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Childrens Files


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Hiya all

 

Have recently taken over a temp manager job at a local pre school and am slightly confused with regards to the childrens files. In my last job at a day nursery the children had registration docs, termly reports covering areas of the elg, @ 1 free description obs per term, a development trail (in the shape of a caterpillar) and @5 pieces of relevant work eg first stencil with no supervision. However the pre school files seem to contain an amazing amount of obs, pictures and bits and bobs, so much so that the filing cabinet hardly shuts.

On top of this the deputy has been there forever (didn't want a managers job) so dont feel comfortable changing things yet. Any comments? Is there anything that should definately be in the files?

and with birth -5 the new thing is it better to plan down from the elg or plan using stepping stones/birth-3?

 

Thank you U R all so gr8

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Hi

It depends how long your temp job is? is it worth rocking the boat if things have been working well for a while. Would it be worth having a chat with the staff and get their views on what they think of the records they keep (maybe they will agree with you). I have managed 4 settings and it is always worth bearing in mind that some ways work better with some people than others. Always found if staff are doing observations that is the main foundation to meeting the childrens needs. good luck hope it works out..

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As you'll find on the forum, there are as many ways of keeping files as there are on the forum. As long as you can show that regular observations are being carried out, planning follows on directly from the assessments of these and the whole of the curriculum is being covered then that is what is important.

 

At my setting we observe all children every week on a 'see it and jot it down' basis and more detailed obs only if needed. These obs then go into the children's achievement records so that we can easily see where each child is. We also take lots of photos of the children at play and these too form part of our achievement records. Additionally there is a seperate folder of artwork for each child - if a child is with us from 2 1/2 to 5 years old these can become very full but most parents love them as they form a very visual reminder of how their child has progressed. We try to put in paintings, collage, drawings, early writing and keep adding at regular intervals when a child has moved on and produced something different. :)

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Guest Wolfie

I think you'll find that Beau's system of observations, assessments and record keeping is one widely used in pre-school settings!

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"Is there anything that should definately be in the files?"

Basically I would say ensure that the whole curriculum is covered ( either FSC or BTTM) a system which shows the childs current level ie: I use a matrix which indicates developmental stages. Parent and child comments.

and with birth -5 the new thing is it better to plan down from the elg or plan using stepping stones/birth-3?

Not really sure what you mean here. Our planning is based on childrens interests and a long term plan to ensure all area/aspects are covered within a year. We identify childrens next steps or areas which they need to practice ( skills) consolidate ( knowledge / attitudes) or experience within a variety of contexts.

 

Peggy

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You could approach the subject by asking the staff how they feel about the observations, too frequent, too much etc... explain how you have previously done things etc... you may find that the staff feel the same way, and that they are always writing. I would then suggest a trial and discuss how its working, unless people feel that there is a problem with a child this should be fine.

 

Never known staff to complain about doing less! :)

 

Maybe its time to organise, as in get it all out to look through and decide what needs to be in there as you put them back, maybe some things can go home now with some kind of "look how much ive achieved here" book.

 

As for the curriculum, you have to go with the children on the activities mostly, so use the library of info you have on them and see where most of them are at; b23 or stepping stones, go with the majority and plan up/down for the IEP/play plans.

 

Good Luck :)

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