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long observations

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mcfcmufc, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. We do lots of short (sticky labels) observations and we have a few learning stories on our walls. But, we havent any long observations for our children. How many are we expected to do and are they a statutory requirement or just good practice?
    We are due OFSTED soon so we need to make sure everything is in order.

    Thank you
     
  2. We do lots of short (sticky labels) observations and we have a few learning stories on our walls. But, we havent any long observations for our children. How many are we expected to do and are they a statutory requirement or just good practice?
    We are due OFSTED soon so we need to make sure everything is in order.

    Thank you
     
  3. Hi
    I personally find long obs very time consuming as I have 30 children to get through.I do one for each child every 6 weeks. I also feel that maybe they would be best to do for those children that you're concerned about/SEN maybe children who are not as independant etc. We are also due an OFSTED and my advisor has told me that by doing long obs (5/10 mins) it helps the adults in the environment to know not necessarily what the children know but how they go about doing it. It involves lots of PSE, are children focused, motivated, independant? etc. I guess by doing them you can just ensure that your children are accessing different areas and are motivated to learn. So in short maybe its best to do them.
    Sorry for waffling not sure I make sense half the time, but hope that was helpful.
     
  4. we write on post its, scraps of paper or take photos, and don't really do long obs now as I find they are of little value once you get to know the children. I had this confirmed when I was moderated last week and the two children I chose to do obs of decided that they didn't want to talk or show anything that was near the point 4/5/6s where I know they are ! I do worry though that when OFSTED do come I will wish I had every observation/learning journey/child initiated/ etc etc that I can lay my hands on !!
    Lazy Daisy
     
  5. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    We do long obs every term and find them useful, as someone else said for the PSED side of things. We don't always find anything useful for updating the profiles but information about how children are interacting (or more importantly not interacting) is very useful and we can act on that information.
     
  6. I do spontaneous observations (on stickers) but I find long observations really useful. If the continious provision is cleverly organised you can really pick up on those difficult to get evidence for scale points!! Also I find that children will naturally play in groups so I do group long observations so I can can get 6 or 7 children done at once. I use a camera to record observations and video evidence for Long obs too. Having 30 kids in a class does make you time manage much more efficiently! Coding all those obs can take over your life so I am always looking for efficient ways of dealing with evidence gathering!
     
  7. I am not against 'observations' per se because that is the natural tool-kit of a teacher or carer, but I still cannot help but think that there is something decidedly Orwellian with all the recording and evidencing of these formal observations.
    We should be mindful of noting the welfare and progress of every single child - but in my opinion that is a training issue - not a judgement issue.
     
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I've hit upon a good wheeze - if two children are playing together I kill two birds with one stone and do a joint long ob.

    I hate scribbling down stuff when I could just be doing normal eavesdropping. The other day a child came up to me and asked what I was writing. I told her that I was writing that asked me what I was writing.
    I should add that I'm not a full time EY teacher any more.
     

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