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Observations In Learning Journeys


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Was wondering how many observations everyone is putting in their learning journeys.


I seem to have a few spontaneous ones, and a couple of planned ones for each child,

and am unsure as to include all of them or just a couple from each area of learning.


Sorry if this has been discussed and I've missed it, but would appreciate others intentions,


many thanks,



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I am interested also in what people are putting into them, I have some photographs of the children involved in their favourite activity and other events we have had at school but not any formal observation.

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just to throw a spanner in the works!...at my setting we do a whole class learning journal which is shared. Each child then has a slimline profile folder. Originally all the children had an individual scrap book to collect work and evidence of skills under the six areas. The teaching team found this approach very time intensive and the logistics of managing the collation of materials and sharing scrap books very complicated. Not to mention the time/cost involved with printing pics for each child's learning journey. With the arrival of a new FS leader a new idea was introduced –the concept of whole class Learning Journeys. This was initially trialled in the Nursery and was then extended into the Reception class and is now FS policy.

We began to implement this in Sept 2007 and was viewed by Ofsted as an outstanding resource/idea. It has dveloped over time and we now structure it with the 3 elements from the KWL assessment for learning. K=finding out what the children already know, W=asking the children what they want to find out, L=summrising towards the end of the learning journey what the children have learnt through the various activities. We have to balance the school's priority of a creative curriculum alongside the children's individual interests. Since Sept we have been thinking about "Children around the World" and this has been created as a learning journal. Alongside that a child developed an interest in scarecrows, which led to the whole classs being interested and wanting to make a scarecrow, which led into harvest and Autumn. So at the moment we have those two learning journeys running and our pets one and a wormery one.

Key Points about learning journeys


• The class LJ reflects the class umbrella topics but is flexible enough to reflect individual/group interests


• The LJ is shared with children on a daily basis and provides valuable opportunities for reflection


• Represents a collective experience but features quotations from individuals


• One person oversees the collation of the LJ to ensure that all the children are evenly represented


• The LJ is built up on a daily basis and the process involves both children and parents


• The LJ is always on display for parents to look at and parents are welcome and encouraged to give feedback


• Through LJ parents see the bigger picture and develops community spirit and sense of cohesion


• Each child has an individual slim line profile folder which contains the child's profile and any significant observations.

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We try to do at least one focussed observation and/or one learning journey each term. We use post it notes for spontaneous observations during each session on which ever child we are with and these are later re-written by the childs key worker using Helens 'Catch as you can obs' form, which we altered slightly so instead of Key person we use Area of Learning. I know it sounds like doubling up but it suits us. There's no limit on the amount of these we include but we do try to make sure all 6 areas are covered. We do use photos but only 4 -5 per child as we're a large group can't really afford to print more! We also include artwork, drawing, mark-making etc in each childs folder .


I do like the idea of Jackie's whole class learning journal, might have to work out a way to make it work for a pre-school setting but still keep the individual childrens folders.






Just had a thought - hope you don't mind about the alteration Helen :o

Edited by aliamch
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Guest tinkerbell

For the past 4 years I have made a big book of photographs each half term which goes home with the children for one night to be shared with the family and a notebook is popped in for parental comments.

The book is A3 size with plastic pockets which we slot the pages in.We take the photographs every day and print off to make a couple of pages each week...we make sure all the children are in....the children choose and put the pages together with staff and help make the captions.

Ofsted 2 years ago loved it and I had 5 piled up for them to see(we were inspected summer 2)


I have started doing individual learning journals now with EYFS and am still trying to make them work for me and the children and their parents



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