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Laerning Journeys


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Hi, I don't know whether this is in the right place, but I am sure someone will move it if not.

Does anyone use the Learning Journey format similar to that shown on the new govt. EYFS web pages? If so where do you start? Is it a book/loose leaf file? How do you arrange your pages? Is there a photo on each one? Who gets the Learning Journey at the end of the child's time with you? Is it the Parents or the new Provider? Would love to find out more about this, but seem to have come to a standstill - nothing much on the web. Thanks

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Guest Wolfie

I'm also very interested in this but haven't found time to research it properly yet. I went on a course recently run by Marion Dowling and she recommended a book by Margaret Carr called Assessment in Early Childhood Settings which looks at the theory behind it all....I've bought the book but haven't read it yet!

 

Whereabouts on the EYFS web pages does it mention them?

Edited by Wolfie
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I found them once - on the website, but never found them again!!!! I think they're on the disk though... bit like you not really had time to have a good look yet..one os those jobs for the summer, but will be follwing this link hopefully for a few tips.

xx

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we have just had a brief trial using a few of these to see if we are happy with this way of observing/ planning. most staff found them useful and easy to record on, we had a loose leaf file with these all in together, at the end of each week we looked at them and added any childrens needs or interests to the following weeks planning. we aimed for 1 child each session, but in reality it worked out at about 4 or 5 a week, but we feel once used to it this could increase to one a session, depending on childs needs at the time. this means in our case every child is covered at least once a term. The planning was put in the file at the relevant point to show how we had linked obs to plans.

 

at the end of the term we put the obs in the childrens folders so parents have them when the children leave the setting.

 

when we did assessments or next steps we also tried to say how we plan to achieve this making it easy to fit into planning. This is where some had problems identifing a next step to put in plans, particularly if child was progressing as we would expect.

 

we did have a picture on each one. staff took them on settings camers and i just printed off once a week onto sticky labels which could be stuck onto the obs. this bit needs to be done every week or you forget and end up searching for the pictures. we also added any work done if we could such as a picture or painting if relevant to the obs.

 

At moment the planning bit is proving more difficult than the obs , as finding a format we are happy with is proving more difficult than we thought, 3 trials on and still no happier! always too complex and time consuming so dont get done or too simple. will try a few taken from others contirbutions here next!

 

We plan to continue for another term at least.

 

these Learning journeys are in addition to any incidental obs taken during the sessions, we thought ot would greatly add to work load but as they can be done on a focus for short periods did not seem to, but all staff are very experienced in obs of all kinds.

 

inge

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Guest toddleo

I think these Learning Journeys are fine as far as it goes, but it always worries me how much photography is always involved. As a charity sessional preschool, we just do not have the funds to take buy the equipment/take photos/print them offf/pay for them to be printed. I was wondering if there are other settings out there in my boat, and how they intend to deal with it!

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we too are a charity sessional....etc etc....this year struggled to keep afloat....but

camera came from computers from schools vouchers...parents have donated some paper and labels, but these do not cost very much per pack, we use ordinary paper to print off the pics not photo paper , but always look for bargains. Ink is paid for (refill cartidges at cartridge world) only resource i use of mine is PC and printer , over the year it costs very little overall and fundraising usually helps pay for this and other resources.

we also feel they are actually a lovely reminder for parents of thier children at this age...have had lots of comments from parents who have had them as to how they appreciate them.

 

Also outside agencies liked this as they could see at a glance the child and we could focus on one area they wanted to see easily.

 

 

Inge

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I am just going through all the Learning Journeys information. At the moment we do have observations regularly at nursery but these seem slightly different. On the examples the children seem to be observed doing an adult supported task (hence the section on how the adult supported learning). This means that two adults would be occupied with the one child (I know the activity may be with a group). How do people overcome this? Or does the one adult do the activity and the observation? Or am I missing something?

 

Sorry if I appear a bit dense.

 

Sue

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ours are not done at an adult supported task but during the session when the child is focused at an activity or if they move a lot this is put on the obs. if on adult supported then adult takes notes while doing it, need only be a brief comment. but then they often do this on all children at that time.

 

Inge

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Thanks Inge

 

Do you choose the activity or the child. At the moment we do observations on each child and record everything that they do and say over a period of say 10 minutes and this covers whatever area of learning we observe. Is this what you do or do you choose a specific area of learning. Also do you need to observe each area of learning during the term (I do realise that often they cover more than one area in an observation) or just have one observation.

 

I do have quite a few more questions to get my head round but I'll just ask as they come up!!

 

Thanks Sue

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we tend to choose the child and observe over a set period of time, we can also choose activity if we feel we need to for particular children.

we find that as most areas are covered in each one unless we feel needed we do one per term per child, if we have time we will do more , as and when we get more used to it

we found 2 different formats of learning journeys suggested and we currently use one with all areas of learning set out on a page with picuter of child in middle doing the activity and record in each one for the activity observed, we find all areas are usually covered and if one is not becomes a focus for an obs in future.

 

If a child flits a lot we then observe giving times of movement or lenght at each place , (only one pic though!) when you do another one in a few weeks time it can be very obvious of childs progress in areas. We are currently ensuring all new children starting this term have had one so we can compare when they return after summer hols.

 

It is still a big work in progress for us but felt we were ready to change now and get it right eventually over time. We have forund it easy to slip into doing the obs and recording but plans to link format is just not working for us... we will get there eventually.

 

Sounds like hard work but we have found it a managable process, providing all are happy to give it a go and we have to be flexible enough to change it to work for us, not us working for the privilege of more useless paperwork.

 

Inge

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Guest toddleo

thanks for your reply Inge. It still sounds troublesome to me, taking and printing all the photos. How much do you actually spend termly on your ink costs, would you say?, plus the wear and tear on your own pc and printer? I just cannot see that it will be a way forward for us, too many obstacles, though I do not see any way round it if we have to complete the learning journeys.

Are you all using the format in the EYFS download information to put your journey together? and do you also have a ticklist type assessment booklet running alongside the journey book to keep tabs on what "age and Stage/SS" the child is at for quick cross check ?

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Thanks Inge

 

Do you choose the activity or the child. At the moment we do observations on each child and record everything that they do and say over a period of say 10 minutes and this covers whatever area of learning we observe. Is this what you do or do you choose a specific area of learning. Also do you need to observe each area of learning during the term (I do realise that often they cover more than one area in an observation) or just have one observation.

 

I do have quite a few more questions to get my head round but I'll just ask as they come up!!

 

Thanks Sue

 

I've used child, activity and area observations in the past and would still encourage providers to do all the above as appropriate, to assist with future planning.

 

The observations on the children, making notes of all areas covered, are most helpful. I would look at what they are currently doing, what they are interested in and their learning style. This would then get linked to BTTM or FS and future planning would be devised accordingly.

 

If I noticed that a child was always in the home corner, mark making or construction area, I would look at planning for new experiences but still within that area i.e. introducing maths to the home corner, transferring mark making outside or introducing books in the construction area to develop understanding....

 

In addition, I would also 'watch' certain areas if I felt that it was not being utilised to it's fullest potential by the children or the staff. I would perhaps set aside one week and give one member of staff that area to 'watch' not necessarily 'observe' and make notes of what the children are actually doing, what the staff are doing in the area - engaging with the children or just sitting there for a rest (!) You can then analyse why the area is being used that way and what changes could you make to stimulate and motivate children and staff.

 

Not sure if that actually helps or not, I seem to have waffled!

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thanks for your reply Inge. It still sounds troublesome to me, taking and printing all the photos. How much do you actually spend termly on your ink costs, would you say?, plus the wear and tear on your own pc and printer? I just cannot see that it will be a way forward for us, too many obstacles, though I do not see any way round it if we have to complete the learning journeys.

 

If printing off the photos is a real barrier to your setting, maybe you could set up a file on your computer for each child and store the photos in there - if you put them in a word document you can add your observation/assessment comments. Staff can access them on the computer, and at the end of the year, or more frequently if you wanted to, you could put them on a disk for the children to take home.

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not sure about costs, as we print pics on paper and at a draft speed, just buy or refill a cartridge when needed, can only be every 8-10 weeks at most. The picture is just really a reminder or idea of the obs. but caould be left out if you really want to as not essential to the overall idea.

 

we have a profile/ obs book on each child alongside these and record other observations and development as well, ours currently have a stepping stone style list to refer to and record against but we are beginning to look towards the a new format more in line with new EYFs goals ( for want of a better word)

 

we do use them much as running bunny said and we also watch an area as well and develop it as needed etc, at this time the staff member can also do notes on children using the area for thier priofiles.

 

it has surprisingly made linking plans and obs easy for us, which is where we always fall down..we do it but recording and showing it was a different matter, now it is clearer. we are still changing and developing it but so far so good...everyone seems up for the challenge and changes involved.

 

Inge

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