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Hi,

 

Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer so far!

I have been having a think about a few things I am planning on changing in Nursery and Reception when we get back to school in September and one thing I have been 'encouraged' to start doing by our Academy leaders is displaying targets for the children in the classroom.

 

I have had a few ideas but was wondering if anyone had any lovely examples or pictures they could share.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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Guest LornaW

Please NO! Targets in EYFS are for the adults NOT the children. By all means make sure all the adults know but it is not appropriate for the children they need a high quality environment with great interactions and well qualified practitioners!

 

Even when the previous government ran The Improving Schools Programme (ISP): supporting schools to secure the progress making great use of target setting the EYFS were told that targets were for the adults!

 

LornaW

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I have to say I agree with LornaW although I am in a day nursery not a school. We use extra large post-its (A5 size) stuck in various places round the room with children's next steps written on. So for instance if a child had a fine motor next step it might be on the post-it by the malleable table or the mark-making trolley. Some next steps might be on more than one post it, if for example the next step was around sharing. The post its are very much for the staff to remind them what we are aiming to achieve over the week/s. They are stuck high up for adults' reference. A next step might stay on the post-it for several weeks.

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I don't think that children of 4 are too young to have an awareness of what good learning is and how they can improve. Higher up the school they call them targets, in our EYFS we call it normal, everyday practice. All adults know what they children need to do and we will share it with them....

"well done, that jigsaw is brilliant...i saw how hard you tried with that and you didn't give up even when it got really tricky. I saw you move the pieces around and keep trying, that's how we get good at things" OR

"Did you want to do some drawing? Can you remember how we have been trying to hold our pencil? Can you show me?"

These are all targets that we share with the children. We share them to help improve their metacognition, however I would never put them up on the wall, displaying them in words or photos because i believe that it is up to the adults to talk to the children about their targets.

I also believe that in order for children to be able to strive towards a target and eventually generate their own targets, they need to know what a target is. So in EYFS it is our job to lay the foundations of targets by telling the children what they have done well and how that contributes to learning. Almost retrospective targets.

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Why don't you use the display idea from ABC does, where you display something that the children has been learning, with an observation from you, a photograph and / Or the 'thing' they have been doing, a quote from them about their learning and their next step along side this. So, if for example the 'thing' that is displayed is a craft creation, you could focus on the child's scissor control, fine motor skills, design etc in your next step. If you speak to each child as their 'learning space' is updated they will always know about their next step.

 

And/Or

 

You could have a range of 'I Can' statements displayed, in a non hierarchical way, with photographs of the children who are working towards each statement displayed around it, with examples of that statement too- a bit like a working wall.

 

I know how hard it is when others say what they think you should be doing and it's hard when you know better but still have to go along with it. It's best to have the conviction to say 'yes, I can see that fitting with good early years practice by......'

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I am in a maintained nursery. W have an A5 photo of each child in the cloakroom area with their target blu-tacked on. As they achieve each one we put a star sticker on their photo. This has meant that the parent and also other carers know their child's target. Ofsted/ HMI/ LEA advisor all liked this. It is within the nursery itself and the photos don't have names on. Ofsted did expect that the children had an idea of their target and where they were!

 

In addition to this, each staff member has a small laminated luggage label sized sheet on the lanyard with our keys and security badge which has each child's target on- morning children on the front, afternoon on the back. This means that if you're engrossed in an activity inside or out you have instant access to the target. One of our main school staff suggested that she wouldn't need this as their targets are on the wall, however you can't see it all the time and how you possibly know the target for 26 children ( 30 in reception?! It has made a big difference to being able to know when to grab an opportunity to extend a child's learning!

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Guest LornaW

This is why I don't believe in target setting watch it is only 6 mins long!

 

 

I am not saying don't tell children what they are learning and what they need to do next but lists, charts lanyards they are only children aged 36 - 72. Months old! Play - talk - motivate - engage with but for me target set - no thank you!

 

Over and out!

 

LornaW

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I am in a maintained nursery. W have an A5 photo of each child in the cloakroom area with their target blu-tacked on. As they achieve each one we put a star sticker on their photo. This has meant that the parent and also other carers know their child's target. Ofsted/ HMI/ LEA advisor all liked this. It is within the nursery itself and the photos don't have names on. Ofsted did expect that the children had an idea of their target and where they were!

 

In addition to this, each staff member has a small laminated luggage label sized sheet on the lanyard with our keys and security badge which has each child's target on- morning children on the front, afternoon on the back. This means that if you're engrossed in an activity inside or out you have instant access to the target. One of our main school staff suggested that she wouldn't need this as their targets are on the wall, however you can't see it all the time and how you possibly know the target for 26 children ( 30 in reception?! It has made a big difference to being able to know when to grab an opportunity to extend a child's learning!

But all parents see these targets, whether it has names on or not parents know other children, I do not think this is healthy, children do not need to know their targets at such a young age time enough when they are in school. I have high expectations of my children but the word 'target' 'goal' does not come into their vocabulary

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LornaW great link...especially as this guy is the master at wellington...fascinating!

The problem with sharing targets with children is that it gives them the opportunity to fail.....not something i want them to feel at such an early age. In fact at present i dont share the small targets with the parents either for the same reason

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LornaW great link...especially as this guy is the master at wellington...fascinating!

The problem with sharing targets with children is that it gives them the opportunity to fail.....not something i want them to feel at such an early age. In fact at present i dont share the small targets with the parents either for the same reason

 

Do you share with them what they can do to develop their work further?

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No. But i am not a school i have no one over me needing to justify my existence! My targets are often PSE related too which might not be appropriate to share....ie my target for lucy might be to play without shouting at her friends!! As adults we can encourage more receptive play and negotiating tactics but telling her that this is her 'target' would not usually be appropriate. Equally telling a child that their target is to toilet independently in the next fortnight might add pressure and be counter-productive! Even telling a child that your target for them is to write their name independently might not have the effect you want and what happens if after the week they can't do it?

 

Sorry just not my thing!...school was once described to me as the first place a child learns to fail... :( i dont think we need to make it like this encouragement is one thing but we have to look at the messages we are sending out behind the scenes too <_<

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But all parents see these targets, whether it has names on or not parents know other children, I do not think this is healthy, children do not need to know their targets at such a young age time enough when they are in school. I have high expectations of my children but the word 'target' 'goal' does not come into their vocabulary

In a school based setting there is lots of pressure for children to have targets and it is unfortunately something Ofsted and our advisors have been interested in.

To be fair, the parents only seem to bother with their own child's target and the childminders we work with also like being able to work on them - we do lots of working together! The children are not put under any pressure with them at all but all of them know where they are.

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This is why I don't believe in target setting watch it is only 6 mins long!

 

 

I am not saying don't tell children what they are learning and what they need to do next but lists, charts lanyards they are only children aged 36 - 72. Months old! Play - talk - motivate - engage with but for me target set - no thank you!

 

Over and out!

 

LornaW

Fair enough! But obviously it depends on the sort of setting, as whatever anyone says, that influences what you are judged on. Also, the number of children is a factor. if you are key worker to 4 children then you know their next steps but in a maintained setting you can be key worker to 26 or more children and it gives us a better grip on what each one's next step is!

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I also worry about the confidentiality of parents being able to see other children's targets and thus gain an idea of their relative ability. For this reason we put children's initials not names on our weekly planning but with 30 children some of us have difficulty in working out who is who! We're in a village hall and the planning stays on the wall so potentially visitors to the hall can see it too. (We have another master sheet with names and targets in full on a board which goes away each night!)

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I have sympathy for those in school like myself and the pressure of having targets. I can only share how I got round it and it satisfied my SLT and our recent OFSTED inspector. I decided that there were some overall essential skills that we wanted all our reception children to have - ability to share, complete a task independently as well as the obvious maths and English skills. So we have a board with picture symbols on that represent various targets we talk to the children about what we want them to practise referring to the symbols. When SLT appear and OFSTED the children pointed to the symbols and happily talk about their learning in relation to these skills. It's not a I can do this but more an aid to helping the children talk about their learning. Hope this is some use.

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I have sympathy for those in school like myself and the pressure of having targets. I can only share how I got round it and it satisfied my SLT and our recent OFSTED inspector. I decided that there were some overall essential skills that we wanted all our reception children to have - ability to share, complete a task independently as well as the obvious maths and English skills. So we have a board with picture symbols on that represent various targets we talk to the children about what we want them to practise referring to the symbols. When SLT appear and OFSTED the children pointed to the symbols and happily talk about their learning in relation to these skills. It's not a I can do this but more an aid to helping the children talk about their learning. Hope this is some use.

What a great way round it. Sometimes it is about subverting the directive and just making it work for all concerned. I think the language doesn't help either - what we are learning to do even better for example is far less irritating than knowing my target.

The dilemma for schools is that they are not just working with children under 5 and the framework for inspection covers everyone in the school community regardless of age group. The children are in EYFS phase but in a school too so there is a duality of expectations which the teachers have to try and manage as best they can. As qualified teachers the expectations are that they will be consistently demonstrating the teaching standards which show a teacher must "guide pupils to reflect on the progress they have made and their emerging needs" regardless of age group they teach.

Cx

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