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Do You Do Observations During Normal Playgroup Routines?


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

At the moment we are trying to prepare transition reports for our children moving to school in September. I am working with bullet points from the transition reports and last week realised I have nothing in my obs to match some of these points so have been trying hard to fill in the gaps - which I assumed you would do for the last term just to ensure you are providing an accurate picture of the child to the Primary School.

 

My Deputy went crazy when she found out what I was doing claiming that we shouldn't be doing this - reason being - the children were noticing and playing up terribly. I personally think that this is all part of normal daily routine - children do like to attract attention and if they know you are not giving it to them will try every way possible to get it even if it means it is not acceptable behaviour. Fact is some of the children who are attracting attention are the younger age group spurred on by one older child who should know better but loves being the centre of all the fuss if you understand what I mean!

 

I am the Leader and have continued filling in the gaps as I feel quite justified in doing them - I want to honestly write what I know about a child not what is in my head and think is true. Of course thinking about it I have doubts ... should I forget about my obs and concentrate on trying to correct the attention seeking behaviour?

 

Just as a postnote - the older child who should know better is one of my Deputy's key children and I personally feel it should be her dealing with the inappropriate behaviour not me.

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Terrydoo73, I don't want to sound like I am speaking out of turn, but to me, from some of your previous posts, it seems like your deputy needs putting in her place a bit.

 

From what you have said, it seems like she thinks she is in charge and is quick to call you on absolutely everything you say and do. As the leader/manager, you really shouldn't be putting up with it. I am a deputy and I wouldn't dream of calling my manager on the decisions she makes, unless of course they pose a threat to the children (which incidentally, they never, ever do!).

 

Anyway, in answer to your question, we do carry out obs during normal routine times. In fact, there is someone observing something all the time and writing it down, so I agree with you on that score. However, I have to disagree with your last point about the deputy being the one to deal exclusively with the challenging behaviour. Yes, she should have a major role in addressing it, but I think that all staff should be dealing with it, to show consistency if nothing else.

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Hi Terrydoo

 

Yes to a certain extent you do need to be completing observations during your play sessions! Or a least writing short comments e.g. on post it notes, so that you can complete the formal stuff later! If you don't complete observations how do you plan your curriculum effectively?

 

Linking your observations to each child's learning is an essential part of NI's inspection process! Could you write a list of what you need to observe and split it between you and yor deputy, if he/she has the responsibility of being a key worker, can't you delegate? Four eyes are better than two!

 

On the plus side you can now ammend what you need to observe so you won't have these gaps next year.

 

Do you think the children pick up on your deputy's attitude?

 

s

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I certainly believe observations should be carried out during the session to give a realistic view of where the child is and what they are doing. The rest of the staff team should support the member of staff who is in the process carrying out observations by supervising the children and supporting their needs.

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All our obs are done during normal daily routines (free-play, snack, adult led activities etc) then if/when an area is picked up on....... say for example- maybe lack of speech with peers- then a more formal obs is done, and specific activities may need to be planned.

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yes, we also observe during all parts of our session -free flow, outdoor equipment, snack time, lunch time, even hand washing times -if needed ! i always let the staff know that "during snack time today i'd like to observe 'john' for a couple of mins"-so they know.

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as the majority of our day was free choice and daily routines all our obs were done during one or the other... is that not the point of them to see progress or need for support through observing normal play/routines.

 

if you do it all the time then they get so used to it there is no playing to an audience..

 

and staff always took over the discipline of all of the children while someone was observing so they were not having to do two jobs..

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I'm a bit confused here, terrydoo.

 

When do you normally do observations on the children? How do children react when you are observing them? I'm curious as to why your deputy would blame you for unwanted behaviour on this occasion. Children are used to being observed all the time, and most practitioners will have a pad and a pen to make notes of things throughout the day, without behaviour being adversely affected.

 

I'm not sure which part of the routine you're referring to, but wonder if formal observations were actually necessary in this case? Is there room in your planning to note the 'things you just know' about your children (ie your own professional judgement) rather than having to make a note of an actual observation of them doing whatever it was? So, as an example, if your experience of snacktime shows you that little Johnny can make healthy choices about what to eat at snacktime and states his preferences as to what he likes and dislikes, you don't need to actually have it written down. You have observed this behaviour over a period of time, and you're confident that he does this routinely.

 

I agree with Clare that all staff have an important role in promoting positive behaviour, not just the individual child's key person, and with what everyone else has said about other staff supporting the member of staff who is carrying out an observation so that they don't have to stop observing unless it is imperative to do so.

 

However I really think your deputy should be supporting you and not obstructing you. You know what you're doing, and why.

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