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Helen last won the day on February 12

Helen had the most liked content!

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948 Excellent

About Helen

  • Rank
    Landscape design and gardening consultancy!
  • Birthday 09/02/62

Contact Methods

  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Lewes, East Sussex
  • Interests
    I was a primary school teacher and music coordinator for seven years before starting up a small nursery in part of our house. I ran it for ten years, with eighteen children and three or four staff each morning and I loved it! I was also a foundation stage teacher advisor and helped run LA courses for practitioners. I gained EYPS with the first cohort, and a couple of years later closed the nursery because I couldn't see how the impending flexible offer could work. I am now a Foundation Degree tutor at the University of Brighton and an EYPS assessor for two providers in the South East as well as helping to run the forum. A fantastic balance! I live in Lewes with my husband, Steve, children Jamie (19) and Annie (16), and an insane dog called Finlay, some chickens and not an insignificant number of bees....

Previous Fields

  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education
    Other professional

Recent Profile Visitors

1,624 profile views
  1. I’m sure I’m not alone in welcoming Gill Jones’ advice at the recent Nursery World exhibition at the London Business Design Centre recently. When asked about tracking, Ms Jones replied ‘Don’t let it overtake the world!’ The important things, she confirmed, are ‘being with children, talking to them, supporting them. Don’t get too hung up on the tracking side’. Music to my ears. She encouraged us to ask ourselves ‘Is it more important that I keep playing with this child, rather than taking a photo of what they’ve been doing?’ Ms Jones reminded us that ‘Ofsted inspectors aren’t interested in seeing lots of observations and assessments.’ They want to know what staff are doing next for each child, and why. We need a fine balance of interacting with children and creating observations, and ‘We need to know how well children are doing’. So, a relief all round, I think. Let’s keep some high quality, meaningful observations of children and share them with their parents and carers. Let’s use a manageable assessment system so that we can monitor and share progress with interested parties. But let’s not go down the ‘How many observations do I have to do and have I ticked enough statements?’ route.
  2. Assessments and progress

    Hi keyup, I'm actually part of the Tapestry team!
  3. Assessments and progress

    Or try the 'latest age-bands' option from the snapshots list on your tracking tab. This presents assessments you've made over the most recent periods, starting with the current period, and then going back through earlier ones so each aspect eventually gets and assessment recorded (always assuming you've made assessments in those aspects at some point!). So you're looking at the last assessment you made for each aspect.
  4. I think for the purposes of an undergraduate project, it's perfectly OK to have a small database. A Masters or PhD is a different thing entirely, of course! I'm assuming that the stats for the undergraduate projects are given a level of significance so this would indicate how reliable the resultant data would be. It's always advisable to have a 'This is what I've found but further research is needed to replicate my findings and further test the theory' type of disclaimer! Certainly, ethics are involved and Universities require students to put together a document explaining what they have in mind, with a consideration of the rights of the children/teachers/participants in the study. Anonymity is crucial, obviously. Looking forward to any other viewpoints; it's an interesting question and thanks for raising it.
  5. Age brackets

    Whether a child is reaching ARE or not in snapshots can be calculated in two ways and is shown in the form of colour coding. The first way calculates it in the same way as the attainment section in analysis (by splitting each age band into 3 ranges for emerging, developing and secure). So, for your child of 48 months, we would expect him to be secure in 30-50 (emerging is 30-37, developing 37-43, secure 43-50) The second way is based purely on the age band, so, if a child was 49 months old, but had been assessed as 30-50 emerging, they would still show as on track. You can set your preferred way from the control panel. Simply go to Settings > Summative assessments then, in the EYFS section, tick the second tick box titled 'Use refinements when assigning the colour coding for whether a child is above, at or below expectations' and press ‘Save’.
  6. Add next steps to observations

    Can I ask where your course was and who led it? It's very much on our 'to do' list but we're still considering the best way of doing it!
  7. Baseline assessment

    Hi Reem, Can you give some more details please? Are you after advice on how to do baseline assessments for your FS1 children, or whether to do them at all?!
  8. SEND assessment framework

    Yes, new screens coming very soon!
  9. We all know that we shouldn't be using the Development Matters statements as a ticklist; assessing children against them, ticking them off, and then using the ones following as next steps. Children deserve so much better than that! But- the big question comes when we're educating children with SEND. How do we assess those children and demonstrate those smaller steps of progress that these children might demonstrate? Do we tick those statements then? Do we add lots of new ones? Do we refine them (emerging, developing, secure)? This is what we've introduced in the SEND assessment framework in Tapestry and we've been receiving lots of positive reviews, even though we're not entirely sure we have it right yet! Do you set individualised targets and assess children in terms of how that skill is developing? For example, how much prompting the child needs to practice the skill, or how independent they are becoming with that skill? Do you note how the skill is consolidated over time, or remembered after a period of time? And do you think the generalisation of that skill is worthy of recording? Whether the child demonstrates that skill in different contexts? We'd be more than a little happy if you could share your views ::1a
  10. ECAT

    HI Sue, We have updated the ECaT statements on Tapestry, to the actual ones from National Strategies. Previously, we had used a version of ECaT that had been slightly amended by an LA and passed onto us. We're using the real ones now!
  11. Hi, We have two new screens planned which will help you with this :1b 1) A new snapshots screen where you'll be able to set it to show where you'd like children to be regardless of their age. For example, at the beginning of the spring term, you'll be able to set it to show all those children who are at, above, below 40-60 emerging. You'll then see which children are likely to be on/not on track for ELGs at the end of the year. 2) We'll be creating a 'steps of progress' screen which will show you easily how many 'steps' children have passed through, eg 30-50 emerging to secure is 2 steps. These screens will be available later this term.
  12. Hi Tina, It will be later this week, hopefully :1b Best wishes, Helen
  13. SEND

    Hi, I'm afraid they're not available to print out- sorry about that!
  14. Is the care diary available on the app?

    Hi Ami and Jade, When we add a new feature to Tapestry, it appears on the browser version first and then, if appropriate, on the apps. We will definitely add the care diary to the apps- pretty soon- but I'm not able to give a definite date for this at the moment. :1b
  15. Hello Sarah and Laura, Thank you for your feedback- we appreciate you taking the time to offer it. I'll answer your points in turn: Sarah: Will relatives recieve a notification when the diary is ready to view ? We didn't really think this was necessary? If parents know there's a daily diary, then they'll get into the habit of checking for it everyday. Happy to take viewpoints though! Also will we be able to add all th ebits we have to add then have a final submit when it is completed , instead of every time u save a section it can be viewed? You can click on the 'i' icon and edit the individiaul items there (sleep times to follow!) Laura: I would like parents to be able to complete a diary their end Yes, we'll be adding this in Selecting a time takes time. I would rather just be able to type it in or at least beable to hold the arrow down so it scrolls through quicker. We'll have a look to see if there are better versions of a clock we can use. I like to beable to view what I have already put in when adding further information. I know we can view what's been added but you have to go back into the relevant section to add or edit then back again to view. It takes a long time going back and forth. We'll have a think about this one! I often do the diaries in one go at nap time and evening. It would be good to be able to add a snack and lunch at the same time without having to save one then go back out of that section and then back into do the other. We'll have a think about this one, too! As with all our development in Tapestry, there is always a very fine balance between offering lots of options and things getting far too complicated! A simple forum type layout where we can input things how we like and add what we like, similar to an observation may be better and more simpler than all the different drop down menus. Thank you for your suggestion, but for everyone who would like this type of layout, there is another who likes the way we've designed it! I'm sorry you don't like it, but we've gone for this particular design, with the individual icons, so you don't have lots of scrolling up and down to do, to find the section you need. I think possibly childminders might use the care diary in a different way to nurseries and other settings- you say you complete it in the evening? Nurseries really wouldn't complete them in the evening, but complete as they go, where time permitted. For recording care diaries for multiple childen at one time (which nurseries may be doing), the icons system is by far the better option than scrolling up and down an observation-type screen.