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How Much Work Per Key Child?

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Yet another question regarding learning stories.


I looked at all the staff learning stories last half term (october) - there were 60ish so that was fun!


Anyway I am worried about the inconsistencies, one of them had filled 2 pages from september to the end of october and to me that's just not enough (There was 2 photos and 2 pieces of work) this key person has issues with deciding herself what should and shouldn't be done but that's another story


Anyway to cut a long story short I want to say to staff what I expect but what do you think is fair? With my own key children I know they differ so much, I could do a page a day on one of them yet another one would probably be a page every week to week and a half.


I want us all to be consistent with the amount of work going in to the learning stories so we make it fair not only for the children but also all the staff.


So my question is how many entries should I say per child per week/month or whatever?


Personally I would say at least 1 entry per day they attend - this can be a bit of work, wow moment, photo, quote etc - do you think that's too much?


The staff have between 2 and 9 key children each

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my issue with saying one for each day they attend could end up with pointless entries with no real worth or meaning..


and thinking along these lines as a max.. 9 children doing 5 days a week = 45 at a minimum then there would be the ones which required more than one entry.. is a lot of for anyone to do.. I know that is an extreme example but it does show what you could be asking for..


I think there is no real definitive answer to this.. set a number and it could work, but could just as easily cause big issues of paperwork that has no real meaning and resentment for having to do it.. better to have less and it have a purpose...

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I agree with Inge, its not always practical to ask for an entry every day, and you end up recording for the sake of it which defeats the object.


I dont know if you are a settings where children attend for different days/sessions as this well also impact heavily on what is recorded. I would expect to see a learning diary much filler for a child who attends 5 session per week and is a regular attender as compared to one who attends for one session.


I would be concerned about two entries in 2 months (unless there is a reason eg non attendance) so you might need to find out why this one is a bit thin, especially if this key person's others are not quite so thin. Any concerns about staff who aren't doing their job so to speak, you will need to address through supervisions and appraisals.


There is no answer to the 'how many?' question except to say 'enough'. Enough to tell a story of the child's learning with you; enough to show how they make progress over time; enough to be able to identify any additional needs. And don't forget also that not everything must be written down..

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A Nursery School that I worked in, required the staff to make an entry per week. The staff rotated around the nursery areas and took an activity focus in this area every day for the week they were based there. A brief statement of work undertaken re the focus was written for all child and a personalised bit added re the child's specific responses.

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Completely agree with the posts from Inge and Mundia......


I actually try to dissuade (Sp?) my staff from adding something everyday.......I would rather they added useful and interesting info only - this is fairly easy for me as I 'develop' the photos - I tend to just delete some.......


We have 8 Key Children each attending for various sessions........as Susan said I would hope that there would be one entry per week for each child.....


Today we have introduced a new 'Action song' - photos were taken and I would expect that to be added to children's folders......all other activities today would have been included/annotated previously....so no need to repeat.....


HTH :o

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Thanks everyone and I totally agree that it could lead to pointless things being put in just to make sure they add something each day. There is a problem with this one member of staff and I have discussed her inability/refusal to carry out obs etc correctly until I am blue in the face but her answer has always been "we never used to have to do it" (she's been there many years!) I was just trying to come up with a goal for her to try and bring her inline with all the other staff so that it's not so obvious that she is spending very little time with her keychildren and on their learning stories


aarrgghh sometimes this job's not easy :o

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Our local authority guidance is one quality observation per half term. This enables the learning journeys to show progression. We do include other non specific obs such as photos, links from home etc. in the LJ. This works well as the staff spend their time doing what is really important which we feel is interacting with the children and not fretting over finding the time to write up obs etc.


I work in another place which is a private Daycare service and there everychild has to have two observation per week....this sounds great but what actually happens is staff start to stage obs....in order to meet their targets. Staff sit in sessions writing up obs not playing with their key children. Satff get overly stressed if their child is only in for one or two days a week...and of course if they or the child is on holiday again it adds more pressure (how mad is it trying to write up obs for next week when the staff member will be on holiday because the company take no account of annual leave!)


Staff in the first setting are on the ball, notice the eureka moments and account for them in their ob files. In the second they are desperately trying to catch new things they havent before and despair if the child is simply consolodating. :o

Edited by enuffsenuf
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I am in the exact predicament with one member of my staff, I think she made 6 obs on a child which attends 5 days a week for an entire term! It wasn't even though they were any good.




"tc showed confidence when linking with others for support"


She lines her key children up and orchestrates (sp?) their answers. "Did you wash your hands before you had snack?" , they say yes so she writes in Physical Development - Health and Bodily awareness - tc knows he has to wash his hands before snack time.


I have flogged this dead horse to death, she is unable/unwilling to do any more training and am at my wits end.


We have an open door policy where all parents can ask to see the childrens learning journeys and eyfs profiles and I know her children's parents are going to be asking questions as to why there is so little in their children's folders and ultimately this is going to come back and bite me on the bum!



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