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How much 'evidence'?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Skippy22, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Read the EYFSP Handbook: page 12 4th para:
    "Practitioners and moderators need to be aware that the definition of evidence is any material, knowledge of the child, anecdotal incident, result of observation or information from additional sources that support the overall picture of the child's development. There is no expectation or requirement that such evidence is always formally recorded or documented. Although practitioners may choose to record specific evidence in order to secure their own judgements, it is their final assessment of the child,based on all the evidence they have (documented or not) that informs their completion of the EYFS profile and it is this judgement that is moderated by the LA"
  2. Hello,

    I recently had a meeting with a support advisor from my LA who said it was all about 'Evidence Evidence Evidence'. She highlighted the point that we had too many sticky labels that were not being reflected on/assessed and therefore were a waste of my staff teams time. She suggested more focus observations/Learning journeys (whatever you call them at your setting!) that consisted of an A4 piece of paper with the following information:
    Context/Previous Learning
    Acitivity/Behaviour observed
    Whether it was adult let/child led etc.
    Next Steps

    She suggested that we do one of these a week on each child to evidence how we are planning for next steps in different areas and how we are observing the children to ensure that there interests and needs are being met. We keep all of these in individual children's files along with photographs and sticky label observations (I know she said they were a waste of time but my parents enjoy being able to read them).

    Hope that helps! I found it very confusing before my meeting too!

  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    And did you find that helped? What else did she suggest you do in order to give a professional judgement at the end of the year that is not purely based on 30 or so written observations per child (1 per week as she suggested). It doesn't sound a very rounded way of judging a child, and is still probably quite time consuming and not in accordance with the guidance someone else has quoted here.
    You could be very unlucky and on 15 occasions when you choose to observe the child he/she is picking nose or "not being htimself".
    Also what use are the early written observations to you at the end of the year? Hopefully they're so completely out of date you can just bin them.
    Sorry the guidance is so unhelpful, and so it sounds are the LA advisers.
    If it were me I'd just try and scribble down each week where I thought a child was on each bit of the profile, and plan next steps on the basis of that. I'd ask parents for their thoughts regularly too on what the child can do ....... show them the profile and explain what it means.
    Then I'd do a year end judgement based on my professional opinion and my knowledge of the child from a year of working hard with them. But, thankfully, I'm not in early years so I'm probably completely wrong!!
    Good luck!!
  4. Your advisor said this:

    "She suggested that we do one of these a week on each child to evidence how we are planning for next steps in different areas and how we are observing the children to ensure that there interests and needs are being met. "

    Is she realistic? Has she ever done this herself?

    There is such a myth around that suggests all this formal observing and paperwork raises standards and is the 'right' professional thing to do.
    I totally dispute that.
    You can provide brilliantly for children without any written observations.
    Please think as a free individual about this.
    If only more early years people would challenge these expectations and refuse to do them.
  5. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Yes - I'd like to see all these "experts" actually doing what they tell us mere mortals to do ... think they would change their tune somewhat!
    Wait for that moderation meeting where others produce lever arch files of "evidence" - what a waste of time is all that???????? It gets my blood boiling every year - so I don't do it!
  6. Is there anyone else out there who doesn't 'do it' - to give inspiration and strength to those not yet brave enough to make a stand?

    I really think that the tables need to be turned - and the 'mere mortal' providers need to hold those in authority to account for their expectations of mountains of paperwork.
    It is irrelevent what the 'quality' of the comments on the post-its appears to be - the need for mountains of post-its, or other evidence, should be challenged.
    Surely it is up to the senior managers and headteachers in your settings to make observations and engage in conversations with you about your practice - not every body and anybody who happens to be 'on high'.
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm not in reception now but didn't do it when I was. I kept notes when I needed as self reminders and could justify my decisions to any moderator using my knowledge of the child. Spending time each week to make /write up detailed observations of every child when I could be using the time to actually move them on seems madness.
  8. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I really do find that the best way of assessing accurately is to sit and have a conversation with my TA about the children and blow all the written "evidence". I've been trying to think of ways to reduce the clerical task to maintaining the profile books that our LA is so fond of. I keep photos on my PC and annotate them there if necessary. We have a few post-its and put in the profile things we've done as a whole class that contribute to things like "awareness of other cultures" etc, though to be honest, it's probably not necessary for them to be there. I keep thinking of whatever the phrase is about the purpose of the FS profile primarily being "to inform Y1 teachers. My Y1 teachers want to know top, middle and bottom in reading, writing and maths and like to know if there are any SEN or AGT children.
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It doesn't work like that. On each bit of the Profile, every week? Are you serious?
    Mystery, I'm not having a go. I wish more parents were as interested in their children's education as you are.Maybe then we wouldn't be playing catc-up and fewer EAs would be demanding ridiculous amounts of paperwork to explain poor attainment.
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    yes the thought of 3510 scribbled notes each week makes me feel the need for stiff drink
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Go ahead. You have my informed permission.
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

  14. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Anybody SERIOUSLY doing so many written observations, annotated photos etc needs a place reserving at the "funny farm" ... WHEN do you TEACH so you have some progress to observe???
  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It's Happy Hour on here, sadika - grab yourself a drink![​IMG]
  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    [​IMG] Oh I didn't mean it quite that way. I meant stick a pin in it for each child each week. That way you have the pin ***** trails as evidence of progress. It should be quicker than one fully recorded observation per child per week as suggested by the Early Years Adviser!!
  17. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    LOL!!! Yes - having a drink - a glass of milk so I will have enough energy to cart a clip board full of obs. sheets round all day tomorrow ... off to bed shortly - must conserve ALL energy!!!
  18. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    LOL!!! Yes having a drink - a glass of milk so I will have enough energy to cart a clip board full of obs. sheets tomorrow and must have an early night too - will be reading the profile I keep next to my bed (as it is much better than Nytol!!!)
  19. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Sorry for two postings - had a WHOOPS message and said there was an error and I assumed message was lost ...
    night night!!!
  20. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Here's a dangerous thought.... would the world end, would the child's future career prospects be blighted if the FSP was not entirely accurate?
    It's only a number and it seems to me the person most affected is the Reception teacher who has to account for too many or not enough children with 8 points or whatever depending on what the LA are looking for that year, and the goalposts seem to be constantly changing.
    At the end of the day, the child can do what the child can do and will continue to do so in Year 1, and they'll be able to do a lot more if we actually spend time teaching them.


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