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Hi I was wondering what format you use to observe the children in your setting. I am not happy about the way in which we do this and would love to look for an easier and more informative way of collaborating this information. How often do you observe the children in your setting?

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Although we observe all the time, we only tend to do individual detailed observations for new children to the setting and for children causing concern or SEN. For the rest we have a class overview sheet which is a table format with each child's name in a box and we write a short comment or tick. We also write on the main learning objective/area we are assessing. We have found this really user friendly as you can see all the class at a glance and it is easily transferable to the EYFS profile. We also use post-it notes if we spot anything of interest for future planning and take random photos to see what chn are up to!!

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We are similar too. I always try and do a few tracking obs during a new childs first few sessions to see where their main interests are as without this it can appear that they are just flitting around as they explore the environment.

 

We don't use post-its, we write straight into their 'scrapbook achievement files'

 

Peggy

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hi all, we use post it notes which go onto each child's front sheet then transfered into their step by step booklets or birth to three booklets. These are on the spot observations carried out through out the session by all staff. We also have one adult fouced observation carried out by one member of staff, one per week, then transfered into the booklets.

I have carried out some narritive observations and then posted them on the notice board showing the findings. I found this a good method of explaining to the parents what our children get out of playing.

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As we are changing our planning etc to the childs interests and have been advised we dont need focus activities (which was what we use to base our observations on) we are now a bit confused on observations!

 

The children are choosing what they play with the stafff are playing and observing but not anything specific?

 

You mentioned that you observe- main learning objective/area we are assessing- how do you choose this main area or learning objective am I being thick!?

 

We used to have specific stepping stones we were observing based on the adult activities we put out but we have been told not to put activities out just make sure our workshop areas are well resourced then the children will be learning all the time.

 

Maybe Im loosing sight of what Im doing as or my marbles!!!

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for one sharon, they are there to advise us not dictate and they dont have all the answers :o some of them in my experience havent worked with children hands on for along time!

Having said that we have had some good advise and took it on board but if you are not comfortable with it it wont work as is the case!

I think you need to take things slowly,change one thing at a time.

if you just observe your children for awhile and record it will become clear where they are at and you provide your workshop areas accordingly which in turn will able you to assess certain areas.

ie.You know Billy is struggling with the scissors so you make sure he has lots of opp within your session for him to practise his cutting (cutting playdo is a good one)and to dev his muscles in his hands and fingers.After a awhile you notice he is able to use them much more easily so you start by providing perhaps cards or pics with trains (cos he loves trains)and enc him to cut in lines or round the shape depending where he's at!

You need to record all this on your daily/weekly plans we would put his initials on our plans for instance and that would

1.inform the next sessions/days/weeks plans

2.inform his key worker for his assessment profile

If you already do all this then you need to carry on as your are!

There is certain times when you will need to assess certain aspects and at the moment we have on average 2 a week and as long as the children are moving at their own pace trhough the f.stage DOES IT MATTER xD

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Similar to others, we observe informally all the time, making notes of things which seem significant. We also have one child a session, several times a week, that all staff keep an eye on and make notes in a central Obs book for that child. These are then evaluated and discussed at a whole team meeting where we can form strategies for taking the children forward as seems most appropriate - in practise this tends to be more through their keyperson's input at planned keyperson times, but all are aware. This means that children receive specific attention every three to four weeks, as well as the ongoing daily obs., so that we are monitoring their progress (or not, as the case may be!)

 

Sue

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So am I right in thinking a good way of observing would be to have a class sheet and perhaps choose one area or ELG to observe throughout the week. This could then be evaluated eg if child x struggled with scissors we could then plan and activity to achieve this? Does this make sense. I am good at observing however I feel that these observations should be meaningful. At the moment we have one sheet per child and must do one observation on each of them every day. With nearly 15 children some days along with other paperwork this is becoming a head ache. Also at the moment their is no guidance to what we are observing and just write down something we see happening throughout the day. So if we have 15 different children on an afternoon we may end up doing 30 observations. Along with evaluations for focused activities and individual reading records I find this is becoming too much. I have a feeling Ofsted will want to know how we are managing all this paper work whilst providing the children with a high quality education. We are full day care if this helps - I would be grateful for your comments - mandie x

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I just think we are in such a pickle!

 

 

You say observe and then

****You need to record all this on your daily/weekly plans we would put his initials on our plans

 

But we dont have any!!!!!!!!

All we have is an interest sheet where we are supposed to write significant things that happen in a workshop areas such as

 

construction workshop == playdough was taken to this area and used between the building blocks ( example that has been used by our mentor!!) we wouldnt write anywhere that the building blocks are out on their own as they are part of every day play!

 

can you send me a copy of your saily weekly plan?

 

Does anyone think i need more plans? We dont even have any focus activities!

 

 

I am soooooo on the verge of giving up!

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hi,

Ive been away and just nipped on friends computer to catch up :) (I cant keep away can i?)

Just got back having driven thruogh horrific blizzards and catching up with late mothers day prezies :D will try and help tomo however i havent a weekly plan sheet on this computer dont think :o Will try and help tho i promise Sharon :)

 

Just realised Im part of the furniture!!! Very true!!!

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We will have 28 children per session (we're sessional care preschool) after Easter and I really don't know how move forward with our planning/observations etc. anyone out there work with this many children in a session that can offer help on how you assess.

 

Currently each member of staff does a formal 10min ob on 1 child per week and post it note incidentals that go into the child's file and is then used against the child's profile for evidence.

 

Planning is weekly... with around 3 Focus plans and a weekly floor plan of activities.

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We are a sessional pre-school and after easter will have 20 children, 2 years (BTTM) to rising 5's (FS). No time for narrative obs - can't afford more staff.... so we keep it as simple as possible.

I can't attach the BTTM one as I only have a hard copy from LEA but it is also simple. We are trying to focus on one child per day but we don't get stressed if this doesn't happen. Each child has a sheet on the clipboard which is kept in the same place so all staff can access it. A master list showing who is to be observed on what day is kept on the fridge door in the staff room (right by the kettle) so everyone sees it! The comments are short and to the point, and dated. At our staff meetings we always start by discussing each child in turn, drawing on staff's head knowledge (where most of our obs are kept!!) and looking at the obs clipboard. I then record our comments on a master sheet and any action points are noted by the child's keyworker for including in their focussed time planning if need be, or we all take note if the issue is more general.

I also use it for monitoring progress and checking that my staff are progressing the children in their groups.

It sounds a bit complicated when I read this through but it isn't - honest!

HALF_TERMLY_OBSERVATION_SHEET.doc

STAFF_MEETING_RECORD.doc

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I would like to know more too LJW. Do you discuss all the children at every staff meeting and how long does this take? Or do you just concentrate on the 5 children you have observed that week? I am trying out a new system and I'm aware of the fact that it still needs tweaking a little. We will have 16 children after Easter and only get half an hour paid each week for our staff meeting, so want to be effective whilst being fair to the staff. I like the idea of your one a day on a rota system to observe though. :)

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We try and have a formal staff meeting once a month, but have been a team for over 7 years now so we are pretty adept at the more informal feedback at the end of a session! As we are a sessional pre-school only open in the mornings we choose a day when we are all available and aim to start our meeting by 12.30. The reality is, get a room full of women, with coffee, tea, food, biscuits and we all chat until about 1.00 and then get down to business. I always have an agenda and try to keep us on time. We end before 3.00 usually in time to collect our own children from school, college etc. We do usually get everything done though....... We found the first time we discussed individual children it took quite a while, but since then we are much quicker - any comments, anything different from last time, any observations to add..... then we move on. Incidentally, I tend to put my SEN stage info in the Right hand column (Equal opps etc) and also a quick note of where we are at in the IEP (new one started, review date etc) and it really helps me stay on top of things.

I'm glad my post has been helpful. I would add that its been 3 years since we had an inspection so I can't comment on Ofsted's perception, but it works for us!

If you need any more info let me know!

CAROL your 1/2 an hour each week is the same as my 2 hours once a month! Maybe less frequent meetings but for a longer time might help.... Its just a thought because we are all different - thank goodness!

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