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What You See Is What You Get?!


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Hi All,

just wondering if any of you can share your method of observation allocation and what you do. It seems every setting does something different, as now at my new place, it is again done yet another way, as follows:

each member of staff gets a designated day in which they observe their key children, so the majority of the session is spent with that person either observing and then writing up or observing maybe with eyes up and then writing up at a later date, the profiles are mostly ob notes with photos for majority of obs - no 10 min obs or behaviour obs etc ,this means that a paid member of staff spends majority of session only doing obs,

previous place we made notes or small obs and then had one/2 day per half term to do 10 min obs on children so apart from the ob time we were working as normal.

the staff are keen to change but would like a half hour in which to be able to write up notes as they do not get time otherwise unless they do at home!!

sorry this is a bit garbled but if you understand what i'm saying or can share practical suggestions , would be greatly appreciated

 

Thank you

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Hi All,

just wondering if any of you can share your method of observation allocation and what you do. It seems every setting does something different, as now at my new place, it is again done yet another way, as follows:

each member of staff gets a designated day in which they observe their key children, so the majority of the session is spent with that person either observing and then writing up or observing maybe with eyes up and then writing up at a later date, the profiles are mostly ob notes with photos for majority of obs - no 10 min obs or behaviour obs etc ,this means that a paid member of staff spends majority of session only doing obs,

previous place we made notes or small obs and then had one/2 day per half term to do 10 min obs on children so apart from the ob time we were working as normal.

the staff are keen to change but would like a half hour in which to be able to write up notes as they do not get time otherwise unless they do at home!!

sorry this is a bit garbled but if you understand what i'm saying or can share practical suggestions , would be greatly appreciated

 

Thank you

 

We have three members of staff who each have one morning (from 9.30 - 11.00) to do whatever they feel is needed - this could be to observe children (e.g. 10 min obs, learning story, tracking obs, photos etc), work with individual children - on their targets, look through learning journeys with children, catch up on focused assessment, or perhaps 'just' update the learning journeys - but we are responsible for recording/updating the LJ for our key children so I do not dictate what has to be done. Three monthly progress reports also need to be done which, in part - rightly or wrongly, are done at home.

Hope that helps!

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We have three members of staff who each have one morning (from 9.30 - 11.00) to do whatever they feel is needed - this could be to observe children (e.g. 10 min obs, learning story, tracking obs, photos etc), work with individual children - on their targets, look through learning journeys with children, catch up on focused assessment, or perhaps 'just' update the learning journeys - but we are responsible for recording/updating the LJ for our key children so I do not dictate what has to be done. Three monthly progress reports also need to be done which, in part - rightly or wrongly, are done at home.

Hope that helps!

 

 

Thankyou Devonmaid , that does indeed help , is that one morning a week ?? as some of our staff only work 2 mornings a week :o

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Thankyou Devonmaid , that does indeed help , is that one morning a week ?? as some of our staff only work 2 mornings a week :o

 

Yes we have one morning per week, each. We have three staff (teacher, nursery nurse and teaching assistant) and we all work five mornings. I also work afternoons with two other members of staff from the pre-school setting - which comes under the umbrella of the nursery unit (maintained).

Edited by Guest
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Hi lashes

 

we work as a unit with the Reception class and there are 5 adults. 2 teachers me in Nursery and one in Reception 2 TA's and one adult working one to one (so really they cant be used as a resource apart from with that child). We have a rota each week one person in reception doing focused activity, one person in Nursery doing focused activity, one person outside and one person as facilitator. Obviously using common sense if there are more children outside the roles can be adapted so more adults are out. The facilitator uses the time to either model a new area or new resources, enhance areas, write obs, learning journeys, take photographs, complete look, listen and note, displays etc. Our rota changes in the morning and afternoon sessions for the facilitator and outside person they swap so that the same person is not out all day every week.The person in nursery or reception carrying out focused activity remains the same for the week and then at the start of a new week the role change. I hope this makes sense and helps.

 

kate :o

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You shouldnt be writing up observations.

 

You may need to spend some time afterwards interpreting and deciding next steps.

 

hi Susan,

what do you mean ? observations need to be written up don't they or am I misinterpreting your comment ??

:o

Edited by lashes2508
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No, I dont think so. Your observation should be used as it stands when you have finished it.

So, a post it note incidental is used in that form and a longer ob is filed away as you finish it.

 

The advice we were given some years ago by Tina Bruce was not to write obs up as you are then doing the job twice.

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We were told the same Susan. In fact our LA regarded written up obs as secondary evidence. As the obs are for the practitioner to use for their assessments and next steps, there is not really a need to write them up again.

 

I have always written obs ( longer ones ) roughly and and then written/typed up on appropriate sheet as these went into child's profile that parents got to keep , we had a section at bottom for developmental matters and next steps , do you think it is unnecessary??, post it notes were either stuck in or particular area was highlighted and dated as evidence of childs acheivment with accompanying photo.

 

we omitted examples of art work and used scrap books for this sort of thing which the children could take home and add to or just stick in them selves at preschool if they did not want to take art work home , this did encourage more creative activity and development and parents got a little space left on the kitchen cupboards at home !

 

It is so much work for staff so I do wonder if we do too much or just go about it the wrong way !!

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We have sticker sheets from GLS which fit perfectly into the column for obs on our learning journey sheet. So we just write the ob on the sticker and it gets stuck directly into the file. If my staff work over 5 sessions, they have an hour once a week within the sessions where they are can stick the stickers in, and interpret their obs/look at next steps. On the learning journey sheet there is a column for linking it to areas of learning and a column for next steps. I just scribble in there something like 'psed/making relationships' and then 'provide small group opportunities to observe further interactions' for example when I am analysing my data.

 

Staff who work less than 5 sessions have said they don't want to spend any of their session time on admin as they aren't in as much, so want to be with the children all the time when they are, so they either take home a blank sheet from the learning journey to add their stickers too at home and annotate or they stay after their sessions to work on them. All staff also get paid record hours of up to 30 minutes per key child per week which they can do in their own time on site or by taking the blank sheets home.

 

I personally have 8 key children, and spend about an hour of my own time in the setting sticking in stickers and making notes for next steps, and then about 30 minutes (with distractions and being interrupted) during a friday morning session to be on top of my records and next steps each week. Then I use the rest of my paid record time 3 times a year when we complete an assessment of our children's development which I will then input into prams.

 

HTH

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Thanks so much Clare , that is all really helpful , just tried to find the stickers you are referring to but theGLS website is down so will have to refer to catalogue on Monday, know its a bit cheeky but how are your sheets laid out and do the stickers just allow a short ob , do you ever do longer ones or feel there is no point :o

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we have a termly ob sheet up, this has to be filled in by each friday by keyworkers (they're each numbered 1-6) with which of their key children and when they are doing a formal ob (before this we found one member of staff doing nothing but ob's and another doing none at all, which meant some children had loads and some none) the keyworker number is then used on the wkly planning sheet to show which individual children have been planned for, also use the corresponding number to show which other children would enjoy/benefit from same planned activity/resource ,we also use sticker sheets (address labels from consortium) a sheet per keyworker is up so that any member of staff can make notes on correct keyworker sheet and these go straight in learning journeys.

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hiya

 

Will try and get the copy from the F2 leader which I think is saved on her computer. And the code for GLS as well while I am at it :-)

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It's not easy to explain how I do it, but I'll have a go.

 

I have 10 key children who are in preschool year as my group. From watching and noting things down I'm aware of 'where they are' and have a good idea of the next steps I'm wanting to see, so these are either set up as a planned activity for that child - or the group if they want to join in, or I continue to watch and provide resources.

 

My observations come out of these next steps to record an achievement or a possible line of development to help a bit more or to take it further. They may come out of something totally spontaneous - and I like those the best - a group of children 'problem solving' how to get some bricks out from between the cupboards (an overheard activity that I scribbled down) or some shared learning on building with lego, interlocking the bricks. One of the best this week was from a ASD boy who'd just made the connection between the children's logos on their book bags and the children themselves. I'll write that one up in full as his Mum will enjoy reading that at Stay and Chat next week - something positive for her after a round of assessments and specialist appointments recently.

 

I do type up the staff's written notes for files and include photos if there are any, as it helps me keep abreast of where all children 'are'. It also provides a replaceable record should something happen to the original hard copy - like when the roof came down a few years ago in the storms.

 

I don't set a time for staff to do observations, it's something that we just note when we see it and jot down as soon as we can. Staff get an hour a week for non-contact time and use this as they want

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Isn't it surprising how differently everyone does the same job? My system has evolved over the last 10 years and comes from my own instinct as well as cribbing from other people. At my setting we all carry A5 clipboards with sheets of sticky address labels on and we write obs as we go on any of our keychildren, cameras are also put in each area of the setting and are to hand at all times. Photos are then printed each week and these and the labels are stuck straight into the childs file on numbered A4 sheets of paper, the file also contains a list of EYFS statements and the page number of the evidence is written by the statement. At quiet times staff are able to stick evidence in whilst still remaining in the playroom, other than that they do it in their own time e.g. after their session or by coming in early and this is recognised by an extra payment of 1 hour pay per keychild per month. Not enough but all that can be afforded at the moment. We also have evaluated tasks planned in each week, 2/3 for each member of staff (depending on how many keychildren the individual staff member has), which meet the interests of a particular child, at these activities they fill out a form showing which children accessed the activity and which of the listed developmental statements have been seen. This is photocopied for each child who took part and given to the relevant key person and these are numbered and put in the individual child's file and the page number is also noted by the statement. Next steps are planned for on inset days and then staff have 1/2 term to work on this through planned activities and more formal observation methods.

Reading this back it sounds really complicated, funny how it seems so simple when we're doing it.

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Thanks max321 , again some great advice and ideas, love the camera in each area , we are not that fortunate to have one in each area but as we are in one big room we do have access to camera and we have just been given another so could keep one for outside and one for indoors, clipboards i like too , definate food for thought , thanks again everyone for suggestions and sharing :o

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