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hello all, wonder if anyone can help me. Has anyone heard of or been completing 'learning walls' for their children? We as a group would like to start introducing these, they are basically a table showing the areas of learning and the appropriate age strands and you have to highlight each child in the relevant box, showing the age strand they are working through, once achieving this you can move them on to the next age group so showing progression at a glance. This seems ok but as there are many aspects in each area of learning a child may not be in the same age band for each aspect hence we have a problem.

 

Hope i have made some sort of sense and was just wondering if anyone else completed these successfully.

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Have you tried a forum search? I know there have been discusions about learning walls on here, and that at least a couple of members use them successfully.

 

If you haven't done a search before just click on the blue sausage shape box on the top right of the FSF screen and type your key words in and you'll be given a list of the previous threads that match your key words!

 

Maz

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hi and thanks for such speedy reply, had a look a learning walls and they appear not to be the same thing as a 'learning map'. Sorry for being a pain, anyone else heard of a learning map?

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hi and thanks for such speedy reply, had a look a learning walls and they appear not to be the same thing as a 'learning map'.

Maybe I need a learning map to teach me how to read posts properly! :o Hope someone comes along soon!

 

Maz

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Learning maps are more like spidergrams - you have the child's name in the middle and 6 areas of learning round it and you write what has been learned under each heading - I'll have a search for one if you like

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Hi and thanks for replies, unfortunately the 'learning maps' i am talking about are from our local authority (medway) and i understand what Cait has said as we already do something similar but it is not what i am (not very well) talking about. Have just emailed local authority for some clarification as our early years advisor didnt have a clue what we were talking about either even though we showed her a copy of the sheets. Oh well never mind thought it was worth a shot asking on hear but obviously someone somewhere came up with an idea that was unworkable and no one seems any the wiser. Not to worry less work for us. Thanks anyway

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Not sure if this is what you mean - we use this for each individual child, we keep it with their learning journeys, we write each date in one of the boxes when we have an observation in that area - we tend to need say, 3 dates per box before we really consider a child should move on to the next age group.

 

Development_Recording_Sheet_2008.doc

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Couldnt agree more Cait that is my issue but manager wants me to look into how we can use these to show progression for each child at a glance, must admit it did come from local authority who are now saying they dont know what i am talking about.

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oh must add this is only intended to go on staff wall not in individual childs learning journey folder.

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Hi Lilliejos.

 

Firstly, we do put these sheets into the back of the learning journeys together with a photocopy of the child development sheet from the EYFS Themes and Principles Pack, so that parents can see in a general way what we are using as an assessment tool. The only thing recorded on the grid is the date an observation has been made. The written observation, be it a stick it note or long observation is in its correct place stuck into the learning journey.

 

This form is just a tool to see exactly where the child is currently performing, you can also at a glance track the areas where you could target an observation, you know in effect where the gaps are.

 

When we have observed 3 good examples of behaviour, i.e. there are 3 dates written in then we know we can be quite sure a child can be moved on out of an age group and into the next for planning for them.

 

So, Mary is observed showing signs of making relationships, she is calling to others to come and play with her at the play dough table - this maybe the first time we have observed this behaviour with her. We would write up a stick it note, put that in her learning journey, and on the grid under PSE, Aspect - Making Relationships, age 22-36, we would write in the date.

 

Let me say this is not an exact science - sometimes children out perform their age band pretty quickly and we might not have had time to get 3 observations, but the observations generally come over a period of 3 months sometimes or longer if needs be. Admittedly the amount of space is minimal, but with a sharp pencil you can write 3 dates in.

 

I might also add that we keep the "Goal" part separate still, but on the "My Unique Story" course I had a bit of an argument with the EYAT training us because she said the goal was part of 40-60+ age group, I disputed this and felt it was something more than that, it was the goal as it was typed in bold.

 

Is this a clear explanation - of how we use this - if not happy to have another go!

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Many thanks ANDERSPM your explanation is just great thank you. Will feed back to setting on Monday and see where we go from there.

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I don't want to sound negative, and I understand the need to ensure children are progressing, however is this not similar to a checklist? Let us not forget the Development matters grids are guidance.

 

How do you capture and include parent's contribution to their child's learning and development if you are the one doing all the assessing?

 

Also I understood the EYFS is about formative assessment and the only summative assessment is done in the EYFSP.

 

Perhaps I'm a little naive?

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I don't want to sound negative, and I understand the need to ensure children are progressing, however is this not similar to a checklist? Let us not forget the Development matters grids are guidance.

 

How do you capture and include parent's contribution to their child's learning and development if you are the one doing all the assessing?

 

Also I understood the EYFS is about formative assessment and the only summative assessment is done in the EYFSP.

 

Perhaps I'm a little naive?

 

By using the "Development Matters" sheets to highlight areas that have been covered, you can plan next steps for the child to incorporate areas of learning that have yet to be observed and, as a consequence, what appears to be a summative assessment can also become formative.

 

Sometimes observations are as much about what you haven't seen as what you have.

 

Does that make sense? It sounded good in my head... :o

 

DDC

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I don't want to sound negative, and I understand the need to ensure children are progressing, however is this not similar to a checklist? Let us not forget the Development matters grids are guidance.

 

How do you capture and include parent's contribution to their child's learning and development if you are the one doing all the assessing?

 

Also I understood the EYFS is about formative assessment and the only summative assessment is done in the EYFSP.

 

Perhaps I'm a little naive?

 

Hi Rosie 66

I can see why you think it may appear to be similar to a checklist but I think used as a part of the assessment process it looks like a valuable document. Looking at in in isolation as a being a child's record then yes I agree it doesn't say much but I think ANDERSPM has given a great explanation of how and why it is used.

 

I imagine at any point in time staff can quickly glance at this record and not only see how a child is progressing overall but what (if any) areas of learning are lacking observations. I am guessing of course because I haven't used it!

 

However, it sounds similar to what we use on an 'overall scale'. We have a observation chart with all childrens names/areas of learning and we just put a coloured dot (different colour per term) when an observation has been carried out. the actual observation is dated and in the child's learning journey along with photographic and/or other supportive evidence.

 

I suppose we all find different ways of working that suit us. Some people have said they 'hate' our overall sheet and that's fine but it works for us. Instead of picking up an individual learning journey we can see in seconds anything that we may be missing in terms of child observations. I can tell that Jo needs an observation for his physical development and that Fred has several observations in personal social and emotional development. With the best will in the world it is sometimes possible to 'miss' a child. We do a similar sheet to record children's progress for the IDP. They may be in the 'tick sheet' (or dot sheet :o ) bracket but they are not being used in children's learning journeys and have proved to be a valuable tool that works. The IDP one was a little more complicated to create as there are so many 'areas' that need information but we got there in the end and I was chuffed when the area SENCO said she wondered why she hadn't thought of it. I see them as 'behind the scenes kind of admin documents' which enable us to ensure that children's learning journeys can be accurate and informative records of their learning,

 

I don't think there is any right or wrong in the whole observation/recording process perhaps really a case of using a method that all staff are happy with and of course most importantly one that benefits our provision for the children.

 

I agree that parents contributions play an important role in learning journeys xD and though our parental contributions are included they wouldn't figure on our 'overall sheet' ,

 

I am following this thread with interest and would love to see how others 'keep track' of where they are at with the whole observation issue :(

Edited by Geraldine
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The only way this is used in my setting is to inform the Key Worker the dates of observations which support the learning journey. We like to see certain behaviours at least 3 times before we think the children really do have a proper undestanding of what they are doing or saying.

 

This form is a tool, it is not an assessment in itself. It is not a tick list, everything is done at a child's pace, with child development at its root. Nothing gets ticked, or is expected to be done by a certain date or term. This sheet lasts from when a child enters pre-school to when they leave.

 

It allows at a glance anyone picking up the Learning Journey folder to see roughly where the child is on their journey, where the gaps in observations are and possibly where planning for that particular child could be geared towards for the next few weeks.

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I don't want to sound negative, and I understand the need to ensure children are progressing, however is this not similar to a checklist? Let us not forget the Development matters grids are guidance.

 

How do you capture and include parent's contribution to their child's learning and development if you are the one doing all the assessing?

 

Also I understood the EYFS is about formative assessment and the only summative assessment is done in the EYFSP.

 

Perhaps I'm a little naive?

 

To anser the parent's contribution - this is how we cover that. When we have made long observations on a child these are written up, the parent comes in and the Key Worker shows the observation, discusses its meaning, even though that has already been written on the observation also, discusses what they are going to do next with the child and invites the parent to make a comment and sign the observation, we would also suggest some activities the parent could do at home. This process will happen as many times as a Key Worker makes observations or has something in the Learning Journey folder to show a parent. The parents are invited to contribute to the folders as much or as little as they wish. The Key Worker is therefore, not the only person doing the assessing, it is quite a joint effort.

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.

 

This form is a tool, it is not an assessment in itself. It is not a tick list, everything is done at a child's pace, with child development at its root. Nothing gets ticked, or is expected to be done by a certain date or term. This sheet lasts from when a child enters pre-school to when they leave.

I think we are 'singing from the same hymn sheet' with just a variation on approach :o I hope you don't think my early post was in any way a criticism - it certainly wasn't meant to be. I didn't see your sheet as 'assessment of children' but as you say, a 'tool' for staff to see at a glance where children are at/going/gaps etc.

Reading my previous message again I don't think I made myself very clear xD

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Oh not certainly not a criticism - I just wanted to clarify that this isn't the only thing we use in the process - it was suggested by our EYAT that we dated the observations so that we knew where we were. We had been critisised in an Ofsted Inspct 3 years ago that our former way of recording didn't show "where children were at, at any given time", so should I fall under a bus tomorrow, or a member of staff leave how would the next Key Worker know what a child could do, or had done. We felt this system gave us that answer.

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