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Downloading journals to PDFs for staff and relatives


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his tutorial will talk you through how to produce PDF files of a child's journal. You can then hand this out as an electronic copy or produce paper versions to give to relatives. This allows staff and parents to celebrate a child's time at your setting, whether digitally or in traditional paper form! You can use your knowledge of your parents and families to help you decide which format you would prefer. 

First a quick warning: many of you have told us you're adding a lot of media (300 photos per child per year is not uncommon). I'm sure you can appreciate that this begins to create extremely large files - especially for those of you who have children for four years or so, so we'd recommend that you break down the production of your journals over time. If you're doing this at the end of a child's time with you though and you're not intending to export a PDF with all of their observations in, do let the relatives know - just in case they haven't got copies of the observations from previous terms/years.

Secondly, journal creation can take a while at certain times of the year, so we suggest you set notification preferences so you are informed immediately when journals are ready for download. 

One more caveat before we begin; it's not possible to include video in PDF files, so these will not be exported. These can be exported as part of a mass export of photos and videos though. This tutorial will talk you through how to do this. 

 

Now with that out of the way, let's get started! 

Firstly, you will need to go to the management area of Tapestry, the 'Control Panel', this is only available to managers. You can find this by clicking on your name in the top right-hand corner (1) and selecting the 'Control Panel' option from the drop-down menu (2). Once on this section you will need to select the 'Manage Children' option from the left-hand menu (3). 

 

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If you only want to download a journal for one individual child, the easiest way to do this would be to find the child's name in the list and then click on the cog button at the end of the row of their name (1). Next you just need to select the 'Export journal to PDF' option (2). 

 

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Alternatively, if you want to export several journals at once, you can put a tick in the boxes next to all of the children you want to export a PDF journal for, or tick the 'Select all children' (1) to select all the children on that page (2), then choose 'Export journals as PDFs' from the pop-up options box (3) and press 'Go' (4).

 

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Once you've done that you'll be presented with a screen offering a set of options for the journal export. I'll walk you through all of the different options available here. 

Firstly you have options for the journal cover page. If you don't want the journal to have a cover page you just need to untick the first option (1). 

If you do include a cover page then the default text to accompany the child's portrait photo is shown in the top line (2) and bottom line (3), but you can edit it as you'd like to see it. 

Below you can see an example cover page of a child's journal. 

 

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Example cover page:

 

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To set a date range for the observations that you would like to be included in the journal, you can use the 'From' and 'To' and sections to select the these dates (1). For example, you might like to create a file once a term, or once a year, or for specific dates. The default range covers the period from the first observation for that child to the last.

Under recipients (2) you can choose whether this export is for relatives or staff to download.

If you pick the relative’s name and you have your Tapestry set to hide group media, these photos will not be displayed.

The 'Staff' option is there as an alternative to relatives, but only managers will be able to see the export as it appears within the control panel - regular staff members will not see it. 

Please note that journals exported for 'staff' can't be then changed to 'relatives'. If you need to export a journal for a relative, you will have to make sure that the recipient is set up as the relative. It is then up to you to grant them access immediately or at a later date. 

If you have selected the relative as the recipient, they will not be able to download the PDF journal unless this is selected. This will have no affect on which managers can see and download the export. You can also give relatives access after the journal has been created.

In the 'Observation Status' section you can also decide whether you want the journal to include group observations (3), observations that are in the journal (4) and staff view only observations (5). If you have selected relatives as the recipient, tick-box (5) won't be displayed as you can't send 'staff-only' observations to relatives

If you want to create a journal including reports only you will be able to do so by unticking all of the observation options.

Underneath this you can also choose to include observations created by relatives (6). Again, if you'd like to create a journal for reports only, you'll have to leave this option unticked. 

 

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In the Assessment Options section you can choose to include assessments within the observations in the journal. There are two options for you to choose from with this, these are: 

  1. Include all selected observations, but only show the following assessments
  2. Only include observations that have the following assessments

The first option will include any observation regardless of whether the observation contains any assessment filters (such as relative observations) but will only display the selected assessment(s) and the second option will only include observations that contain specifically selected assessments.

Once you have selected one of these options you can then choose which assessment framework/s you want to be shown (3).

If a framework is broken down into different areas (4) and aspects (5) you can also filter the assessments by down by these. 

 

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You can see the names the children you are exporting the journal for, how many observations will be included and the first and last observations in the period selected in the 'Observations' section (1).

To include the reports created within the range date selected you just need to tick the 'Include reports' option (1). Any included reports will appear at the end of the exported journal, and will be categorised separately in the contents list. Underneath this option you can see how many reports each child has for the selected period and the names of the first and last reports created for them (3). 

 

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In the 'Other' section you can choose what you want each file to be called (1). The default suggestion simply gives the child's first and last name, but if you wanted to keep a number of journal files for the same child you can change the title to make it easier to find.

Here you can also set the page layout settings (2). The options available are:

Start long observations on a new page: this means mean that some lengthier observations will begin on the next page rather than utilising empty space on an existing page.

Start every observation on a new page: this will start each observation on it's own page regardless of length, and

Split across pages: this will put as many observations on each page as possible, and continue them onto further pages if there is not enough space.

To reduce the overall number of pages you may also want to change the 'Format'. There are three options for this as well, these are: 

Default: this is intended more to be viewed on screen, and reflect the look of Tapestry itself. As such this will include larger photos and larger text compared to the following formats. Background colours will be maintained with this format.

Compact: this option makes the images and text smaller in the observation, but still contains background colours.

Printer friendly: this option makes both the images smaller and removes background colours from observations.

If you want to keep the PDF file and look at it on a computer, the default format may be the best option, but if you're going to print it, you'll save ink and paper by using the compact or printer friendly options.

You can also choose whether you'd like to include photos or not (4). This might be handy if you are creating a journal to send to a setting that does not use Tapestry. If you do include photos you can change how many photos appear in a line -this can help you save paper (5).

You may decide that rather than seeing the observation titles in the contents page, you would like to see the dates that they were made, if you want to change this you can do so from the 'Table of Contents' drop-down (6).

If you want to allow comments made on observations (7) and/or reports (8) to be included in the journal you just need to tick both of these boxes. 

Finally in the 'Visibility' section you can decide whether the observations include the author (9) and date added to Tapestry (10).

When you are finished on this page you just need to click on the 'Submit' button (11). 

 

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When you click on the 'Submit' button you will then be taken to a page on which you can either go back to your Manage Children page, or go to the 'Downloads' tab (1) where you can download your PDFs onto your computer. You can access the Downloads section at any point in your account through the Control Panel (2). 

If your relatives don't have a Tapestry account, or you prefer to distribute them in a different format, once you have downloaded the journals you can burn them onto CD/DVD (with sufficient memory) as required or save them to a USB stick. Please do remember to check that they have copied across properly before you send them out to parents though!

 

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In the 'Downloads' section you will see which PDFs are still generating, which ones are ready to download, and how long you have until each download will be deleted. This does not mean the child's actual account will be deleted, just that you will need to go through the export process again if you want the PDF.

On this page you can also see whether each file has been downloaded. That will apply to managers for all files and to relatives when the recipient of the file has been set to 'relative'. 

For instance, in the screenshot below:

(1) indicates that the journal has been exported for relatives and that the stated relative has downloaded the PDF file on their end. No managers have exported it yet though.

(2) indicates that the journal has been exported for staff members and that no managers have exported it yet.

(3) indicates that the journal has been exported for relatives, and that although the relative hasn't downloaded the file yet, one manager in the account has done so.

 

 

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If you have a lot of downloads here and you want to narrow these down, you can use the filters. For example you can filter by recipient (1) - this can be staff, relative, or an specific relative - and by download status (2). This will allow you to check which relatives have downloaded their children's journal at the end of the academic year.

 

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Allowing Relative Access Through Tapestry

To enable PDF downloads by relatives, you just need to select them as the recipient of the PDF when you export it, and then allow them to download it.

You will not be able to change the recipient from 'staff' to 'relatives' once the journals has been exported, so if your intention is to eventually allow relative access, please make sure that the recipient is set up for 'relatives'. Otherwise, you will have to export the journal again for relatives. 

So, first of all select the family member you want to be able to access it from the drop down list in the recipient section, then select the 'allow recipient to download' tick box.

When exporting in bulk, this option will be called 'relatives' and will include all the relatives linked to the children you are generating the journals for. 

 

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Once the PDF has been generated it will appear on the relative's PDF downloads page for 3 weeks so that they can download it. There is a notification setting for relatives which allows us to send them a message when a PDF is ready to be downloaded. If you have set Tapestry so that relatives cannot receive notifications however, you will need to let them know that is it waiting for them.

You will see relative PDFs in the tab titled 'My journal PDF's or 'All journal PDF's if you have managerial access to Tapestry. If you change your mind and would like stop it from appearing on the relative's PDF downloads page you can either click on the 'Change' button(1), or tick the box next to it and change your preference in the pop up options box that appears (2).

 

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You can help relatives download their child's journal by linking them to this tutorial which will explain the process to them.

Please feel free to send in any support requests to customer.service@eyfs.info if you require any further assistance. 

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