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Tapestry and assesments


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Good morning,  can you tell me how often you do your assessments and refinements on tapestry. Do you do them after each observation,termly or maybe 6 weekly. Am I. right in saying you don't need an observation for every assesment. We are just trying to get it right for our children so we don't have any gaps in their learning. Many thanks 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Rosierae,

I have used Tapestry in a few different settings now over a period of several years and they have all used Tapestry quite differently.

I think the beauty of Tapestry is that it ticks so many boxes (literally!). It's a learning journey for children/ parent partnership tool/ next steps calculator/ tracking document for practitioners/ data calculator for management etc etc etc. I think it really depends on your setting and the reasons why you are using Tapestry.

In one of my settings, Tapestry was used primarily for the parent-setting partnerships and to celebrate a child's journey, so the assessment (and refinement) function wasn't the top priority. However, we did put limits on how many observations we did every term. We aimed to upload 1 entry per child every 2 weeks. We covered every aspect per child every term. That way, the parents had a true picture of the holistic development of their child. It also embedded the principles that every aspect of the EYFS is important - not just the 'academic ones'.  In this setting, we used slightly longer observations and incorporated several assessments into one entry. For example, one observation about a child who is playing with his peers in the small world area may have been used to assess Making Relationships + Moving and Handling + Listening and Attention + People and Communities + Being Imaginative.

In another setting, the management was data crazy, so the assessment and refinements were the most significant features. In this setting, we only did observations in selected aspects. (The positive side to this was that practitioners did not have to spend too much time on recording every week.)This tended to be the aspects that can be more easily 'measured' and linked to GLD.  ie Speaking/ Moving and Handling (fine motor)/ reading/ writing/ number/ SSM. The observations were very short and succinct, snapshots really, and linked to one EYFS aspect only. Every observation had to be refined and summatives checked and tracked to make sure every child was making progress every half-term. This setting tended to use Tapestry more for tracking purposes.

IMO, having a clear picture of the reasons why you, and your management, are using Tapestry is really essential. I also think it's important to keep Tapestry usage manageable for your practitioners. In my experience, some practitioners, upload loads of observations whilst others find it very onerous and believe we should be spending more time with the children rather than uploading observations ( or more cynically, providing evidence for management that our assessments/ judgements are accurate).

I genuinely love the concept of Tapestry, but I have sadly seen how evidencing and tracking can take on a life of it's own with practitioners spending endless hours making sure their assessments show the 'right' picture for their management. One thing is for certain, like all new things and with all change, introducing Tapestry will be a roller coaster! Keep reading this Forum - the collective wealth of knowledge on here has been a lifesaver for me many times over and, good luck with your Tapestry journey! 



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