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Cross Ref Obs On Development Matters


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in our setting we have a book split into the areas of development where we will stick relevant obs/photos etc into the correct section of the book for each child. we then have a print out of the development matters to highlight when that dm has been achieved. during our staff meeting on friday i asked all staff to fill the development matters back sheet in as they go along so that we have a clear understanding of where each child development stages are.(as when i went through alot of the books no DM where highlighted at all) i also asked them when they have highlighted the back sheet to put a page number by the side so that you can easily see how the child has achieved that development matter by looking up the page number and reading the observation about it.( as i felt that otherwise it would be to much like the old tick lists where they would just go down and highlight what they felt relevant to do so) this was not met with a positive response by my team as 2 of the members one being my deputy gave me alot of grief as to why they had to put page numbers! i explained but still they just didnt get it. my deputy even said" well i am not putting page numbers unless it says somewhere that she has to"! i have been in this job for just a year now and last june/july when it came to report writing i saw all the staff just sitting there highlighting what they felt the child could do without evan looking at the obs they had written. i also said to them that it would also benifit the school that the child goes onto as many of the schools where i live (which is in a differant county then where i work) ask the parents to bring in their learning journeys so they can go through them during the first few weeks of them starting school. my deputy turned round to the rest of the staff and said dont worry (the schools name where most of the children go to) dont evan ask for the books!! is it just me or is it to much to ask for just putting a page number down!?!

 

sorry about long post very frustraited!!

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Having received a profile that was numbered against page evidence I have to say it was a lot more helpful than a highlighted sheet.It's difficult when members of staff dig their heels in about something - I've come up against it myself. Unless staff can see your reasoning behind it, they often won't do it if it's something they can't be bothered with.

 

I guess, at the end of the day, you have to work with these people, however unreasonable they seem to be. Could you throw the ball to them and ask if they can see a better way of recording their lovely evidence?

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I always use the threat of ofsted with my staff! I explain that if ofsted see highlighted cev matters forms they will ask where the evidence is, but if we date/page number ours we can just say have a look there - or ofsted will realise and not even ask - if that makes sense! lol

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. i also said to them that it would also benifit the school that the child goes onto as many of the schools where i live (which is in a differant county then where i work) ask the parents to bring in their learning journeys so they can go through them during the first few weeks of them starting school. my deputy turned round to the rest of the staff and said dont worry (the schools name where most of the children go to) dont evan ask for the books!!

 

is it just me or is it to much to ask for just putting a page number down!?!

 

 

This bits me.....

No sammy123 I don't think it is. The problem as i see it is: As there is no ONE way to do the: Learning Journeys, Dev Matters Planning and Assessing, it can cause a kind of 'what are we doing...why are we doing it....and who are we doing it for!! ' scenario.

As your deputys remark, re the feeder schools apparent uninterest! This is obviously very demoralising. Especially when so much work has gone on.

 

Reading all the different posts re the planning and assessing I am amazed at just HOW different they are!! Certainly alot of you guys seem to do loaaads more written planning then we do??!! And as for final assessment before school, our feeder school does not display a great deal of interest in our LJs, she just wants a verbal summary of 'what theyre like' not what they can do!

 

Like Cait said maybe, in view of the forthcoming changes you could have a discussion time. to get everyones input on how best to put together these documents and then when you've all agreed a format that works for you all, hopefully there should be no futher negative

remarks?! Ho hum, its not easy.....:)

 

Edited by Rafa
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Personally I wouldn't worry too much about it - why give yourself yet more work and sometimes time away from the children in order to do this. The most important thing you can do is play with your children, observing them, supporting and extending them rather than making sure every observation correlates with the profile.

 

Ours aren't specifically date referenced and I don't see why they need to be (Diaries and journals, learning stories, key worker obs are all dated and if you really need to find some information to back up your judgement it will be there!) As long as you trust the judgements made by your staff (and you should be moderating judgements regularly to ensure parity) then there should be no need. The judgments we make will always have an element of subjectivity but as long as you know your children and have some evidence to back you up then there shouldn't be a problem. It really depends on how well you know your children. We have 2 classes of 30 reception children and with a profile in front of me I could practically pick examples of every aspect for nigh on most of the children and if the moderator/inspector was to watch those children in action their observations would validate this.

However I do have a very experienced, dedicated team around me whose judgements I respect whole heartedly.

 

Good luck - probably not quite what you wanted to hear!

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we dont date our DM's -but they are colour coded in highlighter -so we know which term the DM was achieved. we dont have evidence for every DM , but all the evidence we have is dated in their LJ's and therefore relates to the colour coded highlighted bit on the DM (does that make sense lol !!)

 

we like the colour coding -as its easy to see at a glance how the child is or isnt progressing, and which area they are in.

 

-we feel that we all know our children really well -and could explain (if asked) why we think each child is at their paticular development stage. But we are a pretty small pre-school -only 19 children in the register . As mentioned before, every setting will do it different.

 

I would sit down with your deputy first -and explain the reasons why you'd like it done this way, and ask her for examples of other ways it could be done if she wasnt keen - do you feel she was undermining you during your meeting?

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We do our Learning journeys chronologically and link all obs across the development matters. Each page is numbered the and the links are tracked on a tracker sheet at the back. This is then highlighted with a colour relating to the stage ie yellow for 22-36months, green for 30-50 months etc.

 

It means that we can see at a glance what the child is excelling at, weak areas, areas that the child might not be accessing.... etc

 

Just for info, we have a 'Responses' sheet at the front to note any responses/next steps that we note from the obs. and we also note child's interests here too.

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Fimbo- My deputy has always very strong opinions on everything sometimes she agrees sometimes she doesn't and the way that she goes around expressing her opinion when she doesn't agree can be quite rude at times. it is not just me she does it with it is everyone. one member of staff has come to me to say that she feels that she will 'come to blows with her own of these days' my deputy has also said that she will not do any obs on others children other than her own key children which has upset many of the other staff as they are doing obs throughout the session on all children. i have told all the staff time after time that they should be doing this but it just does not sink in with a certain few. the reason behind page numbering the back sheet was to get them to use the observations they have made seen as i have told them that the back sheet it not a tick sheet format anymore but that is still how they are using it.

 

thanks for your advice everyone!!

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Wow sorry to play devils advocate but sounds to me like you are actually making a lot more work for yourself! we colour code our dev statements takes approx 10 minutes per child once a half term and we date what we have seen that half term. Our obs are on seperate paper and go at the back as "evidence" as do photos. This evidence relates to some of the dev statements but actually may be observing something general not related straight to them.

Remember dev statements are not a checklist and if Mr Ofsted wants to see evidence for one specific point I would frankly tell him that it has been observed and not all observations are written so to see the evidence he would have needed to be there on that day to see it, and that the important thing is that the Keyworker noted it, if that makes sense. I trust all my staff and make sure that they are doing as they should and we are all on the same page.

To try and coordinate evidence in a written/photographic format with dates to the devs is nice but a lot more paperwork than neccessary to cover all the points in my opinion...

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Wow sorry to play devils advocate but sounds to me like you are actually making a lot more work for yourself! we colour code our dev statements takes approx 10 minutes per child once a half term and we date what we have seen that half term. Our obs are on seperate paper and go at the back as "evidence" as do photos. This evidence relates to some of the dev statements but actually may be observing something general not related straight to them.

Remember dev statements are not a checklist and if Mr Ofsted wants to see evidence for one specific point I would frankly tell him that it has been observed and not all observations are written so to see the evidence he would have needed to be there on that day to see it, and that the important thing is that the Keyworker noted it, if that makes sense. I trust all my staff and make sure that they are doing as they should and we are all on the same page.

To try and coordinate evidence in a written/photographic format with dates to the devs is nice but a lot more paperwork than neccessary to cover all the points in my opinion...

thanks for your advice! when you are going through colour coding your development matters every half term do you use your obs to look to see what your child has achieved? or do you just highlight? do you use the dates off the obs or the dates for the half term your are working on?
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When colour coding the dev matters each half term we do refer to our written observations to see what was written and how it relates to the statements but we also mark any other statements that have been seen that half term.

So for example, if I have done a general observation and the child explored painting, in my written observation I may see they combined colours and used one handed tools etc then I would mark these off for that half term. But I may also have played with them outside during the half term and seen them jump off an object and land appropriately but not had pen and paper to hand because i was engaged in play. I know I have seen this and observed it and I didn't have a camera or paper to record it but it still is an observation that I have seen them do, so I would mark off that statement also.

Don't get me wrong I think it is nice to have evidence for every dev stetement observed but just think when I put down the paper/camera and play with the children then I realise just how much observing can be done through play and getting to know the children better. We have obs and photo's but don't cross ref as the evidence is there in your writing, picture or you should be able to say verbally how they met the devs

I don't think your staff should just highlight willynilly and yes should def refer to their obs when highlighting to mark what was observed where relevant, They should be able to verbally say how they saw something if doing observing through play e.g I was reading with Sally and she repeated the phrase in the story over at the right time. I sometimes ask my staff how they saw something and they can verbally describe if it is not noted or recorded in words or pictures how/when they observed a highlighted statement.

The EYFS is supposed to be observations through play and play seems to be the one thing paperwork inhibits, so we decided a while back to simplify the paperwork to a minimum. Once a half term to update the books with any obs/photos/visually seen obs works well for us and frees up time to observe in play.

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We highlight the Elg's as we observe the children but there are some things that we know the children can do but we dont have an observation on. In this case we write the initials 'PJ' next to the goal; this means the staff have used their Professional judgement to record/observe that a child has achieved that goal! Hope that makes sense :)

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When colour coding the dev matters each half term we do refer to our written observations to see what was written and how it relates to the statements but we also mark any other statements that have been seen that half term.

So for example, if I have done a general observation and the child explored painting, in my written observation I may see they combined colours and used one handed tools etc then I would mark these off for that half term. But I may also have played with them outside during the half term and seen them jump off an object and land appropriately but not had pen and paper to hand because i was engaged in play. I know I have seen this and observed it and I didn't have a camera or paper to record it but it still is an observation that I have seen them do, so I would mark off that statement also.

Don't get me wrong I think it is nice to have evidence for every dev stetement observed but just think when I put down the paper/camera and play with the children then I realise just how much observing can be done through play and getting to know the children better. We have obs and photo's but don't cross ref as the evidence is there in your writing, picture or you should be able to say verbally how they met the devs

I don't think your staff should just highlight willynilly and yes should def refer to their obs when highlighting to mark what was observed where relevant, They should be able to verbally say how they saw something if doing observing through play e.g I was reading with Sally and she repeated the phrase in the story over at the right time. I sometimes ask my staff how they saw something and they can verbally describe if it is not noted or recorded in words or pictures how/when they observed a highlighted statement.

The EYFS is supposed to be observations through play and play seems to be the one thing paperwork inhibits, so we decided a while back to simplify the paperwork to a minimum. Once a half term to update the books with any obs/photos/visually seen obs works well for us and frees up time to observe in play.

thankyou for this info! we are basicly doing the same at the momment (well in theory) using the obs to highlight the development matters we do highlight the basic one that you know the child has easily achieved even if they dont have an obs for it. the problem comes when the staff are not using the obs that they have to refer to. we are blessed with 3 hours paid time every friday to keep the children's books upto date which is why i wanted the staff to "do it correctly" seen as they are getting alot of time to do it. yes granted we all have about 10-11 key children eac, but i still feel that if they get 3 hours a week this is plenty of time to stick the observation in highlight the back sheet accordingly and put a page number by. we dont have massive amounts of obs a week for each child as i also feel it is more important for the children to be safe and we are playing with the children where we can help to scaffold their learning while they are engaging in something that interests them. my initial thought for page numbering is for the staff to get used to using the observations to influance the highlighting the back sheet. i understand that the pre-school where i am working has had alot of changes to try and get back to the ' hear and now' as when i took over a year ago this months it was very much the old fashioned way of the children sitting at the table practicing writing their names!!. so the staff will eventually get used to it ( i hope!) it also doesn't help that 2 of the staff members have worked they for 18 years and haven't done any qualifications, even tho they are brilliant with the children with not doing the training they are very much stuck in their ways.

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We highlight the Elg's as we observe the children but there are some things that we know the children can do but we dont have an observation on. In this case we write the initials 'PJ' next to the goal; this means the staff have used their Professional judgement to record/observe that a child has achieved that goal! Hope that makes sense :)

thanks Bubbles00 i will defo be pinching this idea hope you dont mind :1b
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Oh Suer, I have learned that same lesson the hard way. When Mrs O came calling she said some folders were not up to date. When I checked afterwards, one particular member of staff had not suck in her observations for a couple of months. I was so gutted. What she has been doing during her non-contact time (yes, my staff do have some) i can't imagine. I now make the staff bring all their folders when they have 1:1 supervision and also do spot checks.

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It isnt until something like this happens that you realise but we are only human and im sure it wont be the last mistake i make :)

Not mine either, I long ago learnt I am not infallible! :D

 

That makes three of us then! :o :blink: xD

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