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Using other settings/parents obs?


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Hi

Just wanted opinions to do with the observations that parents tell you and what other settings tell you.

 

I share a few of my children with a number of other settings and we do share obs/development ages and stages etc. However, I am finding that my observations of a childs development are different from those of other settings eg a 48 month old I may think 30 - 50 mnths developing and they think 40-60mnth (sometimes no other info..so not sure if beg/dev/secure). This is then very difficult when it comes to talking to parents as they are getting different info about their child. (We are normally the bad guys). I am moderated by the EYFS teacher at school and she is very insistent that things should be observed being done independently, in different scenarios and often to ensure that the skills are totally embedded.

I think therefore that we are quite "strict" in our assessments (not sure that is the right word!?). She says she would expect children to be arriving in Reception at 30-50 secure with poss starting 40-60 months. My teacher has spoken to my LEA teacher (supports pre-schools/nurseries etc) about this and the LEA teacher sent a note out to all settings to say that if settings think a child is 40-60 secure/ELG, due to start reception then she wants to know.

 

So what am I supposed to be doing with other setting info? At the moment I add it to our learning journals. I send them my info. Do we stick to what we have seen in the setting only to determine development? This gets especially difficult when some of our children come to us on only one morning per week (not my idea!) and yet may go to another nursery much more (so surely they know them better?).

Any advice?

Thanks.

 

 

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I agree with Sunnyday. Just assess what you see. I'm sure your moderator is right. It's very easy to get carried away when you don't have this type of help to assess. Reception have to show progress, that would be difficult if all the children start secure in 40=60+ or secure in their ELG's. I'm sure we do see flashes of this in our settings, but the words here are embedded and independant. and they are important.

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We have just received developmental reports from another setting and they are different from ours. I too would expect our children to be in the 30-50 and possibly emerging in 40-60 when going to school. Stick with your observations and assessments, you have to see it in your setting before you can record it. Although I would add a parents voice and OBS to a LJ as very often a child may be doing something at home that we had not seen, I would make it clear that we had not seen this in practice yet.

I have a member of staff who came from a setting that always put the children in the higher band ràther than in the lower band and secure. I just don't agree with it.

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I am moderated by the EYFS teacher at school and she is very insistent that things should be observed being done independently, in different scenarios and often to ensure that the skills are totally embedded.

I think therefore that we are quite "strict" in our assessments (not sure that is the right word!?). She says she would expect children to be arriving in Reception at 30-50 secure with poss starting 40-60 months.

 

 

 

Just to play devils advocate here - it is often quite "useful" if children enter a reception class within the 30-50 months age banding so that when they leave the foundation stage in a (hopefully) higher banding the school is able to "claim" the value added !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Just to play devils advocate here - it is often quite "useful" if children enter a reception class within the 30-50 months age banding so that when they leave the foundation stage in a (hopefully) higher banding the school is able to "claim" the value added !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do understand this statement but SO difficult when the parents are seeing this info...if I know a child can do the 40-60 month statements then the parents probably also know that...I can hardly mark them down just because it is easier for the school! I am also very 'strict' with my information but I have children who do well and I can only celebrate this (especially as we too need to show progress!)

anyway coming back to the original info...once I have seen and confirmed the information I write ITB in their learning story (for us this refers to 'in the beginning' which is the info parents give us, or 'on entry' which is information from other settings (or if a child is coming in at a much later age!) . I'm afraid I seem to rarely agree with info from others settings and my mission for next year is to do some more moderation with other groups to try and close the info gap (ive already done this with local schools and it's working well I think!)

 

I had one this term who said that her language skills were in the 30-50 month category but she was under speech and language and didn't talk until she got to us (confirmed by parents!) and that she was able to write her name ...the example was in the folder.....I can assure you it was early mark making NOT writing and she was also able to count to 10 ...also not true she's up to 4 at the moment and doesn't always get that right!......worrying when this info came from a full day care group where she had been for the last 2 years and during that time they had 20 obs on her!

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Given that the very youngest child starting reception will be at least 52 months, and most will be older, some even 60 months, then isnt it a realistic expectation that they would be developing somewhere into 40-60 band on entry? If a child who is autumn born is still working at 30 -50, aren't they actually underachieving?

 

On the issue of different assessments from other settings, is there any possibility of doing some cross moderation between you? If not for all children if you share with many others perhaps prioritising those children that either setting has concerns about.cross setting visits are also really useful because children often are very different in different places, and especially if you have child for just one session, it wouldn't be a surprise if the child shows more of what they can do in the other setting. I don't think it's a case of one must be right and one must be wrong, both could be right (or wrong ha ha) based on what they see. This is why discussions with other settings are so important, particularly when there are additional needs, additional funding etc.

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Actually Mundia, some start younger than 52 months if they are August born, and I have to say my Ofsted inspector, I felt, thought that some of our children going into Reception, where a lot older than they were she really gave me the impression that she felt they were going to be starting Year 1, rather than having another year to get school ready - does that make sense?

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Slight slip of the maths, oops, there. However the point largely remains, the vast majority of children will have already passed the 50 month chronologically at the start of reception.

 

Perhaps your inspector thought your children were very mature for their age, or has a different general experience?

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August born children starting reception in September would be approx 49months old right?! (4years + 1 month)

 

So to say a child should be secure in 30-50 months is accurate. To say they should be either Emerging or Developing in 40-60months is accurate.

 

To say parents observations should not be used is inaccurate, in my opinion. I feel parents' observations should be used to help settings. Children may be more confident or given different opportunities when at home or out and about. Why shouldn't we use this information? Just because we have not seen it in our setting shouldn't make a difference. Then what would be the point in sharing information with other settings? The reason we OAP for children is to gather an overall picture of the child's development, not just within a setting.

Edited by BroadOaks
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Broadoaks that was my understanding but then I have been told it should only be what we see ourselves (by my moderator) especially as parents do tend to say their children can do something but not necessarily do it and other settings are so different to ours!

I have a child that another setting has put at 40 -60 maths (numbers) and yes she can recognise numerals but is not yet able to separate a group of items and know that the total is the same, count items to determine the total number when we each have some etc. Plus, as one of my staff said our little boy with SEN would be fine as according to parents they think he is advanced.... I have another whose parents think their son has autism/ADHD as he is so badly behaved at home and I now have to send in my opinions to the paediatrician ( I have never seen any of the behaviour she has seen at home with his family/siblings!). All very tricky situations!

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Yes some children can be totally different at home, or even when parent(s) arrive to drop off or collect their child.

 

It depends on how confident they feel in a situation and what boundaries are in place. This is why it is important to be consistent with behaviour techniques ie in some cases to share your behaviour policy with parents and try to find a consistent approach to managing behaviour both at home and in each setting children attend.

 

As far as children doing thing's at home, or parent's believing their child to be able to do something, or the possible covering up the embarrassment if their child can't, so saying they can, it is always a good idea to carry our own observations into these areas. Even if it is just a quick activity that we simply watch to confirm. No need to write anything although if possible you might as well, and it can go along side the parents observation, either as evidence or practitioners knowledge at least.

 

I think also maybe some settings are happy to secure a child in, for example, Numbers, if they only see a few of the goals rather than all.

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Case in point - today have finally received some info from another setting for a little boy that we share.....

 

Actually it was the summary that they had provided mum and she photocopied it for me - they are seemingly not willing to share with me although I share regularly with them :blink:

 

I read it, my staff read it - could have been talking about a completely different child - he is currently receiving SALT input and is also being assessed for possible ASD.......

 

According to the other setting he 'speaks freely with his peers', he manages his own coat and shoes' etc etc - he so does not - mum knows this too - what on earth is that all about?

 

I am going to ask the other setting if I could possibly visit whilst he is there - I'm not holding my breath though :ph34r:

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I have struggled with the sharing bit again, i write comprehensive personal comments and all i get are 7 boxes with three strands directly taken from the eyfs itself .Its very difficult especially when other provisions do things so very differently and i will not pay lip service to things.They actually asked me to send strategies over yet failed to address anything themselves.The parent I dealt with is constantly asking why i dont grade their child high as the other setting.....how i wish i could say because i d

o things properly and can produce evidence !!!!!

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This is the problem with settings all or mostly being independent in an area. When we had a meeting about the 30 hours funding, this was a large part of it. How setting share information.

 

This is a great opportunity for the local authority OR an independent group, even person providing a central hub. This hub would have consistent approaches that all settings agree to use.

 

This would be all FORMS, EYFS materials and policies and procedures ie Positive behaviour, etc.. the only problem is it would need to be very secure of course.

 

Yes not everybody likes to use computers or even the internet, so children's centre's could play a role here too.

 

This way, everything is more consistent, and ideally everybody is working from the same page, so to speak.

 

Ideally, an online Learning Journal for children that can be accessed from multiply settings if required and a parent's access too, would be great? All incident forms etc could also be attached into this online area..

 

Anyway just some ideas.. but i think with the 30 hours funding starting, this is going to be needed more than ever.

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