Starting to use Tapestry is very straightforward but I've put a quick screenshot tutorial to get you kicked off. Please check out the other tutorials for some more in depth descriptions of how to use the various functions.
Basically, setting Tapestry up consists of adding setting details, adding children, adding staff, and then adding observations. You can also add relatives if you like, but you might want to spend a few months getting used to Tapestry before you do that.
Here's how to go about it:
Your front page (with no observations) will look something like this:
Of course there will be no information on it yet, because you haven't added anything, but where it says "There are currently no observations on this page", you will eventually see a list of the observations you have made in chronological order.
You can't start off by clicking that tempting 'Add Observation' button because it will remind you that there are no children to add an observation for, so the first thing to do is to begin to add some initial data, to customise this blank canvas to your own setting. Here's how to start.
Access the main setting management area by clicking on The Admin shown at (1) below.
A drop down box will appear with a number of options. Select (2), 'Control Panel'.
You'll then find yourself at a different screen with a number of different options in a set of tabs down the left hand side. Clicking on (1) 'Settings' will cause that list to expand.
Those are for setting related options, for example which assessment pickers are active on Tapestry. Generally those options won't be changed regularly, but will be needed to set up and customised your setting.
If you have time, I would recommend going through each of the tabs in turn to see what you can do and changing your preferences accordingly. If you're just trying to get the basics done though and then are either passing it over to someone else, or you just can't wait to start using Tapestry, you can leave most of these sections. The one you will want to set up properly to begin with is your term dates. These can be found in the Summative Assessments tab. It's important that you do set these up at the beginning because doing it part way through the year could potentially lead to some data loss. Please see our specific tutorial for that if you want to find out more: Changing term dates
Okay, I'm not going to go over all of the rest of those sections, but instead I'm going to jump onto adding children and staff.
Adding children is really straightforward and hopefully you'll find it quite intuitive! As this is a management option, you do need to be in the control panel, but this time, rather than going to 'Settings', go to 'Manage Children'. From there you can either click on the blue + Add Child button, or if you have a CSV with their data in, you can import them all at once.
If you would like to have a more detailed look at exactly how that is done, please see this tutorial: Adding a child or take a look at the other tutorials in the 'starting up' section of this tutorials list.
When you have added one (or several), you will be able to see that the children then appear in a list on that 'Manage Children' page, along with their date of birth and age, and whether they are Active or not.
Adding staff members is very similar. You simply need to go to the manage staff section of the control panel (1) and then click on the '+ Add Staff Member' button (2). You can also edit anyone who has already been added by clicking on the edit button next to their name (3). That's something you might want to do for 'The Admin' account that you are set up with - that way you can change 'The Admin' to your real name. For more detail on adding staff, please see this: Adding a staff member
So that's it - once you have you your term dates, children, and staff set up, you can get going with making observations!
To do that, click the 'Observations' tab along the top of the page and then 'Add Observation':
This will take you to the page used for adding and editing observations, shown below. You will be able to select a child by clicking on '+ Select Children' (1), and give the observation a title (2). Following that, simply move through the various fields on this page, adding notes, changing the created date if necessary, and attaching photos or media (though this needs to be less than 100MB per individual file to meet our single upload allowance). You can also add assessments if you wish.
Take some time to play with this - In regards to the EYFS, which I imagine is what most of you will be using for the majority of the time, you have the option to use just the age band or to select individual statements.
Once you are happy with your observation press the 'Save' button which you can find at the top or bottom of the observation.
You can then return to the front screen to admire your first observation, or go to the children's tab where you will be able to see it in your child's journal.