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Can anyone advise: I am in a nursery with 2-3 yr olds, I am nearly finished with NVQ3 and my assessor has been a wonderful support and fountain of knowledge, our observations at the setting are done by means of key worker system and we all aim to make observations, comments on development, relate development to FS and BTTM in these records weekly, if not more (if their is a significant incident). Our manager (who trained a long time ago and is reluctant to change), thinks our observations are too detailed and we are making too much work, but as we understand it, with the advice from my assessor (local EY co-ordinator), that is what is required by Ofsted, we are making note of their achievements and planning for promotion of development with regard to FS and BTTM, are we right? Or is she? She says that we should only make observations that are significant (?) We feel we are trying to run the nursery to achieve and meet expected standards to provide the best possible provision and adhering to guidelines, but being told by management that what we do is not needed. ??

 

 

I would really appreciate some words of wisdom or equally feel free to tell me we are on the wrong track.

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Cant really comment Im afraid but how can you tell if an observation is significant unless you have made the observation?? She seems to be talking only about spontaneous observations but you may want to do observations for other reasons or purposes and they would be equally valid.

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So sorry I am losing the plot, maybe I meant to say development records rather than observations? But that is the point of observations and records of development isn't it? To identify any possible difficulties and to assess and plan for future promotion of areas of learning as necessary- how else can you prove you are monitoring their development and aware of any concerns? I am feeling like this is stuff that you all will probably be familiar with - and I thought I was, but when more experienced staff question your interpretation of requirements you begin to doubt yourself?

Also going a bit mad trying to ask for help and cook tea!

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Hi Shirel -

 

You just carry on as you are, you're spot on!! BTTM, if you read it correctly, is all about observation, using the children and their interests/needs driving your planning, how else are you going to know???? Pretty much the same, in my personal opinion with FS, except that's maybe a tad more 'structured', in that we have to show how chiuldren are progressing towards ELGs - again, without obs, how do we demonstrate we are responding to their 'next steps'.

 

There's a thread that may interest you in the BTTM forum, no time to make link right now, it's fairly recent, so you might be able to find it!

 

Sue

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I would say you are on the right track. I am in a similar situation to you. We've all been on a course, agreed what we should be doing with our fs co-ordinator but it is not happening because there isn't the will to do it by one of our supervisors who has been at this game a long time, doesn't like paperwork anyway and the other staff aren't that keen either. Must admit I wasn't too keen to start with, but put regular focussed observations into practice on my key children, plus short sound bite observations on a little note for all staff for all children, as per the training course. I found them very useful so was very positive about it. It's easy to get out of the habit, with one thing and another, guess I'm going to have to motivate myself, model observations and hope others follow. I'm a deputy supervisor by the way, we all have input into how we think the setting should run.

 

Sorry may have gone off the point, I think it's surprising how much you can pick up during an observation.

 

Deb

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We do detailed observations and detailed records of achievement just like you by the sound of it (preschool with 2y 9m olds to 4+)

 

Our OFSTED inspector (Dec 04) said (as an aside during our inspection) that our records/observations were more detailed than she required, but it wasn't a criticism, just to let us know that if we wanted to we could do less. We discussed it as a staff team and felt that we couldn't maintain the high level of knowledge of each child that our system gave us any other way, so we have continued as we were.

 

Carolyn

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Thankyou for your replies, we will carry on the same, but it is hard as we only get paid for the time the children are there, we don't get paid for setting up or clearing away (which we have to do as it is a village hall), it can be a bit demoralising.

Our records of course take a little longer and we often stay after hours to complete and plan, maybe that is the real reason our manager doesn't approve of the methods we use, but it seems the only way to do it properly - as a team we all agree if we are going to do this job you need to feel you are doing it to the best of our ability - leave's you feeling a little unappreciated at times, but since becoming more active on this site I am able to see that you lot are all doing it and keeping up-to-date with current thinking, sharing ideas and supporting each other and it really is inspiring and encouraging. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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A member of staff went on a BTTM course and came back and informed us all that we should not be spending time completing 'observation' but instead spend as much time as possible playing and interacting - she saidthe only things that needed to be recorded when observed were the 'WOW' things, e.g first steps etc. Do you think we need to observe more - just getting used to reduced paperwork :o

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Reduced paperwork does sound good, and in theory playing and interacting with the children suits me, that"s what it is all about isn't it? I think we are all a bit edgey at my setting as we are due Ofsted - this series of comments has made me think we maybe need to meet in the middle somewhere - still carrying out effective records to plan yet maybe not be so stressed about the amount (?), I will pass your comments on to our team, thankyou Rapenzul you have given me another way of looking at the issue.

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