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Help Regarding Obs


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I am currently in year 1 of studying for my foundation degree in early years. I have decided to write my next essay on observations and how they can be more beneficial to planning activities. This is especially topical as I have just had my Ofsted inspection (managed a GOOD!!!!) :o and I said I would like obs to be a target to work on (why did I say that!!!) xD

I would welcome any comments or suggestions of working practices that people are using.

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Hi Sue,

Have you seen the observations and planning articles on this site? We have some obs/planning forms as templates which may also be of use. I've certainly found that the simpler the system, the more likely it is that all members of staff (including me!) will carry it out. I have also found that the more use we make of observations in our planning, the more relevant the activities are for the children, ie we have tapped into their interests at the appropriate time and are able to take them onto the next steps in their learning.

We have a weekly staff meeting solely to talk about the children, and in particular, the five we have observed that week. We complete the "special books", (each member of staff has about 9 keyworker children), sticking in pics, photos, etc., and writing up any "catch-as-you-can" observation notes which have been scribbled during the last week. We then have another staff meeting the following day to plan the next week's activities. This system works really well for us.

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Hi Sue,

Good luck with the Foundation degree. Hope You're enjoying it. I have a student in my class who's in her second year, so there's life after the first year!

About observations - I think you'll find participant observations much easier than non-participant, especially in a class where you're known, as young children tend not to leave us alone when we're in the classroom, don't you find. I think it's good practice to keep small post -it notes about your person all the time, as there's no tellings when something interesting is going to occur. You can sit for ages observing, pen and pencil at the ready, and as soon as you put it down, the action starts!

Hope it goes well - let us know how you get on! Nicola P

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there Nicola P, sorry we didnt pick up your on post earlier, so a very belated welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting. I agree with you about the participant observations, and I have the post its glued to me at all times. Now the children have them too, they are always writing something and sticking them on my little board where I keep them unitil the end of the day/week (depending on how busy I am). Great for writing evidence, they do look quite funny.

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Thanks for your replies

I have bought a couple of books regarding obs and I am going to try a few different methods out to assess which have the greatest impact on my setting. Most of our children are 2 and below so more baby watching is involved at the moment!!!!

I am still open to suggestions!! :D

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