself into a new nursery. 

Since the induction, I have been motivated to be the best practitioner I can be without having any worries. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jamie and everyone in head office for making me feel welcome and confident to start my journey within Fennies.  



Early Years Educator

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