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Hi, I'm new & desperate!!

Have worked as a Deputy Supervisor in a pre-school for a year, & am getting nowhere fast!

Currently 'we' plan for one step a week, & plan an activity for the children to achieve that step. Each keyworker has an allocated hour a week to record their key children achieve that step, in the form of a post-it in their individual file. If we happen to 'notice'(not allowed to observe!) our children achieve any other steps at any other time, we have to ignore it-as "It's not planned for! or "It's not your time"!

I've argued this till I'm blue in the face, but keep being told the staff want it simple,& we dont have time, but I'm convinced its wrong.

Has anyone any suggestions? Please!

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Hi senlgh -

First of all, although I've seen Mundia and Susan have welcomed you in elsewhere, welcome again! I hope you find this community useful - sounds like you have your hands full at the moment! :)

 

I just wanted to suggest, in case you haven't yet found it, that you have a look at our article on observation, assessment and recording, which also contains template forms you can download to use. You can find it here.

 

When you've had a look through that article, you will probably have questions and/or observations, so bring them back here and we'll try to answer them!

 

You're quite right of course - you can't record the achievements in little hour long blocks - it's like training your children to jump through hoops to order! The system described in the article concentrates very heavily on 'as and when' recording - have a look and see what you think.

 

Steve. :D

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Hi senlgh

 

welcome - it is very hard.......

I am a supervisor of a pre school going for accreditation and have had to change our planning and recording.

i would suggest although more work for you to start with make up sheets with the early learning goals on with spaces under each for either post it notes, photos, childrens work etc that is your evidence that the children have reached each goaland then all the keyworker has to do is stick each piece of evidence in to the sheets.

I have done this obviously in a lot of detail to include every stepping stone under each goal, but as i said thats because we are going for accreditation.....

It is a bit of work getting the sheets started but once you can give the staff all the sheets made into a little booklet there is not too much for them...

I am really surpized you are only plan for one step each week - at a minium it should be 6 and for accreditation it is 12!!!!! (how your going to get away wirh Ofsted doing that i dont know)

Anyhow good luck ... keep smiling.... :o

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Hi senlgh

 

Observation is one of those things we all have to do, and I have seen so many ways of doing it in the past which have got me terribly confused. However now I have finally plumped for a notebook for each member of staff. During our small group times we use them to note anything that comes out of those adult led activities, but they are also used for all staff to jot things down in as and when they see them during the sessions all the time. I agree with Steve, you cannot just observe at a particular time, it must be ongoing and always.

 

Stick to your guns and find a very polite way of telling your staff etc that you think your way is best for your setting.

 

Good luck

 

mobbsters

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A big thanks to you all for your support and advice.

I was starting to feel as if I was wrong and they were right, and that I should just give up! But you have renewed my determination!

Thanks, Steve, for the article. I have printed off the sheets (I hope that's allowed?!) & will go to our weekly management meeting tomorrow armed with them!

Fingers crossed!

As for Ofsted, I don't know how we get away with it either! I sometimes wish I could ask them to come and explain it to my Supervisor, perhaps she'd listen to them!(lol)

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Hi Steve, me again! Sorry to be a nuisance, but can you clarify a few points!

On the 'matrix' do you expect a child to achieve all the steps in that particular aspect in order for the date to be recorded on it, or just one?

For example, there are 12 parts to the third step in the numbers aspect of maths, so do you mean all 12, or is one sufficient?!

& are there 3 boxes by each aspect to represent each step (no fourth box for goals due to age?)

& where do staff find time for this recording/ staff meetings? Our session finishes at 2.50, allowing only 10 mins for all children to be collected & tidying up before all staff leave at 3.00 to collect their own children from school.

& finally (for the moment!) what do you mean your objective is to have all aspects covered-what time span does this cover in order to achieve this? Thanks!

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Ooh. Sorry senlgh. Helen's the expert on this stuff - I just put the articles together...

 

She's offline (and snoring I think) for now, but I'll get her to get back to you tomorrow.

 

The only thing I can comment on is that you really need to have time for regular staff meetings. If your setting is not scheduling in paid staff meeting time, then you're unlikely to be able to co-ordinate and discuss your observations, which is a very bad thing!

 

If you only agree one thing in your management meeting tomorrow, I'd suggest you do your best to persuade them that regular agreed meeting/recording times have to be set up. I can't see how you can function sensibly without this. <_>

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Hi Senigh,

I can answer your questions because I designed the matrix!! And contrary to Steve's sugestions, I was not snoring in a corner somewhere, but working in the nursery this morning as the supervisor is not well. :)

OK, here goes!

1) No, we don't expect all the statements to be achieved within an aspect for the date to be recorded in the box. It is merely an indication that we have noted down something the child has achieved within that aspect.

2) The three boxes against each aspect are for different dates to be recorded throughout the child's time with us, ie a maximum of 3 dates where we have recorded a significant achievement within an aspect. What happens in practice is that for some aspects all three have dates in them when the child leaves us for school, and for others (such as time and place, for example) may only have one or two dates. We always make sure we have a least one date for each aspect before the child leaves us.

3) We have 3 staff meetings a week ! The first is for the nursery supervisor and I to chat for half an hour about anything that has come up during the last week. The second is for all staff to have half-an-hour to keep their keyworker children's "special books" up to date, and to fill in this matrix sheet we are talking about. Each member of staff has 8 or 9 children in their group. The third staff meeting is to use the assessments done that week to plan for the following week. This is a longer meeting, an hour, and also often includes an area of staff training.

4) The time span is the time the child is with us at nursery; sometimes 1 year, but most often 2 years.

Hope this all helps, and that I haven't confused you further! :o

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Can I just ask Senlgh , do any of your staff agree with your thoughts or is it just you against the world ??? is there anyone you can get onside to help you out ????

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Hi all,

 

I'm in the going-nowhere-fast-lane.

 

We have stepping stones for the term (25 in total for January to Easter - and some of these are age specific - some for 2 year-olds, lol), so nothing like OFSTED requirements.

 

Paid staff meetings? No we don't have those. We haven't even had one staff meeting in this half term. No wonder we're not organised.

 

After having been involved with this this setting for 14 years, I'm about to give up. I am going to another pre-school tomorrow. They are looking for a leader, but I can't do that, so I'm hoping they might have an assistant post.

 

I would like to stay and make the setting better, but the leaders are too resistant to change. The only option is .............. move on (an awful shame, when there are good bits that can be bettered and bad bits that need rectifying, and I feel that I'm the only one who can see).

 

Diane

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Dianne

 

beleive me you can do it!!!!!

 

i trained as an NNEB once qualified did nannying for 5yrs, got married had two children and then in 1999 got myself a deputys role in a day nursery.

 

one year later went for supervisor of a pre school and 3 years down the line have learnt an awful lot, made lots of changes and am going for accreditatin (doing 20 stepping stones each 1/2 term).

 

Go to the pre school tomorrow and if you like it...

 

go for it.....

you can do it ...

 

it gives you so much satisfaction to know you have made a difference and can improve things

 

Good luck.. all the best... need help when you get the job... just ask... :D:D:D

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Hali,

 

Thank you for your words of support.

 

I'm going tomorrow with an open mind. However, unlike you with your NNEB, I have no qualifications (I am halfway towards the certificate, level 4, on the road to the early years foundation degree). I have no paper qualifications. Just a bit of experience and a bit of knowledge.

 

I couldn't take on a post as leader because I am not qualified.

 

Ideally I want to work in a setting that uses keyworkers and promotes small group activities (I cannot read a story to 26 children from 24 months to 4+ years and keep them all interested; I can't do sharing time with this whole group; or for that matter, circle: imagine 26 children in the circle - I can't do it).

 

I hope tomorrow gives me some hope for the future. I will tell you about the outcome.

 

Diane

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I have to disagree with Steve, (sorry Steve), here about regular staff meetings. In an ideal world that would be great but I would never ask my staff to work extra hours without paying them and quite frankly I can't afford to have a staff meeting every week. I feel that I pay my staff a very good hourly rate, which is way above the minimum wage, and to pay 5 of them an extra 2 1/2 hours each week would not be feasible.

So, and this works well for us, we have ways of working things into the session and we talk to each other every day, each member of staff having a small group they are responsible for. If you have good systems in place and all the staff know what they are doing and looking for then you can still make it work.

Linda

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LOL - that'll do for now Linda!

 

I quite agree with you (I think we're overlapping with another forum topic actually) in that nobody should be asked to work for nothing - although there are settings where this seems to be expected!

 

I do think that a general purpose meeting with everyone around the table fairly regularly is a good thing to aim for though, even if just to allow everyone to feel a part of the overall group - and obviously that can't happen while the setting is open.

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I totally agree with you there Steve. We do have regular staff meetings where we discuss planning and where we think the group is going. It also is a time to identify areas of the pre-school that we need to work on, at the moment for us it's finding ways of encouraging the children to tidy up and keep toys, such as beads etc., on the table and not the floor!

We are quite fortunate in that the majority of the children leave at 12pm and we don't finish until 12.30 so we spend some of that time talking about the morning and the children.

Linda

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