Welcome to Tapestry
Learning Journeys, re-imagined
Learning Journals and special books have grown in popularity over the last decade, offering early years settings a way to record the special moments of their children, and to keep parents involved in a partnership as their children blossom and grow. More recently they have been used in conjunction with the EYFS developmental stages to assess more formally how children are progressing.
Traditionally these individual records have been collected in scrapbooks or binders, building up into a treasured memoir that children can take with them when they leave for the next stages of their journey through life - each entry forming a thread in the warp and weft of the tapestry that is their life.
The cost, in both time and money, of providing these journals has often caused great problems for managers and staff in EYFS settings. The purchase of the scrap books alone can be significant, and printing photographs, and cutting, pasting and writing in the journals is a time consuming affair.
Additionally, managers experience the trauma of sending their journals home with parents, only to find they return them late or even lose them. In the event of parents who are separated it can be difficult to make the journals available to both in a fair way; and if one parent is away for other reasons (for example a serving member of the armed forces who is on active duties) it is impossible to use the physical journal as a means of keeping up to date with a son or daughter.
What if it was possible to create records of observations instantly? To add notes and images and have them immediately available to any authorised person as part of the complete story of the child's life at their nursery. To have parents able to view and comment on these special moments, and to be able to contribute their own stories of the child's life outside nursery?
Well, we believe you can. This is what we call Tapestry. Online Learning Journals, from the imagineers at the FSF!
Tapestry is a web application allowing you as a manager, to create and maintain learning journeys and 'special books' for the children in your setting. It features:
- A complete standalone application with your own web address, with full management functions to control access and communication, for parents and staff, and editorial control over all journals and records.
- Journals created for each of your children, with full control over who can view and edit them.
- A growing number of designs for you to choose from.
- Each observation or page can include notes, photographs and EYFS assessments, characteristics of learning and videos. They can be enhanced by comments from other staff and parents, and each page appears in a pleasing and coherent way.
- View the complete set of observations as a learning journey, flipping through a single child's observation pages, in time-order, or filtering in flexible ways to access your favourite records. Bookmark your favourites for quick access.
- Upload an observation to multiple childrens' journals simultaneously, then split and edit individually if necessary.
- Convert to PDF and give to parents as CD or print hardcopies as appropriate.
- Observations can be uploaded in one single process that makes a new entry immediately available or, optionally, hidden until the manager has approved them.
- Each child's journey can have individual accounts set up for parents and relatives to access.
- Parents can comment on new entries and even add their own.
- Mobile apps allow new entries to be made from iphones and ipads (available now) and other devices (coming soon).
- Intuitive EYFS 'tagger' allows assessments to be made down to statement level, and multiple EYFS assessments can be made for a single observation (optional - you decide in your management screen).
- Automatic emails generated for parents when new entries are made.
We will be adding new features regularly over the coming months, as we receive feedback from users, and have already begun work on new functionality. Here is a list of some of the planned additions to Tapestry:
Analysis of EYFS judgements (similar to PRAMS), reporting and charting of individual and group progress.Implemented Essential Characteristics of Learning documented.Implemented
- Registration module. Check children in on arrival, only the current day's children will show up for observation in mobile app - and a register can be printed as permanent record of children present on any particular day.
- Ongoing series of design themes will be introduced.
Here are some examples of views and functions in Tapestry. As we're still trialling the software with a small group of FSF members, the appearance of some functions may alter slightly.
The first view once you've logged in to Tapestry shows a summary of the observations available (these will differ depending on the access rights of the user: manager/parents/relatives etc:
When moving to a detail page the multimedia uploads show up first, with any explanatory notes following.
If an EYFS assessment has been made and statements selected, the statements will show up next. Finally visitors to the page (parents, other staff etc.) can comment on the page. (if this happens the observation is flagged up in the manager's area, so the manager is aware of the comment)
We are proud of our responsiveness at the FSF. Over the last ten years we have built a reputation as a reliable and personal early years presence in a continually changing world. Two years ago we introduced our first software tool for early years practitioners in the shape of PRAMS (Progress Recording and Monitoring System). We have since then developed and added new features to the program as a result of constant enthusiasm and encouragement from users, and we will be actively encouraging the same process with Tapestry.
The FSF community has a deserved reputation as a generous support network, and you will benefit from a dedicated Tapestry forum area for questions, suggestions and open feedback, quite apart from access to the program design and development team. Help us build Tapestry the way you would like to see it and, in doing so, make it your own!
Tapestry is available now, and an annual subscription (prices below) can be purchased from the FSF, after which your Tapestry account will be automatically set up and available within minutes
We only want happy users of Tapestry; we like to sleep well at night. So please have full confidence that if you take out a subscription to Tapestry and decide it's not for you within the first month, you can have your money back, in full, with no hoops or obstacles to jump through. Just drop us a line and we'll refund your payment. We'd obviously like to hear your views - but we'd like to part on good terms!
Tapestry is made available only via the FSF, so all Tapestry users need also to have a current FSF subscription. If you're a member of the FSF already, simply visit this page and select your preferred package. If you're not a subscribing member, check to see whether your local authority subscribes to the FSF (see list here). If so, you can register with the FSF free of charge under their scheme. Otherwise you'll need to register with the FSF and purchase a £20 annual subscription to use Tapestry. In doing so you will become a full member of the wonderful early years community at the FSF and have full access to all the resources and articles on this site, and you will then be able to buy Tapestry.
Annual pricing for Tapestry is dependent on the size of your setting, as indicated below:
- Up to twelve children on register: £30 plus VAT
- Up to forty children on register: £40 plus VAT
- Up to sixty children on register: £60 plus VAT
- Up to one hundred and twenty children on register: £120 plus VAT
- Up to one hundred and eighty children on register: £180 plus VAT
- Up to two hundred and forty children on register: £240 plus VAT
If you have further questions please feel free to email us or, if you are a member of the FSF already, just ask a question in the Forum or use our private message system to PM us.