Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Learning journals -what would you expect? Checklist.


SazzJ
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi

 

Can I ask what you would expect to find in a learning journal?

 

And roughly how many observations per half term/term would you expect staff members to complete?

 

Not sure if I am being unreasonable lol and just want to see what the norm is

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We ask for 1 learning story with photos per half term and as many snapshot observations or significant comments as they can get along with any other photos they want to take.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I currently ask for one Social Observation per term some times per half term is numbers low or we have concerns around a child's social skills.

 

I also ask for one/two snap shot obs per week but generally there are more depending on child/activities and their current interests.

 

I only ask because one staff member has only done 4 observations since January and 2 of them are ones I wrote.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We ask for 1 learning story with photos per half term and as many snapshot observations or significant comments as they can get along with any other photos they want to take.

Sam can I please ask what you class as a 'learning story'?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I childminder I have

 

All about me section which gets filled on arrival, after 6 week settling and then every 6 months

 

Obs section (which I know do following Tapestry), I do 1-2 obs a week and 1 planned ob a week based on their next steps planning

 

Art section (speaks for itself)

 

Parent comments, so any wow vouchers that parent may bring

 

the developement matters links

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we do one learning story per half term this is based on what the child is exploring or interested in, working towards at the moment/next steps linked in normally and consists of pictures and observations. Essentially there is a starting obs then we feed into planning think how we can facilitate or extend so the next obs and picture is the experience moved on. Normally spans four or five pictures depending on what it is and the pictures tell the story as much as the words so all very carefully chosen. Then three or four 'snap shot' pictures of other things they may have been doing or wow moments etc.. this is every half term. Then summary assessment at the end of every term. We try to focus on quality rather than quantity so if they don't get quite this much but the quality is good then we discuss it. But I do check :ph34r:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quality of observation is most important, no point observing for observation sake - we observe and make snap shots all the time and take photo's - important for children to look at what they are doing and to reflect -at my setting I would expect observations on each child each week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A learning story is usually a longer observation with a sequence of 5 or 6 (more if needed) of the child engaged in a self chosen activity based on their interest. One I did recently was a child using the dressing table to 'do' her hair. She brushed it and used the toy hair dryer and then looked in the mirror and up on play lipstick. This went on for 5 minutes or so and then I asked if she would 'do' my hair too. I joined in her play and a colleague took a sequence of photos including me. This play went on for over 15 minutes. this was linked to the EYFS and I set next steps too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to add that we also must establish starting points and include the child's learning characteristics in the summaries.

 

The summaries we are required to write are the Progress Record and the Profile, but as we have to inform parents and

a child's next early years provider or school about a child's attainment, we put them together at the end of each year,

when a child is leaving at any other time and/or on parents' request.

 

I would love to write learning stories, as they fit our ethos, but am unable to pay staff for writing up notes or voice recordings

and add photos - they are paid for every hour they work outside of their time with the children.

 

Whilst with the children we are busy ensuring their safety, well-being and involvement, and stimulating reflection and providing

individual challenges particularly in maths and literacy. Their learning experiences are a priority over our documentation of

those.

 

However, I read Margaret Carr's book published last year and some texts about learning stories from them online, including a

critique of by Ken Blaiklock. My notes are attached, draft version.

Learning stories.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh so how can you then give an example of how they achieved something? My understanding was that you don't need an observation for every development matters and it's ok to use your own judgement to say yes I know they can that! But that you need some evidence for others?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our learning stories:

First page: Key to links we make in the book (e.g. CL1 = Communication and Language: Listening and Attention)

2nd page:Child's all about me form

3rd page: Child's starting points form

4th page: First day form

 

After that we do snap shot observations, wow moments and photos with 99% of everything being linked to the Areas of learning.

 

Then at the back of the book we have the PLODS sheet and also the areas of learning on 2 x A3 (I think? the one twice the size of A4) sheets of paper, these are dated each time it is evidenced within the learning journey then highlighted once the child is secure in that aspect (normally after 3 pieces of evidence)

 

I expect my staff to evidence at least every other time a child is with us but if a child is only in once a week I would expect some evidence in their learning story every time they are in :1b

 

ooppss forgot to say that Ofsted have seen these late last year and were very happy with them and also the fact that we had no long obs - their words were "why waste time when you are observing them all the time anyway"! Although I did point out that if we have a child with behaviour issues or SEN then we generally do long obs as and when needed

Edited by mrsbat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would we need to give evidence? Why should we not be trusted? If we've observed it we've observed it.

 

I may need to add that we're working in teams of two key persons and make all judgements together.

Unfortunately I assume that ofsted won't take your word for it, they will want to see the evidence........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in woods all morning every day, then come back to prepare and share a warm meal.

In the afternoon the children do an activity and then listen to a story, whilst of us writes what

we did during our day on boards for parents to read when collecting their children. There is

no time to write evidence or learning stories during the day. We take lots of photos though,

which families get on a disc at the end of each term. The board and photos, and the sharing

of the day's events at pick up time are ways to inform parents about the children's learning

experiences, involving the children themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst it is true that evidence is everything known about the child, recorded or not, the point of evidence is to illustrate your judgements, support your judgements and to help you recall what you know, which does sometimes require capturing it in some recordable way.

 

It's not about a culture of endless following children around with a post it, which is what I believe the EYFS was actually trying to get rid of. In my opinion, it is about having enough evidence to accurately make a judgement, yet not making this the sole focus of the assessment process. The statutory framework doesn't preclude paperwork, just tells us to be sensible. Para 2.1 Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.

Para 2.2: Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development.

 

As a moderator, I wouldn't be happy if a practitioner just told me "well I know they can do it", I would want some descriptive anecdotal information about how they demonstrated the skills etc, so that it can be agreed the learning is secure and embedded. How it is recorded is the settings business, but to have meaningful professional discussions (supervision, appraisal, progress meetings, moderations, parent meetings, reporting etc etc) I think you do need to give some concrete evidence for assessments made. This has also applied to Ofsted inspections I have been involved in - assessing that judgements are accurate is part of the process and a measure of the quality of leadership and management as well.

 

There are many different strategies for capturing outcomes, all valid and all relevant if applied sensibly. A mechanistic approach (x obs in a term etc) can actually be more difficult to manage than a more flexible use of the established "toolkit" of observation methods by practitioners. EAL children for example may need more narrative style observing to see their behaviours and application because they may not be saying it but doing it. Annotated photos may be easier for the active outdoor children where processes need to be captured more. I think we should be training practitioners more to have a range of strategies and then be more flexible in how they can use and apply the right tool for different children maybe.

 

cx

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest sn0wdr0p

Thanks all. Just viewed this topic and I am in the throes of planning a training session for all my staff tonight about observations, assessment and planning (yet again) and your comments are proving very helpful. I still find a load of twaddle and flim flam in observations and want to tighten up on it. Fortunately we use tapestry and I have set it so I check every observation before it is available for viewing by others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst it is true that evidence is everything known about the child, recorded or not, the point of evidence is to illustrate your judgements, support your judgements and to help you recall what you know, which does sometimes require capturing it in some recordable way.

 

Absolutely agree with this statement from catma :1b

 

Our Learning Journey folders contain lots and lots of info - some from home but majority from us - it all makes it so much easier when time comes to make assessments for 'Progress matters' tracking, formative/summative assessments and future planning'

 

I think LJ folders which are well produced and kept up to date are an invaluable resource for practitioners, children and parents - Ofsted would come last on my list of 'priorities' - but hey it's great to have everything ready for them when they come a-knocking! :rolleyes:

 

I do go 'the extra mile' to help my staff - we all work together in one room - so it is easy for me to 'type up' what I call an 'Observation Starter' - I email these to staff and they 'personalise' with extra info...........this is also useful in ensuring the same 'standard/level' of info is produced for all children regardless of who their Key Person is.........I can see, however, that this would not be possible in a larger establishment......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks - I wish I could claim it, but it is from the STA and was in the draft materials for the EYFSP so I have appropriated it somewhat and it now features in my trainings a lot!!

 

I think LJ folders which are well produced and kept up to date are an invaluable resource for practitioners, children and parents - Ofsted would come last on my list of 'priorities' - but hey it's great to have everything ready for them when they come a-knocking! :rolleyes:

Likewise I completely agree with you here!!

 

Cx

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to clarify - I absolutely agree that rigorous records must be kept to help recall what we know,

to ensure that we share accurate information with parents and authorities.

 

As accuracy of judgements and information is what matters, not the evidencing, in my opinion,

we need to understand very well what the development matters and learning goals mean as many

of them are ambiguous. Furthermore, we perceive what we observe differently.

 

To reduce the impact of misinterpretation and subjectivity we (1) have analysed and refined, many

times, the wording of each learning and development statement (2) make each judgement together,

each child's two key persons, after shared observation and discussion.

 

(Please apologise my style - I'm SEF damaged.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice for staff who struggle with observations is to get them to solely focus on writing down what the child said or what the child did. This generally creates a decent observation. The analysis (the so what?) of many observations can then be done later, together if necessary, when you have a range of obs to evaluate and synthesise. I've found understanding the difference between an observation and the wider process of evaluation of many observations to make a judgement key in developing practice.

(It's what I get asked to do most whole phase team meetings on!!)

Cx

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you do an observation starter sunnyday? just thinking obs are so different curious to know what this looks like?

 

 

I think that's a very good idea Sunnyday.It will give less experienced staff a nudge to start observing.

Can see your observation starter please.

 

Goodness ladies - not sure that my 'efforts' are good enough to share - but here you go! :1b

 

POTATO PRINTING +.docx

 

So really it's just a description of the activity and aims of activity........so from there I would expect staff to 'personalise' - e.g. something along the lines of 'Maisy showed high levels of involvement with the potato printing, she looked very carefully at the available colours before making her choice - she decided to use yellow and red and made patterns by using colours alternately' - they might want to add an EYFS DM statement here and add a photo

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's one from this morning

 

SEWING CARDS.docx

 

So then I expect this to be 'personalised' with detail of 'success' and 'level of pride' etc. etc. - something along the lines of:

 

Joe showed such perseverance with this activity, he was clearly delighted with the end result - he couldn't wait to show me what he had done' - very, very well done Joe!

 

Right enough from me now! :1b

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)