Jump to content
Join Us
What's New
About Us


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Helen last won the day on February 12

Helen had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

950 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

1,830 profile views
  1. Staff

    I'm so sorry to hear that; how utterly demoralising for you. Was the SENCO specific about what needs to improve?
  2. I have PM'd you
  3. Hi, I'm afraid we at Tapestry are fundamentally against using the Development Matters statements as a ticklist, and really don't want to promote the use of them as such. It says on every page of the document not to use them as a ticklist and we very much want to support a better way of assessing children's learning. Nancy Stewart, the author of Development Matters, has written a superb article for us on this matter and you can read it here. So, we won't be promoting the ticklist approach by showing on the obs screen which statements have been ticked, and which haven't. Rebecca, our FSF editor has written useful articles on how to effectively assess children and they are well worth a read here and here. In terms of adding the 'What to expect' criteria- thank you for the suggestion Mouseketeer; we'll give that some more thought. Does anyone else use this when assessing children?
  4. admissions question! HELP!

    I don't think there is any legislation that forces you to accept the application form. I'm willing to stand corrected, but I'd think it's entirely up to you whether or not you're 'full'
  5. At Gill Jones' recent talk at the Nursery World show, she was very clear on not providing the same things outside as inside- you don't need to have duplicate activities! Outside can offer very different experiences, and should, I think.
  6. 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.
  7. Assessments and progress

    Hi keyup, I'm actually part of the Tapestry team!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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’.
  11. 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!
  12. 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?!
  13. SEND assessment framework

    Yes, new screens coming very soon!
  14. 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
  15. 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!