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Peer Observation And Child Obs Formats


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I have been asked for Peer observation booklet which I mentioned a while ago, my apologies to all who I haven't sent it to. It is rather longer than I thought, as it was a day long training supplement. However, I have adapted the info into a two sided A4 size, attached excel doc ( I print it off double sided). The columns on the right are to indicate the criteria that have been observed.

 

I can change it to word if you haven't got excel.

 

I shall also attach the format I use for 'formal' child observations (narrative) The columns on the right are to indicate the Aspects (within each area) observed within the observation.

 

Holiday reading :( I do not recommend introducing any of these formats until the new term or you may have anachy from within the staff :oxD

 

Peggy

 

p.s. Staff obs sheet - select 2 tabs at bottom of excel workbook.

STAFF_OBS_SHEET.xls

CHILD_OBS_SHEET.xls

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Those look really good..

How often do you do staff obs? :D

 

 

I do more during Induction period than otherwise, then about once a half term ( or I should say 'term' now we have 6). I am the only one doing them at the moment, in September all staff will observe each other. ( all staff used to but we have had a change of staff at easter, so went on the back boiler, I've just done some on the new staff member)

 

Peggy

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Thanks for these Peggy, there are a couple of things that I know are happening that I wish to bring up the staff and I think I could do these through this format - may adapt one section so that it brings this out.

As you are so good at these sorts of things I would like your help on another matter - I will PM you.

Nikki

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Hi Peggy

just looking through those - they look really good - we currently have a new temporary member of staff who is looking to start on the qualification route -so this will be really helpful.

Just one question - how did your existing staff react when you first introduced these? I daren't suggest anything extra at the moment - things a little bit wobbly with 2 staff who are pretty fed up with 'paperwork', the word 'Ofsted' and anything that might make them have to reflect onwhat they are doing - yet the peer observations is exactly what woud help. Any suggestions how to approach this? :o

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The way I did it was to do the observations myself first, ( the staff being observed thought I was observing th children- a bit sneeky, I know) However, the feedback was all on positive aspects of her interactions and I then encouraged her to reflect and look at ways she could 'extend' ( rather than use the words - develop or improve). You will find that staff are hardest on themselves, they don't need you to be hard for them. ( Yes, there are a few exceptions).

 

As for timing, paperwork etc, I have found that the ONLY way to ensure people don't feel that 'paperwork' is a waste of time, is to ensure that the work is valid, is useable and is mainly positive. It is the supervisors / managers role to make the timing as best as possible for the group. Either they plan times during the session, and make sure the timetable is kept up, or you can be quite subtle, ie: One of my staff had been on climbing frame supervision for 30 minutes ( getting a bit bored- I know she shouldn't as she should be having fun- but that's another story) anyway, she looked bored so I put another member of staff at the climbing frame and got the 'bored' member of staff to do an observation for 10 mins ( that is long enough to start with), before she started something else.

 

It really depends on how co-operative your staff are. At the end of the day, if peer obs are included in job descriptions, or the group have agreed to undertake a QA scheme, then they have no argument, it is as part of their job ( and as important) as reading a story or playing a game.

 

Over the years, I have found that it is very easy to be busy being busy without actually getting much done, if the supervisor can recognise these times and direct their staff into 'productive' work such as observations then the sense of achievement, sense of doing a 'good' days work will prevail - rather than the sense of 'I'm shattered, i've been so busy' ( ring any bells? :o )

 

Good luck, if you think you will get a negative response, then you will. if you feel positive about obs and see them as a useful tool for staff, then you will portray this message when you introduce them. Let them know by your positive, can / will do manner that doing obs is not up for negotiation.

 

Peggy

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Thanks Peggy

Have only got 2 staff who are 'always busy' and 'have too much paperwork' ?!?! all the other staff are equally as busy and have more paperwork than most due to coursework / areas of responsibilities etc. they just get on with it - a few moans occassionally but they know it's there to improve and make a difference and fortunately these staff recognise areas for improvement etc. and do it.

We are having our final staff meeting (there's only 7 of us) next week before we close for summer, and on the agenda are a few new ideas which are going to be introduced for September, think I might go for it . . . watch this space!

It's a tricky one, as I think that at the moment for the 2 mentioned working at Pre School has become a 'job of convenience' or a 'stop gap' job to fit in around school hols etc.

I'm sure you've probably come across it before.

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Thanks Peggy

the staff one is brilliant because it gives clear things to identify. We were given one's by our Advisory teacher that were so wishy washy, that half the time the staff didn't know what they actually had to be looking for.

Steph

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Peggy,

 

How did your staff react when you found out that you had been observing them - not the children?! Did you do the feedback straight away? Was it in the room or away from other staff?

 

Moving on from this, when staff know that they are being observed, do they know in advance what aspect of their practice you are looking at? Is what you see a true reflection of their 'normal' practice?

 

Also, how much advance notice do staff get that they are going to be observed - if any?

 

Thanks - sorry for all the questions!

Edited by Guest
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Hi Shelley

 

We used to do this at the Baby Unit I worked in. We drew up a 'contract' for the staff to sign to say they gave eeryone else permission to observe them during working hours. It did state on these sheets that the information would be used to look at progress/areas of professional development and that the obs could take place at any time, by any member of staff, as long as this was ok with me (the deupty)or the manager.

 

Generally, the obs were kept and feedback gicen during staff reviews (which we held monthly). However if a member of staff had worked particularly well or there was an area that needed addressing, this was done as soon as possible after the obs was carried out.

 

The whole staff team were invited to carry out obs on each other, but it was usually myself and the manager that did them.

 

By using the sheets, the staff were aware that they would be observered, but the didn't have immediate warning. We felt this was better as it was a true reflection of 'normal practice'.

 

Our obs were only carried out in the room in a 'normal' working environment so as to ensure we saw a true picture.

 

Hope that helps!

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Peggy,

 

How did your staff react when you found out that you had been observing them - not the children?! Did you do the feedback straight away? Was it in the room or away from other staff?

 

Moving on from this, when staff know that they are being observed, do they know in advance what aspect of their practice you are looking at? Is what you see a true reflection of their 'normal' practice?

 

Also, how much advance notice do staff get that they are going to be observed - if any?

 

Thanks - sorry for all the questions!

 

 

The staff were fine, because I first concentrated on giving positive feedback, it made them feel valued. I did the feedback as soon as possible after the obs, in the same room but away from others hearing. They are also used ( as a cummulative record) to inform supervision meetings which are done monthly.

 

Like childrens observations, some are spontaneous and some are specific to a particular focus, depending on what we want/need to know. Be assured that if staff know they are being observed they will talk ten to the dozen because they know it is harder for the observer to write it all down ( well my staff do, anyway xD:(:o ). Once it becomes 'normal' practice, the 'threat' some staff feel goes away. Be clear that visual observations are done all the time, we assess and judge continually throughout the day, this method ensures a clearer picture of any interactions etc and objectivity and not subjective opinions.

 

I have had my staff feedback to me that they find the whole observation culture useful, especially helping them to 'feel alright' when being observed thus helping them to be more relaxed during for example Ofsted inspections or NVQ assessments.

 

Don't do observations just for the sake of it, or because someone has told you you need to do them, only do observations when you believe they will be useful to improve staff training & development and believing that it will improve your overall provision for the children. Think the whole process through, what time you can plan to do them, who will do them, and how you will use the information. The most de-motivating thing is when work is done and no-one can see the benefits.

 

Good luck, all I can say is that having done them, all concerned, have found them to be a useful and positive part of our practice.

 

peggy

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