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Software To Manage Planning And Assessment For The Eyfs


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Does anyone know of a package that would manage both planning and assessment? Something that would enable you to highlight the development matters focus for a child and then allow that to feed into a class planner?

There seems to be a lot of software based on the profile but not much for planning purposes.

 

Thank you for your help

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We are looking into a system from http://www.lindenmayer.eu/ which helps with the observations and assessments. I can't say whether it would help you in this but if you contact Helen via the website she is very helpful and I know she said she would be making improvements to the system over the next few months. It isn't cheap but if it helps the staff out, and stops them complaining about paperwork, I'll be happy and know it was worth the money!

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It isn't cheap but if it helps the staff out, and stops them complaining about paperwork, I'll be happy and know it was worth the money!

I can see prices for consultancy, Holly - do these prices include the software itself? £2000 to £8000 is a lot no matter how well off your setting is! :o

 

Will be interested to hear how you get on with it if you choose to buy - do they do demo versions?

 

Maz

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It isn't costing us that much but not far off the first price! We are carefully working out how to spend the GLF to cover the initial costs (complicated but I can PM you if you want to know more on that!). Helen has offered us a six month trial and if we are not happy she will buy the system back from us at the same cost as we have paid. I'm very excited by it so I can't see how it can go wrong really. The website doesn't show enough really but Helen came out to visit and show us it in the flesh so to speak, and I was still as impressed as I was at the TES show where I first saw it. My big hope is that it will reduce the workload for staff and get parents more involved in their child's observations and development files. I'm at the stage where it's convincing the money man so I'll let you know how we get on!

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Thanks for that Holly- can you tell us anymore about how it works? is it simply a 'posher' version of the progress matters programme or does it work much better than that? Also once you have paid do you have to pay any more subsription/update fees?

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I think it is better than the Progress Matters stuff. You can upload observations, photos and video and sound clips to the system which is essentially a blog with security features as far as I can tell. These security features mean that only "Sally"'s parents can read the observations on Sally for example, but you can also add open entries on the site such as reminders about the nursery trip, etc. If you go for the all singing all dancing system then you get iPhones to upload the observations onto and these are then transferred using wifi (we are getting this from our ICT grant as the LA are insisting we go online at the setting). This obviously means the observations can be done on the spot and don't need to be retyped, etc later, although they can be edited to tidy them up later.

 

We are not using iPhones and we are going to transfer photos onto memory sticks for the staff to upload from home or the office after the session. Observations will continue to be scribbled notes and then typed up later. But the beauty of it for us that the observations will link directly with the assessments so staff don't have to transfer them to other pieces of paper. Once the observation is uploaded and the relevant development matters "box is ticked" for that, the observation automatically links to individual and group assessments, such as you find on the Progress Matters stuff.

 

Additionally the parents can also be given log ins so they can not only access their child's records but they can contribute to them too. I really like this as I have lots of parents who like to be kept informed but aren't sure about adding stuff. I feel if they can access the information where and when they feel comfortable they will be more likely to add comments. I can also keep a check on how staff are doing with their key child records and see quickly if anyone needs some support, etc, as well as pulling information off for Ofsted, LA, etc on the spot.

 

I'm still a bit vague on all the details as I haven't had the chance to actually play with it yet, but as I say Helen is very friendly and helpful if you think you might be interested. I was planning to use PRAMS when Steve and Matt managed to get it working for Mac, and I'll probably still use this for my own records (I sound really obsessive don't I??), but this system means the staff can also pull off group records if they wish so they can analyse their own key group themselves and plan accordingly. Finally, there is an ongoing monthly cost to use the system but that comes with support and updates and compared to other business models of similar set up for other industries it seems very reasonable. We are very fortunate that we have some disposable income at present, but the company reckons the monthly costs will be less than the costs of printing and paper for a nursery.

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I think it is better than the Progress Matters stuff. You can upload observations, photos and video and sound clips to the system which is essentially a blog with security features as far as I can tell. These security features mean that only "Sally"'s parents can read the observations on Sally for example, but you can also add open entries on the site such as reminders about the nursery trip, etc. If you go for the all singing all dancing system then you get iPhones to upload the observations onto and these are then transferred using wifi (we are getting this from our ICT grant as the LA are insisting we go online at the setting). This obviously means the observations can be done on the spot and don't need to be retyped, etc later, although they can be edited to tidy them up later.

 

We are not using iPhones and we are going to transfer photos onto memory sticks for the staff to upload from home or the office after the session. Observations will continue to be scribbled notes and then typed up later. But the beauty of it for us that the observations will link directly with the assessments so staff don't have to transfer them to other pieces of paper. Once the observation is uploaded and the relevant development matters "box is ticked" for that, the observation automatically links to individual and group assessments, such as you find on the Progress Matters stuff.

 

Additionally the parents can also be given log ins so they can not only access their child's records but they can contribute to them too. I really like this as I have lots of parents who like to be kept informed but aren't sure about adding stuff. I feel if they can access the information where and when they feel comfortable they will be more likely to add comments. I can also keep a check on how staff are doing with their key child records and see quickly if anyone needs some support, etc, as well as pulling information off for Ofsted, LA, etc on the spot.

 

 

 

I'm still a bit vague on all the details as I haven't had the chance to actually play with it yet, but as I say Helen is very friendly and helpful if you think you might be interested. I was planning to use PRAMS when Steve and Matt managed to get it working for Mac, and I'll probably still use this for my own records (I sound really obsessive don't I??), but this system means the staff can also pull off group records if they wish so they can analyse their own key group themselves and plan accordingly. Finally, there is an ongoing monthly cost to use the system but that comes with support and updates and compared to other business models of similar set up for other industries it seems very reasonable. We are very fortunate that we have some disposable income at present, but the company reckons the monthly costs will be less than the costs of printing and paper for a nursery.

 

I like the sound of this but still have some doubts, how will you reach the parents of children that do not have ict skills or do not own a computer. If staff are uploading from home, is there issues of data protection. I am all for making work easier and more managable for the staff but am wary about technology.

Edited by anita.kennedy
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I understand your concerns. For our setting we have already considered these issues. With regard to those families without internet access we will have a laptop available in the setting on which they can access the site and they are welcome to do this with or without an appointment. Also in our setting the percentage of families this applies to is very small. With regards to using data outside of the setting we have already had to overcome this issue due to the set up of our group. The committee have taken the decision to put trust in the staff and as we are a very small group it is easier to do this than it might be in a larger setting with more staff for example. It isn't a solution for every setting but we are very excited about it for us.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've just seen this by chance browsing around.

 

this is an amazing piece of technology that i wish we could afford!

 

My son was lucky enough to go to Helen's Nursery in Wakefield and it was an amazing place. She is a wonderful person- so pleased she has got this up and running - was still in the idea stage when I knew her!

 

 

Rachel

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Hi Rachael. It really is amazing - well I think so. The fact that Helen has nursery background is one of its great strengths I think as she knows exactly what we need and don't need for that matter.

 

For everyone waiting t hear how it goes, we are just getting to the release of money stage so I'll report back soon!

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I have seen Helen's system and I think it is fantastic, my hope is that it will reduce work load, keep everything on site, staff will do all the obs and type up during session or have dedicated time after and we will have better record keeping and more responsive planning and I won't have to faf about with progress matters!. We were hopefully going to have a trial this term but due to one thing and another this hasn't happened (this is us not Helen) we have some IT issues! But I have seen this system in action and I am sure it is the way forward for us and I am just going to keep nagging the management for us to get up and running. Also (not sure if Holly has said this already) but when a child leaves you can print a file or provide it on a disc to parents so they have a hard copy to treasure forever :o and I agree the monthly costs are realy good its just initial outlay that may hurt!

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We are looking into a system from http://www.lindenmayer.eu/ which helps with the observations and assessments. I can't say whether it would help you in this but if you contact Helen via the website she is very helpful and I know she said she would be making improvements to the system over the next few months. It isn't cheap but if it helps the staff out, and stops them complaining about paperwork, I'll be happy and know it was worth the money!

 

 

Hiya Holly35, this software sounds great - Im wondering whether it is something that childminders could use too or is it necessary to have nursery/school sized numbers? ive had a look at two other software designs for cms but not been that impressed. We all need a way to cut down on the paperwork especially with Ofsteds latest "sustainability" requirement.... what do your reckon ? might just contact Helen and give her another earner option !! ( She sounds fantastic by the way!) :)

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I certainly think a Childminder could use it if you could afford the initial outlay. We are only a small group and the savings of printing etc aren't going to be as great as they might be for q larger nursery but for us the advantage will be the time saving.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can anyone tell me how to request info about this system?

 

I followed the link and went onto the contact page and it is blank, no form to complete.

 

I would like to see a demo or something to gauge how it would work for me with a 40 place nursery/out of school club ages 0 -12.

 

Thanks in anticipation

 

BMG

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I followed the link and went onto the contact page and it is blank, no form to complete.

If you go to their home page, BMG there is an email address and a phone number to contact them on. :o

 

Maz

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I am meeting Helen this week so if you are still having problems and would like me to pass on your contact details PM me and I'll do that for you.

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Thanks Maz, I'll go and have another look, with my eyes fully open this time!

I'm sure your eyes were open, BMG - as you say the 'contact us' page refers to a form that isn't there... :o

 

Maz

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