1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Teacher Q&A will be closing soon.

    If you have any information that you would like to keep or refer to in the future please can you copy and paste the information to a format suitable for you to save or take screen shots of the questions and responses you are interested in.

    Don’t forget you can still use the rest of the forums on theTes Community to post questions and get the advice, help and support you require from your peers for all your teaching needs.

    Dismiss Notice

Learning Journeys ?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by flynne50, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Are there any reception teachers out there not doing Learning Journeys or Learning Journals? I would be interested to know. Our head thinks we don't need to do them. Thoughts please[​IMG]
  2. Are there any reception teachers out there not doing Learning Journeys or Learning Journals? I would be interested to know. Our head thinks we don't need to do them. Thoughts please[​IMG]
  3. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I don't do them. I keep photos on the school server in case I'm asked for evidence and I keep samples of children's markmaking, writing etc. in a folder. The folders go home but I don't think it is my job to provide parents with photographs of their children.

    I've never been asked for them by LA advisers and Ofsted didn't mention them either.
  4. It certainly is time consuming, which is why it's interesting to read how others update them, how often, with children, with parents etc.
    Too much child-led and there is a danger of them becoming a scrapbook of tat, as one head I know calls them (she won't have them in her school!)
    Our LA consultants are keen that our annotations should reflect the learning that has taken place, and in discussion with children does something about moving the learning on, talks about next steps, PLOD's (to steal someone else's acronym!) improvements etc. This is also in line with our school marking policy, which should give children constructive feedback and help them to see where they must/could/shoul go next.
    Is this a waste of our time in Reception? I don't know. (Very uncomfortable on this fence!)
  5. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I don't see myself as a 'scrapbook maker'.The Learning Journals (or whatever
    people want to call them) I create are far from what most people would consider
    to be a 'scrap' book. If I didn't see the purpose in them I wouldn't make

    As I mentioned before, the journals are an effective method of gathering
    evidence. Everything that goes into them is selected specifically to
    show the child's learning experiences and progression. During a child's focus
    week, I will go through the journal to look for the child's interests/learning
    needs to produce the next steps in his/her learning. It's all in one
    place....there's no need to go through a variety of media such as 'work' books,
    folders of observations and photos on a computer to look for evidence

    Why does it cost the taxpayer money? I am paid to work (as on my wage slip)
    for 27.5 hours per week. I spend all of this time (bar 2 hours PPA) working with
    the children. I don't work on the journals during class time.

    Perhaps you might be able to offer a suggestion how
    us teachers who make learning journals should spend our time in a more
    productive manner. How would you suggest we gather evidence about a child's
    learning experiences?
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Are they the most effective method of gathering evidence?
    Why do you feel you need to record the child's learning experiences ?
    How often does a child have a "focus" week (I'm assuming that means it is the child's turn to have their interests planned for?) and are they really still interested in the same things they were last week or the week before or have they moved on?
    Do the children have work books? folders and photo's on the computer?
    Who is the evidence for?

    Without the Learning Journeys to provide all this evidence would you not know the children in your class?
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Working with the child, talking and playing noticing and listening and teaching
  8. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    They are for me.
    Because I would find it hard to remember how all 30 children have responded to the different learning experiences in the class over the year.
    Once per term. They usually are interested in the same things the week after we have focussed on them, I wouldn't bother doing it otherwise (have been doing it for many years).The focus week for individual children runs alongside my day to day planning for interests of groups of children.
    Not in my class. But it seems some teachers keep evidence in this way for their class.
    I know the children in my class very well, as I spend all paid working hours with them (except PPA time) . However, when it comes to completing their individual learning plans and the EYFSP, I cannot not hold enough information in my head to fully inform the next steps in every area of a child's learning and accurate judgements for the scale points achieved.

  9. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I do all of the above and create Learning Journals, as I mentioned before, the journals do not take any of my time away from working with the children. The evidence I gather for the journals comes directly from talking, playing, noticing and listening to the children.
    It is ultimately my choice how to record this evidence and I find the journals the best way for me. Some teachers might feel they can commit all 30 children's learning experiences to their memory, but I'm not one of them!
  10. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    The evidence is for mainly for me, it is a working document which I use when doing planning and assessments.
    I'm not creating them to show off to Ofsted or the LEA. My head has not requested I make them, neither has anyone else in my school. I don't create them to pass up to Y1 either. I create them, as I said previously, as an effective method for gathering a variety of evidence about a child which I would not always remember in my own head.

  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Then why choose this method and not a less labour instensive, more efficient but equally effective way of informing your planning?
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    so when do you make the journals? after school? do you record whatis happening when your are interacting? do you then reproduce it for Learning Journals?

  13. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    It's not just my planning they inform....it's more for my assessments of children's learning. I already plan day to day based on my observations of the class as a whole, without a learning journal in sight! Any suggestions of a more efficient/effective way to make assessments of individual children?
  14. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Yes, I make them after school, and as I make them I am assessing children's learning, based on the evidence I have.
    I usually record what is happening after my interactions with the children on a sticky label, but it is generally their CI time when I observe. I will observe what the children can do independently after I have modelled the activity and interacted with them, so I am standing back and watching their independent activities and writing down and/or taking a photo of what I see. I think everyone makes written observations of the children......don't they?
    I don't reproduce anything for the journals, the sticky labels go straight in, as they are. I do not re-write anything. Informative photos are printed, numbered and referenced to EYFSP SPs. They are used for a purpose; to illustrate an observation that might take a long time to try and describe with written words.
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You seem to be duplicating work but if you are happy ...
    „Practitioners and EYFS profile 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 requirement that it should always be formally recorded or documented.?
    EYFS Profile handbook p.12
  16. I'm confused, hurny. In another thread you say you were an NQT. In what capacity have you kept Learning Journals for 'many years'?
  17. Please don't take this personally, hurny. I can tell that you are wedded to the idea of doing learning journeys. They are useful for keeping everything about a child in one place. What worries me, however, is that it has become expected by LAs and consequently by SMTs that they are kept. Not only this, but when working in a school in special measures I was shown as an exemplar the most finished and beautifully twee learning journey ever, with little fold down sections, balloons and ribbons, special sparkly boxes for comments etc. And this was held up as good practice. We need to know when to say, "No", and monitor our working hours. You do it after school, how much of YOUR OWN time do you use?
  18. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    It isn't always formally recorded or documented.....just sometimes. As I would imagine other teachers do. I just stick them in what I call a 'Learning Journal'
    I'm not quite sure what work I am duplicating.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Actually hurny just forget what I've said because I'm not even certain now if you are producing Learning Journeys or just a filing system ...
  20. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I worked in a pre-school for 10 years, I was manager for 5.
    Last year I was an NQT and found behaviour management in a reception class slightly different to that of a pre-school.....the reason why I thought it would be useful to share strategies.
    I referred to doing 'focus weeks' for children for many years.

Share This Page