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How Many Observations In Reception?


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I'm fairly new to Reception, at the minute we are doing one observation per half term for each child. Is this enough? What is the statutory requirement? Thanks

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I'm fairly new to Reception, at the minute we are doing one observation per half term for each child. Is this enough? What is the statutory requirement? Thanks

Firstly, I'm in pre-school so I can't really answer your question. That said, my glib answer would be "enough in number and quality to provide sufficient information to plan for the child's next steps in their learning journey".

 

I'm not sure there's a statutory requirement: rather the guidance/advice has always been a bit vague on the subject of observations....

 

Someone who understands the constraints of carrying out observations in Reception will be along shortly to give you some good advice, I'm sure!

 

Maz

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I don't tend to schedule observations, but keep an eye on how children do with focus activities (for next steps in learning rather than profile assessments) and note down incidental observations of CI play/comments children make that will provide evidence for certain profile points or next steps in learning.

 

Having said that, I should probably have some kind of system to track which children I have fewer observations of.

 

purplemagic x

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I presume you mean a formal, longer type of observation. Our LA recommends at least one per term per child so I would say that doing one every half term is absolutley fine. I aim at one per half term but rarely manage this so I probably do one per term. Obviously if you were having particular worries about a child then perhaps you would do more focussed observations. I have attacched a observation tracking sheet I devised a while ago(not sure if there is already one that somebody else has done in the resource library). Although it is time consuming to begin with it has definatly been a fantastic resource. Each time a child gets a piece of evidence (formal ob, incidental ob, annotated phot, special piece of work for thier file, etc) I just make a mark in the column it relates to. This has been brilliant for looking at provision and deciding what to plan in. For example you can quickly see which aspects of the 6 areas you are struggling to evidence in terms of chn's ass records and adapt planning and provision to suit.

That said I don't decide in advance who I'm going to observe and on which day. Each week I will look at chn who have less ob and ass evidence and attempt to catch them doing something interesting - that said if none of these children are particulary engaged in anything productive ( :o yes, it does happen sometimes) then I will observe somebody else who is engaged in something wonderful.

overview_of_observations.doc

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That said I don't decide in advance who I'm going to observe and on which day.

It can be difficult if you've decided to concentrate on observing a child's language development when they are having a day being a dog and communicates by barking! And who wouldn't abandon a physical development observation in favour of observing some fantastic imaginative play that had spontaneously broken out in the home corner? :o

 

Maz

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My thoughts exactly Maz :o I thought it was just my kids who have those days where they are constantly on hands and knees barking. And there's always someone else trying to tie whatever they can round their neck for a lead!

 

I definately think that the key to managing observations is by being flexible and going with the chn's interests. You can't make chn do or say a particular thing (as much as we might want to sometimes) just because you need to observe something creative etc.

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I tried a long elaborate schedule that ensured i covered all areas and all children were observed each term, but it just didnt work. and my team constantly felt like we were failing!

 

So now my team (this is just two of us by the way for a class of 30) make sure we observe something everyday. This ranges from short post it scribbles, to longer 20 min obs, to photos. this way we get loads done without the pressurea of a shedule. it also means we observe real learning and not set up situations.

 

we then put all of the childrens obs into their folders at the end of the week. there will always be one or two that seem to continually be missed but that is sorted because at the end of each half term i look through the children s folders. and see who is a bit empty. which area is a bit low. they/ that then becomes my next focus.

 

My LA quote that 80% of assessment should be observed through child initiated activity not teacher led.

 

hope that helps

x

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Just wondering how people build in time for updating profiles of work whilst children are there, I seem to get pulled in all directions. Should I do them in PPA time instead but then the children wouldn't know what's in them

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I don't update profiles with children - should I be doing that?

 

And the children don't even know that they exist, never mind what's in them! Am I missing something out?

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Hi i've been to an early years meeting today for my borough and we have been told that one planned observation for each child each half term in all 6 areas is enough. Please bear in mind that one detailed observation might actually encompass the 6 areas without you even realising it, so that doesn't mean 6 individual write ups for each area!! Also, there should be on-going incidental obs which i tend to record on 'post-its' and maybe any photographic evidence and work samples.

 

Hope this helps

 

miss piggy

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hello everyone,

 

i am new to posting on here so please excuse any errors!

In our setting we have tried to get the kids involved in their observations. We encourage them to "get spotted" doing something fantastic.

We spot them ....write it on a spotted certificate (more amazing than a sticker in our classes!) and the chidl gets to post it into the sparkly Spotted box (covered in large colourful spots) These are then collated (usually when they are brimming) and filed into the childrens folders (a proforma keeps track of what each child has got in each area)

The joy is we can steer the childrens motivations towards what we want them to do ....

"I wonder who i will spot drawing a picture of something they have made or using numbers/letter sounds/tidying up"

of course we also get plenty of opportunities to spot CI learning.

To model great behaviour/learning we may give out the spotted certificate as part of circle time but equally we can just hand them quietly to a child - it rarely goes unnoticed by the others!

this system has been a great success for us and involves exactly the same effort as writing a post it but offers the benefit of involving the children

:) Now i just have to try and upload my version

hope it works...

Spotted_certificates.ppt

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Hi and welcome to Miss Piggy and Cella.

 

Purplemagic, there is a space in the optional profile booklet to conference with the child! Quite nice as a record.

 

what a relief reading these! My FSCO has told me that in Nursery, we should aim to do 1 planned observation per child in each area each term and it needs to be timetabled on the planning- bearing in mind that we have been given the 6 areas broken down into each compnonet so there are about 18 sheets per child! We have 2x32 children in Nursery. As I am new to Nursery, I am keen to do it right, but am struggling.

My arguement that we will be spending all our time doing planned observing and not interacting or going with C.I. directions,is so far falling on deaf ears and I am being made to feel that I do not have enough paperwork/ evidence/proof becasue I can't keep up with this demand and that as the rookie, I don't know what I'm talking about.

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Thanks Susan,

 

I have always used the children's bit in the profile booklet to record comments they made at their home visit before starting school, who their friends are, what they like to play with, etc.

 

When profiles go home as part of their end of year report, they each do a bit of writing (of whatever level they are at at the time) talking about something they like or have learnt, so I suppose that is the same thing, too....! :o

 

purplemagic x

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