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Help With Keyworker Groups


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please help!!

I run a pre school and up to this term have run my keyworker system as follows; 4 members of staff had 8 keyworker children each took them out as a group once a week and did basic shapes numbers name writing etc plus do 2 obsrvations each 6 weeks and all work collected in a folder to go home to parents.

then became aware over various training sessions that we were not doing enoufgh observations on the children and in some groups this is all they do.

so this term decided to scrap group time (bad idea) and concentrate on 6 obsevations one from each ELG on each child each half term.

bad idea again that means each member of staff is doing 48 observations every six weeks - impossible!!

Please please if you run a good effective keyworker system let me know !!

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Hi Hali -

Can't answer this post immediately, but it sounds like you're a bit agitated, so I just wanted to get back quickly and say Don't Panic! :)


Helen has a good keyworker and observation scheme in place, and I'll be getting her to come here and offer a few suggestions.


In the meantime, I wondered if you had found our article on Observation and Assessment, and whether it offered you any help? If not you can find a link to it here.


I'm sure we can offer you some help and support. Usually if these things become impossible, it's because you're trying to do more than is necessary. :o



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thanks for your reply

im not so much agitated just in need of some guidence as we are going for our acreditation next year and would like to get this issue sorted in the effective way for my staff.

Thanks again and look forward to hearing if helen has any suggestions

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Hi -

I'm posting this on behalf of Sophie, who hit the wrong button (Report This Post). Hmm. I must get something done about that button :o


hi hali

I also run a pre-school where we have keyworker system and had the same problem fitting in all the observations we now rota one member of staff per day to just conduct their obs for the first hour and a half of the session setting up for the day to cover what is required e.g cutting skills.

I also use Helens target child sheets which is on a clipboard so any member of staff can use it through out the day to jot relevant obs this has worked well.

The children's keyworker also writes a weeky home book for their children which I also consider to be observation.

I still don't know if we have got it right so if anyone has anymore ideas I would be very grateful


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Hi Hali,

This is what we do :)

Each member of staff, like you, has around 7-9 keyworker children. We used to choose one child for EVERYONE to observe each day, and, as we have 35 children on the roll, each child was therefore observed once every half-term. At the moment, we are having a go at observing two children each day, and things are going well so far. We have the child's obs sheet, divided into the six areas of learning, on a clipboard, and this can be grabbed by any member of staff and taken to anywhere in the nursery for quick notes to be made. All staff make comments on all children, but the keyworker is responsible, at our Wednesday staff meeting (which we allocate solely to talk about and write about the children) for recording all the obs in the child's "Special book", adding photos, pics and so on. It works so well in my setting as all staff get to know all 35 children, and staff members can discuss the children with their colleagues, often getting a different perspective on the child's interests or level of development.

After half-term, we will reintroduce focus group time, which is a bit like your keyworker time, perhaps doing a practical Maths or Science-type activity and making obs notes on children throughout the week.

One huge point to bear in mind, is that if you know what you're looking for (ie you really know the stepping stones), the whole process is a lot easier. Each week, at our Thursday staff meetings, we look at an aspect within an area of learning, take time to read the stepping stones and the "what the practitioner needs to do" sections, and put up on the nursery wall the stepping stones we have covered in the meeting. This way, we all feel we are (slowly!) getting to learn the FS guidance document, and are feeling more confident in knowing what to look for during our observations.

I hope this goes some way to helping you......will be happy to continue asking questions. :D

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Hi Hali


I think a lot of groups have a struggle with keyworker systems and observations, record books. I have tried lots of systems over the years. We have 64 children on our register each attending between 2 and 4 sessions and staff also work on a rota basis so trying to match the keyworker to child is not always easy. Have in the past have staff say to me - this child who I am keyworker for does not attend the same days I'm working!!!


Introduced yet another new scheme this term - we identify 4/5 children to observe for the week. (we open morning and afternoon sessions so effectively this is 8/10 children a week) This way they are seen mixing with different children and with different adults. We don't do any long observations unless we feel there is a need. Mainly stick to 'post it notes'. I have put a board on the wall and attached envelopes with each child's name. All stafff fill in post it notes on the identified children to record any specific learning achievements - we also cover the other children as well, but are particularly looking at the named children each week.


This way we should have observed all the children by the end of half term. Staff willl then update the children's record books and complete play plans for the next stage.


We keep samples of children's 'work' and take photographs which are made up into a profile book and given to parents when the child leaves.


Good luck



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