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Whilst observing the children each day the Keyworker records the observation in the childs home-link book. Parents can talk about this with their child or extend the activity at home. At the moment we use a 6 page assessment sheet also that we review on a regular basis.A friend of mine was told by her Ofsted inspector that it if doing regular written observations it wasn't necessary to use an assessment sheet also. Is this correct?

Do you do written evaluations of activities each day.

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Sorry I forgot to say why I need to evuluate each procedure that I do as I shall be doubling my intake of children.Therefore I do not want to do any unnecessary paperwork.In September I will no longer have use of my hall. A pre-school supervisor in my area heard of my predicament and has offered me the use of her hall if I take on all her children!!!!!!!

I will have about 70 children who will attend throughout the week. Apparantly her qualifications and those of her staff are no longer valid. She has been running her group for longer than I can remember with some of her same staff. As none of them wish to re-take their qualifications she has no choice but to close the group. Although she has offered to help at any time and to come in and settle in her children. This is the third time this week that I have heard of a group having to close in my area because of this. No the fourth time actually but I am updating mine with the A.P.E.L.

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Hi Bubblejack -

I can't help with the assessment sheet query, but I'll send Helen in this direction this morning.

 

I'm just shocked at the closure of these other settings. I know there are a lot of problems with upgrading of qualifications at the moment (you just need to read some of the topics here to realise that), and I know there is a lot of uncertainty about what qualifications are out of date etc. But to have three close down in one area is a huge impact. Do you know this last nursery/playgroup well enough to find out what their current qualifications are, and what they are being told to upgrade to (and by whom)?

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Thanks Steve any advice will be very welcome.

Ofsted have said that the supervisors qualifications are not suitable (pre 1989) Two don't want to update them with the A.P.E.L. They feel insulted that they are deemed not suitable after they have been running groups for 28 years & 20 years. They both are full up and have long waiting lists. The other supervisor started to do the A.P.E.l. with me but as she was notified that she had an impending inspection she has not had time to do many of the sections. When she had her inspection report it stated that as all of her staff had pre-1989 qualifications. So even if she finishes the A.P.E.L. the group cannot continue to run unless some of her staff update also. If she is absent she has no staff member with an updated level 3. The staff cannot update fast track (A.P.E.L) as they have not been supervising. She always takes her holidays in the school holidays. When the group updates their qualifications e.g.child protection,early learning goals,special needs,planning etc. she closes the group and all the staff go.

Their only choice is to the diploma or N.V.Q.3 and they are not prepared to do this. She could employ an assistant who already has the qualification. She will not do this as all her staff have been with her for many years and she is comfortable with the way they work with the children. She has had other staff working with her before with qualifications but they were useless with the children.

The best investment I made concerning the pre-school was to pay for my assistant supervisor to do the diploma in 1995. Itseemed a lot of money as their was no funding then. I expect in time they will say that she needs to update. She has been helping me for 20 years and she is a brick as she has already said that she is willing to do so if necessary. Incidently we all did the old cache foundation course it's now a level 2 and all kept up with recent legislation. The early years insist we do this.

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This is so frustrating!!!! If the qualifications were good enough at the time and people have kept up on courses for professional development then that should be enough! I can't think of any other job where you have to retrain even when you have been working and keeping upto date with legislation and changes-correct me if I'm wrong!! By all means!

Linda

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Where would the country be if all workers, from the professionals to the manuel workers, had to re-train and who would pay for it?

The E.Y.D.C.P are in total agreement with these supervisors. I personally don't have a problem updating mine although I don't see why I should have to. In our area we have 5 children to every childcare place at the moment when these settings close it will have a real impact.

I think the government have really "messed up"on their education policies over the years anyway(That is another issue)

They are not taking into account all the experience that people can bring. I am a much better supervisor 25 years on. A course couldn't have taught me what know now. It's called the "experience of life. You can't learn about these complex little creatures in a year anyway I am still learning new things about them every day . I had better go now before I get too cross as there is nothing we can do about it. Must put my energy into thinking about and planning for all these new children I shall have in September. My own group will have to settle in new premises and the"new children" will have to adapt to us.

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I'll end on a happier note.Don't want to depress everyone. I just love this forum even though I am addicted to it. Couldn't think of anything better to be addicted to(sad)

If Ofsted condemn many more pre-schools in my area this website will be invaluable to me as I'll only have the E.Y.D.C.P. and my own staff to discuss things with.

Steve, cheque is in the post for this years membership together with a donation for last years use. I only wish I had found it before!!!!!

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Hello! I really think Ofsted have a lot to answer for - some boffin sitting at a desk making decisions without any real understanding of what the impact will be in the settings........

Enough!

Back to the original question - assessment! My golden rule is keep it simple! There's too much paperwork to do anyway! We have a termly obs sheet with a box for the 6 areas of learning and one extra for comments for the keyworker. This is our ongoing obs and assessment sheet for the little things. Each child has a sheet and they are all kept on one clipboard. At the moment we have sufficient members of staff that one lucky person gets to observe per day. They hang on to the clipboard and jot down all the bits worth noting. If anyone else spots something they can just add it to the right sheet. This system runs in parallel to the keyworker's planned obs for adult led activities during keyworker time. At the end of each term the obs sheet is passed to the keyworker to be included in the child's file, and inform the profile. Of course, if anything significant is recorded, positive or negative, that needs acting on urgently, then the staffmember who's on obs for that day passes the info on! Its simple and effective and manageable. I can't be doing with post-its which seem to lose their sticky with me and I am always losing them! Hope this is helpful.

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Our system is very similar to Lisa's.

Bubblejack- how is your assessment sheet designed? Are the six pages the six areas of learning? If so, maybe the thing to do is to write up the assessments in those boxes. That way, you'll see which areas don't have any comments in, regarding that particular child. Or, you could carry on writing the assessment down as you are doing now, and have a sort of ticklist, where you record that an assessment has been made in that area of learning. We call it a matrix, and you can get it from this site, in the observation and assessment section (members documents). What I'm saying, in a very round about way :o is you don't need to do both as long as the system you stick with can detect if there are any gaps in the observations, eg no comments about the child's music development, or fine motor skills etc etc. You need to be able to have a comment on all aspects.

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For Bubblejack and anyone else following this discussion - if you haven't yet found our Observation and Assessment article, complete with lovely downloadable forms and chocolate biscuits, here's a shortcut to it!

 

And many thanks Bubblejack for the donation/subscription promise! I'll be on letter box duty with my dog tomorrow morning! :D

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All clever stuff. Thankyou for pointing me in the right direction. Have printed it all off we shall some "in service training "tomorrow!!!Please don'twait by the letter box for too long .I posted a letter to my son the other day it took 4 days to reach him!

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Me again! Our keyworker records do include something similar to Helen's matrix which originally helped us locate the gaps in children's profiles but which we renamed 'individual termly targets'- a kind of two-jobs-in-one thing!

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Oops! Just wanted to add that we have up to 7 children in 1 keyworker group and have managed to squeeze them all onto one 'individual termly target form' so that by using a highlighter you can see where you can sensibly group children who have similar needs. Saves 7 bits of paper floating around the kitchen table whilst you're planning (and cooking the tea, sorting out family disputes, answering the phone.........). Hope that's helpful.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Helen,

I am interested in the way you record observations and assessments, and have downloaded the sheets from the member's section. One thing I am not clear on, when you fill in the 'matrix' with all the aspects and area's, do you update this if the child reaches the next stepping stone in that aspect? Or do you have more than 1 matrix form for each child over their time at pre school?

Sorry I haven't explained this too clearly, hope you can see what I am getting at. many thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sandie,

Sorry for the delay in replying; we've been on holiday and this is my first day back on the site. :)

In answer to your question, we have only one matrix sheet per child, which lasts for the entire time s/he attends the nursery. The three horizontal boxes just contain dates an observation/comment was written in the child's special book. So, for example, if I made a comment about the child's knowledge of shape and space on 4.3.04, I'd just date the first box. A few months later, I might have noted something else (not necessarily the next stepping stone, but something different from the last observation), and I just put the date in the second box, having written the comment and/or added a photo, piece of work, etc in the special book.

If a child is only with us for a year, the three boxes for each aspect are rarely completed. I resist the temptation to put pressure on myself and the rest of the staff!

Hope this makes things a bit clearer. If not, do get back to me. :D

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