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Helen

Gill Jones' advice about observing children

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I’m sure I’m not alone in welcoming Gill Jones’ advice at the recent Nursery World exhibition at the London Business Design Centre recently.

When asked about tracking, Ms Jones replied ‘Don’t let it overtake the world!’ The important things, she confirmed, are ‘being with children, talking to them, supporting them. Don’t get too hung up on the tracking side’. Music to my ears. She encouraged us to ask ourselves ‘Is it more important that I keep playing with this child, rather than taking a photo of what they’ve been doing?’ Ms Jones reminded us that ‘Ofsted inspectors aren’t interested in seeing lots of observations and assessments.’ They want to know what staff are doing next for each child, and why. We need a fine balance of interacting with children and creating observations, and ‘We need to know how well children are doing’.

So, a relief all round, I think. Let’s keep some high quality, meaningful observations of children and share them with their parents and carers. Let’s use a manageable assessment system so that we can monitor and share progress with interested parties. But let’s not go down the ‘How many observations do I have to do and have I ticked enough statements?’ route. :)

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I think we have moved away from worrying about what our planning looks like now, but do get hung up on cohort tracking instead because it is a question we are asked to explain during inspection now, I use my tapestry analysis to explain it but I see lots of posts from people asking for anything they can use to cohort track, which groups you track and how people do it ....it just seems to have replaced the planning hang ups :-( 

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5 hours ago, Mouseketeer said:

I think we have moved away from worrying about what our planning looks like now, but do get hung up on cohort tracking instead because it is a question we are asked to explain during inspection now, I use my tapestry analysis to explain it but I see lots of posts from people asking for anything they can use to cohort track, which groups you track and how people do it ....it just seems to have replaced the planning hang ups :-( 

Totally agree!

What stresses me out is we only have a small amount of children on roll [26] and quite frankly I can see at a glance where everyone is on one A4 sheet of paper! - but I feel like I'm supposed to have lots of graphs and pie charts!!!!! 

(and now I'm annoying myself with my total overuse of '!!!!!!" 9_9xDxDxD)

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Oh hear hear!  Some fabulous common sense!!!  Thank you! 

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No graphs or pie charts here either looby lou  !!! I print termly ‘latest’ snapshot in school years, one girl, one boy age order and scribble SEN, SALT, EYPP, 2YrF down the side :-D 

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Interesting. We only had 13 children when we had our inspection. I have a termly sheet which sounds similar to Mouseketeer.  It shows boys, girls, eal, 2 year funded, EYPP,  term of birth. It was ' recommended' I needed to look at more cohorts e.g. eal - one child.  I had whole group, boys and girls.  I don't believe it is a requirement within the EYFS - is it?

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On 18/02/2018 at 21:09, lsp said:

Interesting. We only had 13 children when we had our inspection. I have a termly sheet which sounds similar to Mouseketeer.  It shows boys, girls, eal, 2 year funded, EYPP,  term of birth. It was ' recommended' I needed to look at more cohorts e.g. eal - one child.  I had whole group, boys and girls.  I don't believe it is a requirement within the EYFS - is it?

The statutory framework (1.6 and 1.7) talks about the requirement to consider individual children's needs and then planning to help them achieve their potential. That 1.7 explicitly talks about EAL children suggests to me that to track those children as a group to compare against others is implicit in the requirement. So no, the statutory framework doesn't say 'cohort track individual children' but if you have children in identified groups (receiving particular funding, eal, SEND etc) I think it makes sense to track their progress 'against' other groups.

 

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