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This has probably been covered before but am feeling too tired to search - (just back from the Father's day visiting)

Sorry for the long post and lots of questions - just had a colleague on the phone (yes it is Sunday - I couldn't believe it) and she's worried about how often observations should be done and the way they should be done without taking away the staff from the children.

 

1.How often do you observe your children with the Post it system? once a week? day?

2.How do you 'prove' or back this up as evidence against the stepping stones.

3.Where do you put your post its? and how do you transfer the information on them?

4. Who do you observe? key children or all?

5. Do you look for a certain stepping stone to observe or just make a note of anything?

6. Has anyone got an easy method?

 

We are sessional pre school 2.5yr-4+ yrs . Shared premises - church hall. We all have 8 -9 key children, we have no time during the session to fill in the records of development due to the nature and layout of our premises (church hall) all the staff are deployed with things like toilet duty, snack duty, outside duty as well as being with the children etc, but we do make 'post it observations'. We make them on all the children, but not necessarily every day, and not just our own key children. We record what we see, but quite often we could end up with 4 staff all writing the same piece of information about one child, for example "Jimmy can thread 8 bobbins" - which I feel is not a good use of staff time, especially if Jimmy's key worker aready knows this. We store the post it's in each staff's folder, ready for that particular member of staff to collect and transfer them into the children's own files. But the question is how often? and when? Because of the heavy use of our premises by other groups we have to literally put away and then leave the building as the next group arrives - so no time after the session to complete children's files - as a consequence the files often get left and taken home with the staff to fill in during the school holidays. Then we find some children have loads of 'post its' (a lot of which say the same thing) and some children have very few 'post its'.

Surely there is an easy solution?

I hate wasting time, but I quite often find myself writing 'post its' which repeat a stepping stone word for word - which I later tick and date in the child's own records - so why did I write the post it? Could I have just ticked and dated the records? According to Ofsted - evidence must back this tick and dated stepping stone up. We have heard that all observations need to be backed up with a 'post it' ??

HELP :o

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I use post its as an instant observation memoir for unexpected things so could be a dozen times one day and none for the next week if that makes sense. Once I have made a post it note I stick them near our assessment grid until I have time to high light the relevant point when I discard the post it.

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Every child has one long observation a term (So sept intake have 3/Jan 2). We use post its all the time to write anything that comes up. We stick these on the assessment board they are then referenced to FSP and we stick them in learning stories. Just been modertated and the adviser liked our way of doing things. We have a 3 strikes and you have it system but there are some you can just tick as secure ie seperates from carer. We always evidence anything from 6 onwards on the scale. We have 8 children a week to observed and we write them on the board once someone has done an observation we rub them off. Each memeber of staff has an obs day highlighted on the planning. We focus on certain stepping stones depending on what we want to know and we plan to ensure we get the observations we are looking for.

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This half term we are trying a different system for observations. In our long term plans we have already allocated different aspects of learning to each term. We have now decided to concentrate on one area of learning each week for observations. This week we are looking at Mathematical Development, aspects 1 and 3. We use post-its and place them on our notice board which is divided into the keyworker groups. We observe all the children not just our own group. We also jot down any other incidental obs. Unfortunately we end up taking developmental records home to complete. We do mention to the other staff if we find some children don't seem to have many obs. I must say that we are always looking for better ways of doing obs.

I hope this all makes sense!

 

Anita

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Thanks some useful notes which I could try out - I think it's probably a bit of a 'grey' area with a lot of settings who are in the same situation as me. Our most difficult hurdle is the time and shared premises factors, we do manage to write the post its, but collecting them and getting the evidence to support them, then putting them into children's folders is a real nightmare in terms of practability. The folders are only really easily accessible when the room is set out and our store cupboard is empty (childrens records are on shelf on back wall), and as we have to put away quite rapidly each session, we find that we have put all the equipment back into the cupboard and cannot get to the children's folders, and even if we could access them, we would not have the time on the premises to update them before the next user of the church hall arrives. An easy solution would be our own premises, but that is way out of the question. How do all you others in shared premises manage your children's records? Do you do them during the session? We have 24 children in every day - so very little time during the actual session.

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Guest toddleo

Snap myhenroxanne, we are in exactly the same boat as you, shared church hall premesis, no storage space to speak of, hideously small cupboard, things being lifted in and out and in and out all day long!! LOL Not allowed to pin anything on the walls or leave anything on display.

 

We too do plenty of post its, and also, like you, take them all home every couple of weeks or so to tick off against the SS, and then staple onto the appropriate page of their assessment booklet. Takes forever, and no, we do not get paid extra for any of the stuff we have to do at home. we too would LOVE our own dedicated setting, leaving equipment out, BLISS!! We have 30 children a session 2.5 to 4ish yrs

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Hi We are in the same position as you, shared premises, we have no time to complete paperwork at the setting. I have now rearranged our childrens file - i have given each staff member a box file with their keyworker stuff in, we then have a basket we can put in the cupboard last containing all the box files. keyworkers then take their box file home. It's also easier to access. This system seems to be working better. The registration forms etc are all still kept in th locked filing cabinet....

Good Luck with what ever you decide to do - like you we would love our own premises - oh what it is too dream........

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Haven't had a chance to read the whole thread, but basically we do our observations daily on all the children. We don't have key workers in our setting so we are all responsible for ensuring observations are carried out. Fortunately, we are overstaffed much of the time (I know!) so somebody often sits with just the job of writing stickers. It is then left to the qualified staff to stick them into the profile books as the trainees are yet to learn the system.

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Guest Wolfie

Just to let you know Clare, the EYFS requires every setting to have a keyperson system.....you've got til Sept 2008 though!! :o

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