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From September we will be putting obs, photos etc in a scrapbook style learning journey in line with what a lot of other settings are doing.

 

Obviously, this would make it easier for children/parents to share and contribute to the LJ's although I am worried about the journeys being taken home and not brought back in. Does this seem to be a problem for any of you?

 

Also, last year we introduced 'communication books' which have worked pretty well, but the committee do not see the need for shared learning journeys and 'communication books' as they feel the 2 could be combined.

 

Any views on the above? Perhaps we could keep the 'communication books' for children who attend more than one setting? :o

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No views on the communication books as we don't do them.

 

As far as learning journeys go , we send them home once a term but on the half-term, so they keep them for a week and then bring them back. We have never had a problem with them being returned but the parents know the sysytem and know that they can't be added to until they are brought back.

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Ours stay in the setting and parents can see them any time and make appointments to come and chat about progress, any next steps etc with Keyperson and look through the assessment paperwork at the same time

 

quick edit to add that I still use communication books too - it's a good place for parents to jot things down like - decorating, house is a tip, sorry if he's hyper! just in case they don't have chance to chat with staff, or if staff don't mention at handover

Edited by Cait
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Did same as Cait.. they stayed in the setting, parents could see and add to them there and we asked them to have a chat with keyworker about them once a term.. or whenever they wanted to really but if we gave a time scale more did it..

 

we did have a problem of them not returning.. no matter how we tried there was always one or two never returned.. and we became so irritated with not being able to add or chasing parents all the time who tended to give lip service to the 'yes i will next time' so stay in setting it was.. no one complained and most did look at them..

 

we didn't have communication books but these are a different thing.. more a tool for passing on information that is important between parent ans setting that does not have time at the start or end of a session.. to us LJ was more the development and learning experiences...

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In Kent we were told that the Learning Journeys were to be regarded as the property of the parents, we were merely custodians whilst this part of the journey was being recorded. We were also to assume that parents or other childcare provider would have started a version of a learning journey before the children came to us and that the learning journey folder would be carried on at school, albeit all of these things in different formats.

 

What I'm being long winded about I suppose is, if you consider it to be quite rightly the property of the parent then why shouldn't it go home as often as they wish? As long as, as Cait has quite rightly pointed out, you tell the parent that you cannot continue to do any work on it until it is returned.

 

If there is any important assessment information in there which you would not want lost, perhaps that could be kept in a companion file back at the pre-school.

Edited by Panders
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Our learning journey books do not go home at all until after the reception class teacher has viewed them. Parents are encouraged to add to the books whenever they like but in nursery time.

After the reception teacher has looked at them, they go home with the parents for good.

However the nursery profile stays with the child in school.

 

We have communication books for parents who we do not see at either end of the day, and breakfast club, nursery and afterschool club write in them when necessary.

They have been working really well with parents whose children have difficulties in one area or another. They also worked well when non English speaking grandparents picked up, and then Mum could get any relevant information from the book, and vice versa.

Edited by Scarlettangel
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Wow! Thanks for all the quick replies.

 

Will discuss this again with my Supervisor/committee and hopefully come to an arrangement that pleases everyone! I will definitely be pushing to keep the communication books though for information not relevant for LJ's!

Thanks :o

Edited by Guest
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Hi Emma

We use 'communication books' and find these really useful.......they might only say things like 'Fred has had a great morning, he especially enjoyed playing in the sand'.....but sometimes they have much more detail if needed........great way too for parents to let us know anything we may need to know........particularly those parents who do not drop off/collect themselves......I have had to 'defend' my position on these books countless times to LA advisors etc. - but once they take a look at one they soon take on board my point of view! Some parents are absolutely great and will add photos to these books too.......sometimes just a line from them saying 'we went to the zoo (or wherever)' is really useful - gives us a 'starting point' for conversations with their child........

 

Learning Journey folders are sent home every six weeks or so.......in my experience parents love to look through these and add their comments......they are, I know, often shared with grandparents too........we have never had a problem with parents returning (well OK, sometimes they need reminding!)........I think what I'm trying to say is that parents recognise the 'importance' of the folders! :o

 

We have a few 'dads' coming into pre-school but not many and not regularly.......it wouldn't feel very 'inclusive' to me if I didn't give them the opportunity to look through and add their comments (and they do).......

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We have communication books (we call them Home/Preschool diaries) and Learning Journeys. Parents can see the learning journeys whenever they like and the children add things to them but they do not go home.

 

I don't really see how these two things could be combined? Our diaries have a huge range of 'types' of comments, and many are not relevant to the learning journey. Eg 'lost the party invitation please can you let me know date and time again' - or 'need to pick up half an hour early on thursday'

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As you say, Gezabel, there are comments in there that aren't relevant to a Learning File. We occasionally have other parents writing notes in them, like "Jenny, this is my new mobile number..." etc

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We send our Learning Journey's home at the end of every term, so they have them for the Christmas break, easter and summer. Parents can see them any time and we always get them out when parents come in for any special occasions. We encourage them to send in wow moments, photos etc for us to put in.

 

We also have diary books that are filled in and sent home once a week.

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From all the comments made I now feel confident enough to 'fight my corner' and keep the communication books!

 

As for sending the LJ's home - we will see! 3 times a year sounds reasonable perhaps.

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We encourage parents to look at them in the setting BUT if that is not possible we do allow them to go home. I have been thinking about asking our early years department if we are entitled to inset days and use them to have open days for parents to look at folders.

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I've posted about this before - but I do love it so much!!!

 

We have an early evening event every term where the children come back in their pyjamas and have a story and snack in one room, while the parents watch a slideshow of pictures/videos, have a chat, and get to look through their own child's learning journey, and photograph book.

 

Last time we did this we had well over half our parents attend, they were all asked to sign that they'd reviewed the LJ's! and this then left just a handful to catch at drop off or pick up to show their files if they wanted to....

 

Parents love the event and it's agreat opportunity.

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Like Panders we were told that the LJ's belong to the child and the parent. Parents are able to take them home at any time, as Sunnyday said it is a great opportunity for a parent to see it that doesn't normally get the opportunity. Parents have written some lovely comments in too.

 

Might have to pinch the pyjama party idea! Thanks mps09.

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We send ours home at the end of term we are a pack away preschool and sometimes children get last minute places at the local school nursery and don't return after the holidays so by giving them all out we know we're not going to be left with uncollected LJ's.

 

We've not had any problems getting them back in the new term however some can be a bit slow and need a few reminders.....

some have come back a little dog eared but I like to think that's because the children have been looking at them and let's face it they are not that gentle

 

 

Another reason for sending them home is so that the extended family can see them, nans and granddads love to know what the little ones are doing at preschool and long term I think it helps to build relationships between setting and family

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We feel our learning journeys belong to the children, so the take them home whenever they want. I agree its a great way to share with the family and extended family. Not had any problems with them not coming back - it seems that the families value them too! we also get a lot of contributions from families - trips out, holidays, a storm that blew the trampoline away. The families stick photos, write notes draw pictures in the book, it would be a real shame to miss that oportunity.

We don't have communication books - not sure how I'd fit them into the day!

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We also feel that the books belong to the parents and children and they should be able to look at them and take them home whenever they want. Some of them are very good at adding news from home and like sharing them with brothers and sisters or grandparents. There's always one or two that don't seem to come back but we get round this by using ring binders so if it doesn't come back, we can still create pages to slot in if and when it returns. If it never comes back, then they get a handful of loose pages!

:oxD

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i am surprised at the number of settings who seem top think they have the right to control the learning journeys which belong to the parents and children! a GOOD setting will have a bout 3 a year packed full of stuff the children and parents want to add as well as obs and inout from the nursery and they should be sent home as soon as full for keeps! a nice new one started. i visit dozes of nurseries and the ones that do this far far outshine the others. come on EYPs let go of the ropes you are not the centre of the EY world! you are a tiny part of the childs jigsaw

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i am surprised at the number of settings who seem top think they have the right to control the learning journeys which belong to the parents and children! a GOOD setting will have a bout 3 a year packed full of stuff the children and parents want to add as well as obs and inout from the nursery and they should be sent home as soon as full for keeps! a nice new one started. i visit dozes of nurseries and the ones that do this far far outshine the others. come on EYPs let go of the ropes you are not the centre of the EY world! you are a tiny part of the childs jigsaw

kushka can i ask if you are sending learning journeys home and they do not return what evidence do you have for transition?...i think most of us on this forum are good practitioners because we are the ones seeking out advice from colleagues but i have to say my learning journeys do not go home...we have tried it and they were not returned leaving us with huge gaps in information about the children. I think all settings are different (thank goodness) and what works for you may not work for others. Our LJ's are worked on a tracker type system and if the information went walkies it would not show the journey from before the children start to where they are when they finish and therefore would not comply with the wishes of the eyfs. :o

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I have to say I agree with finlaysmaid. If they go missing then we have nothing, no evidence at all. Our children usually end up with 2 often (if they are with us for 2 years) 3 books and I would never send home any for keeps until the child leaves.

Our parents have always been very good about returning them but there are some that we have to keep reminding and asking for back. I accept that they belong to the child but also feel that we are the 'keepers' of this record. Perhaps we are unique but rarely does a parent contribute towards them, we get the occasional written comment when books are returned but never any observations etc. But then that's is us and it wouldn't do for us all to be the same would it.

I wish I was the centre of the EY world, it might make more sense then!!

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Personally I feel that we each have to find a system that works for us and enables parents to be as engaged as they want to be in the process of documenting children's learning, providing a record of their time with us and ultimately in ensuring the information we pass onto the child's next setting is as accurate a picture of their capabilities as is possible.

 

Every time I thought about changing the way we 'do' our children's special books in favour of a less time-intensive method, the worry about the books getting lost when they get taken home has stopped me. We have an observation tracker which enables us to log the dates of all the evidence we collect from whatever source. This stays at nursery, whilst the home-school communication book inevitably moves between home and pre-school, :o and the special book gets taken home when granny visits or when daddy realises a whole new lot of pages have appeared which he hasn't seen before.

 

We have had one or two books go missing every so often, but they usually turn up in the end. If all else fails, our separate trackers provide a good record of the evidence we have collected so that at transition time we have all the information we need to inform our reports/profiles etc.

 

Our observations are kept separately from the special books anyway, and are bound up at the back of the tracker periodically and finally when the child leaves us. Very nearly all of our parents are much more interested in the special books whilst the observations are largely ignored. At our leaving party recently, so many parents told me their children had got their special books out again to look at as our last day approached just to remember their happy days with us. To me that was worth all the hours spent making them in the first place and overrode any concerns I've had about how little parents contribute to these books.

 

So keep up the good work in documenting children's learning and in encouraging parents to contribute, in whatever way works best for you. Hopefully this thread will help us all consider how we can improve the process for all parties, or simply enable us to justify our methods based on what we know about our children and their families, and in the light of the ethos of our own individual settings.

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Daisydoo I just bought some lined exercise books from Smiths, and designed and laminated a label for the front page saying what it was all about. For extra durability I bought some plastic exercise book covers which are removable and so can be recycled if necessary.

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i am surprised at the number of settings who seem top think they have the right to control the learning journeys which belong to the parents and children! a GOOD setting will have a bout 3 a year packed full of stuff the children and parents want to add as well as obs and inout from the nursery and they should be sent home as soon as full for keeps! a nice new one started. i visit dozes of nurseries and the ones that do this far far outshine the others. come on EYPs let go of the ropes you are not the centre of the EY world! you are a tiny part of the childs jigsaw

 

I think we all do things in ways which suit our children, parents and staff. When it comes to learning journeys I don't think there is a right or wrong way, I am a firm believer in 'quality and not quantity' and our learning journeys vary in the amount they contain. I think this is as it should be, a child attending two mornings a week is not going to have as much in their learning journey as a child who attends all day every day. Ours are the 'scrapbook' style, a lovely recording of the children's learning, lots of pictures and comments and things added by children and parents. Our observations are filed separately with a 'more formal' record of the children's progress towards the ELGs. I agree parents should get the learning journeys to keep and our parents get them when the child leaves as that is when the child's journey with us ends.

 

I certainly don't think I am the centre of the EY world but I do think I am a good practitioner and work in an OFSTED rated 'good' setting where the inspector described the learning journeys as 'utterly delightful'.

 

Like Happymaz our home diaries are just exercise books. Staff an parents just draw a line under each entry, they are not 'pre-drawn' as there is not limit to how much is written in each entry.

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