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Learning Journal Workload


Edlee
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Hi,

 

Has anyone got any top tips on managing this?

At the moment myself and my other two colleagues in pre-school seem to only have time to add to these/highlight off etc. at home and it takes such a long time. We each have 8 key children.

 

I would love us to be able to each find 20 minutes each day to look in the observations wallet, take out any evidence, stick it in with the child and add any comments/highlighting etc. If we each did that with 2 children a day we would cover all our 8 children in a week and allow for a day of not doing it.

But how do I find time to free up each of us for 20 minutes a day when all 3 of us seem to be needed all the time to help the 18 children.

I have really eased off and we just have one adult tied up in a focused activity the others support free play in the 2 rooms. But by the time one of you has answered the phone, changed someone's trousers, answered the door, cut up the fruit, helped someone on the computer etc etc. it just doesn't seem to happen.

It would all be much easier if we could free flow outdoors but we can't so we have an hour of free play and then tidy up and get ready to all go outside for 30 mins. then it's time to come in again, coats off, story time, loo and lunch.

 

Please help because at the moment this seems to take 2 hours at least each weekend and that's before I've done any planning, newsletter writing, policy adjustments etc.

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I just do mine at home, it's easier. This gives me time to spend, looking at pictures and noting other things down that I'd missed too!

I give my staff some non-contact time to do theirs. In practice this happens at snack time and lunchtimes and story and songtime, when children are occupied with something and therefore need less 'hands on support'. The staff member is in the room if needed, but able to devote time to their paperwork, knowing that someone else will 'jump up' to the children if need be, and they'll be the last one called upon to do something. They have two times a week, and take turns

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I am not popular at my setting as I have said no one can take their notes home...I think it is a Safeguarding issue and so they have to find their time throughout the week to carry out their files......staff are all paid 15 minutes per child a week and so realistically it is near impossible - but that is what we get paid for ....so....previously they had taken them home and probably done more in them....the only thing I can think to give them more time is that every three weeks our planning meeting (which we get paid 1.5 hours a week for) (we are lucky I think) becomes a childrens files meeting and we all work on them as a group....it is quite a nice time actually, we can all talk about the individual children as we do it, work together and share observations and knowledge.

We never have time to do enough....I end up going in on the weekend to do it... xD

p.s staff are not full time and so they have the time to stay for an extra hour or so here and there....we are open 9.00 until 3.30

 

ongoing problem for all of us I think.... :o

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I will try and explain how we do it.......

 

Each member of staff has the development matters in a folder/clipboard, all DM's are numbered. Whenever you carry out an observation/annectdotal/photo etc. You write on it in an easy code which DM it alludes to.....eg. KUW 16. These then go in the relevant key persons drawer, the leaning journey is numbered correspondingly so that when they write it up they just get the sticker look at the code and insert where necessary.

 

This sounds longwinded but is actually saving time. It means staff are becoming very knowldegeable about the DM's and also think before they take a photo or write evidence down to make sure it is meaningful.

 

We all have a copy of each others ILP's so can see at a glance in our folders what is required for each child.

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I will try and explain how we do it.......

 

Each member of staff has the development matters in a folder/clipboard, all DM's are numbered. Whenever you carry out an observation/annectdotal/photo etc. You write on it in an easy code which DM it alludes to.....eg. KUW 16. These then go in the relevant key persons drawer, the leaning journey is numbered correspondingly so that when they write it up they just get the sticker look at the code and insert where necessary.

 

This sounds longwinded but is actually saving time. It means staff are becoming very knowldegeable about the DM's and also think before they take a photo or write evidence down to make sure it is meaningful.

 

We all have a copy of each others ILP's so can see at a glance in our folders what is required for each child.

 

Can you explain what you put in your ILP's and how often you update them? This is an area I was told that I had "overcomplicated" at our last inspection!! Thanks

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Hi

We are paid 1 hour per half term to update them (I have 10 children so it doesnt cover it but at least its something).

 

I have to take mine home and do it over the weekend. They are always returned so that the childrens files are on site every day. Just have not got time during the session (full time, ratios etc). I enjoy spending the time on their learning journals etc.

 

Shirel can you explain why it is a safeguarding issue to take them home? Is it in case they get lost? In which case I think it is more likely our parents misplace them than our staff! They do not contain anything confidential or am I missing something?

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My safeguarding issue is that photographs of the children are in the folders and I don't know who comes in to staff's homes when the folders are at their house's - harsh I know - but I just don't feel right about the stuff leaving the building, yes stuff does get lost I think Catma had put that in my mind in a thread a while ago - it has been discussed on here before and many others feel the same - at a recent safeguarding training course I was reassured that this was good practice....I know it would be so much easier to take them home but I have made a stand now and have to stick to it..a lot of my staff have got used to it and think their is less pressure now - but they still don't have enough time to do it :oxD I am off to work now to do some of my children's notes before we start today.......

I wonder if anyone else will support this stand?.........

I do understand if you are full time it is probably too difficult to arrange - but for us we all have time when the session is still running and the office is ready and waiting...

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As said, this is an ongoing problem. If a setting does not allow the learning journeys to leave the premises then I think that staff have to be paid a realistic time to stay and do them or to be given sufficient non contact time. On the other hand if staff are not paid then they have to be allowed to take them home to do as you cannot force staff to work extra hours on the premises unpaid. I would think that when learning journeys are taken home there is a higher input of time. Of course there is a possibility of them being mislaid but surely this is a very low risk as we all value the work put into them.

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As said, this is an ongoing problem. If a setting does not allow the learning journeys to leave the premises then I think that staff have to be paid a realistic time to stay and do them or to be given sufficient non contact time. On the other hand if staff are not paid then they have to be allowed to take them home to do as you cannot force staff to work extra hours on the premises unpaid. I would think that when learning journeys are taken home there is a higher input of time. Of course there is a possibility of them being mislaid but surely this is a very low risk as we all value the work put into them.

 

i think staff should be paid for doing them regardless of where they are completed, i find if i take mine home then i am not able to sit and spend the time doing them as there are other distractions at home (children, telephone etc) but if i leave them in the setting and complete them before or after session then its more focused -also if i need to check anything or pick someone else brains i can.

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This has been relaly contentious for me today....as I brought in this - that no-one takes their records home...I have only one member of staff out of six that doesn't find it easy to do this....I understand she works better at home, she doesn't want to come into the setting to do it....but now I am thinking do I let her take her's home... 1 rule for her another of the others, do I stand by what I believe to be right - which is they should not leave the building - ?

Like I said, I know realistically 15 minutes a week per child is not much.....but the odd planning meeting tops that up a bit....she has five children to write records for....I have 12 and find it difficult to do - but do it - my deputy has 11 children and works full time, she comes in ah hour early a couple of days a week to do hers and says it is because she gets paid to do it and feels she should......?

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Mine don't take the children's files. They write up their observations and do other notes and next step planning at home - they don't need their files for this really. They have a keyperson file with their overview in which enables them to check past planning etc.

 

I don't think you can have one rule for one and another for another, really. It might be different if you didn't trust your staff to maintain confidentiality rules with the paperwork, but that's another issue, surely? :o

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Have to say that most of our updates are done at home and a certain amount each month is paid for.

Children help to stick photos and pictures in but everything else is done at home.

I am the only one (supervisor) who works everyday and due to staff having other jobs and lack of access to our hall outside of session and tidy up time, we can't do this on the premises.

 

Rachel

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The problem is you can't really make her stay at work late or come in early in order to finish her record keeping if she isn't being paid for it. Then again you can't have one rule for her and one rule for everyone else, for one it probably wouldn't go down well with the others. Do the other staff get their records finished in the time (apart from you and your deputy)? Is she being sensible about how much work she is putting into each file or is it excessive? Also is she taking full advantage of the times she gets to do this work or is she not making best use of it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Each of my staff are given 3 hours per week non contact time during a pre school session, we have recruited two members of staff who are not key persons, who come in to specifically cover non contact assessing time. It took me a while to convince the comittee of the importance of allowing this time as assessing children's learning is an important aspect of the job and not one that should be rushed or squeezed in where ever it can be.

 

Claire x

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Can you explain what you put in your ILP's and how often you update them? This is an area I was told that I had "overcomplicated" at our last inspection!! Thanks

 

We use to cover all six areas of learning every term but found this was unworkable and therefore a waste of time so now we cover one area of learning per child per term this ensures we really work to cover it and do not get overcome with paperwork.

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Each of my staff are given 3 hours per week non contact time during a pre school session, we have recruited two members of staff who are not key persons, who come in to specifically cover non contact assessing time. It took me a while to convince the comittee of the importance of allowing this time as assessing children's learning is an important aspect of the job and not one that should be rushed or squeezed in where ever it can be.

 

Claire x

 

 

This sounds a great idea but in our setting there is just no money to cover non contact time.

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This sounds a great idea but in our setting there is just no money to cover non contact time.

 

 

Do your staff currently get paid to update their folders at home? This was the usual practice before I became the lead, the staff used to get paid 5 hours to assess in their own time, we are now only paying for cover. I really think assessing is an integral part of a key persons role and therefore should be given the same priority as actual contact time with the children, in the same way that teachers have PPA time. Staff are able to assess in a quiet area without interuption and all files remain on the premises, making them accessible to parents at all times. The staff have embraced this change and look forward to their assessing time, it also allows me to monitor what everyone is doing.

 

Claire x

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