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Focused Observations


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Does anyone still do focused observations? I plan for them, but often they do not get done, or at least not all the children targeted because other things just get in the way - workload, absence of children, time etc, etc.

At a one-to-one meeting with an EY advisor last year, I was told that we should be doing at least 5 focused assessments over the week - we can't manage even 2 per week, and this just leads to stress within the nursery :( :angry: and makes me feel that I am not doing my job adequately :( . I'd really like to know what others do and would appreciate your comments.

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Nope. Definitely not doing them any more. They didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know. I now just record observations on next steps, group obs of letters and sound stuff and wow moments.

 

You perhaps should ask her what focused obs are for! And who they are for. Certainly not for you! There's enough on our plate, we went into this job to be with children nd help them develop and reach their goals, not to sit at a desk writing endless things for other people to nod at!

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Nor us, used to have a list of which KC were being ob'd each week, gave up on that for all reasons you put, trying to get across to staff that a formal ob is ok if they have a reason/concern to be doing it but if not what is the point .....I,d rather they came to planning meetings knowing their interests or next steps from gaps in LJ's than from trying to find something in an ob that showed what a child was doing in a 5/10 min period that was plucked out of a 3 hr session for no apparent reason....but not saying that's right either...fed up with trying to figure what's right or wrong now

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we still have to do one focused observation per term but this would be on a childs next step not just a random observation. the rest of the time the keyworker would use next steps to decide if they needed to write anything -if not then they wouldnt write anything

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That makes sense Blondie...observe to find out if they can now achieve what was intended as next step rather than the other way round.....also trying to instill into some staff not to call children to them when they want to find out something but go to them and interact if already busy with something, my new mantra is 'take the next step to the child'

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I guess you could argue (with regard to the 10 min obs) that you don't really know what a child is going to do as the obs would, presumably, take place during child initiated play - I have certainly made many 'discoveries' through a 10 min obs and therefore like them to take place once per term, at least! Clearly, if a child is 'just' doing what she always does, I would choose an alternative time to observe. I am having serious problems with the focused assessment though and am hoping to hear that lots of practitioners have abandoned the idea as I don't yet have the 'courage' of my convictions :( .

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We don't do any focused assessments anymore. We go with the interests/schema/area of development/favourite activity each day and plan for when they are next in. We record the areas of learning and characteristics on our obs and do a 10 min ob each half term and use these to inform our progress reports. I had this all checked by our EY's development officer and she though it was great!

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We don't do any focused assessments anymore. We go with the interests/schema/area of development/favourite activity each day and plan for when they are next in. We record the areas of learning and characteristics on our obs and do a 10 min ob each half term and use these to inform our progress reports. I had this all checked by our EY's development officer and she though it was great!

 

Thanks for that! I am starting to feel more confident about abandoning focused assessment. :1b

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