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Observation files advice

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kaz_allan, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Can anyone share how they organize their obs file? I was planning on have a file for each child with the 6 areas of learning in so we could then stick our notes in the relevant areas. However, I know that some obs will cover more than one area. Do you think this is a bad idea or can anyone improve on this and share how they manage obs. We were going to ave separate learning journeys but only select a few pieces each half term to go in their journals.

    Any advice gratefully received, we want it to be manageable.

    Thank you
  2. choralsongster

    choralsongster New commenter

    We have a separate file for each child, which houses work samples, photos (although have now gone electronic on new photos), written observations - focused and spontaneous. The focused ones tend to be on a long format sheet, and the spontaneous tend to be small post-it types.
    To file the post-its, we have an envelope for each child on the wall, with their targets on, so anyone observing knows what they are looking for. The obs are placed into the envelopes temporarily, and then filed away into the children's folders at a later date. In each folder we have a 6 areas of learning sheet (A3), where the post its are stuck onto. This helps to see at a glance which areas are being observed regularly, and gaps for future obs/planning.
  3. Hi coralsongstar thanks for your reply that makes me feel better now. How do you set targets, is it just a next step in their learning or do you use stepping ratings and legs as your targets?

    Thanks for your help.
  4. I think I must be a lazy cow really - I don't think I work anywhere near as hard as the two previous posters on my observations.
    This is what I do:
    I have a profile folder for the whole class, with a single A3 sheet with profile statements to highlight (done each half term minimum). I make observations on sticky labels (stickier than post-its) and write on them which area/s of learning the obs provides evidence towards, and then stick them on the back of the A3 sheet, continuing on a separate A4 sheet/s as necessary.
    I have a colour for each AOL to mark the sticky label so when I'm looking for the evidence for a particular ELG I can see the relevant obs at a glance.
    We also do longer focused observations which are kept with the profiles.
    Each child also has a book, which we've called 'Learning Journals', with their work in, including things they've done on loose sheets, 'Wow' sheets completed by parents, photos, either described by us or by the child, sometimes work we've asked them to do with their family at home.
    This also provides us with evidence towards the EYFSP, especially writing.
    It seems to work quite well. Ofsted liked my profile folder, the way it was organised, particularly its simplicity. We did very well in our inspection last year.
  5. For my observations i have a big pocket thing on the back of my cupboard door with a pocket for ech child child. Each child has their own 'special book' to which anything can be added but i where the observations, photos etc go. Each book has an A3 profile points sheet in the front and each half term i highlight areas i believe to be acheived.
    I also have a large sheet with all childrens names and each scale which i update so can see at a glance any areas that are lacking in obs for whole class.
  6. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    After many years of trying different ways of keeping obs files. I now have a system which works well for me and really does show the child's progression.
    Here goes:
    I have large A3 scrap books which I initially put an 'All about me' from home booklet in (in a poly sleeve).

    I then add photos, spontaneous observations (made on stickers, not post
    its), narrative observations (made during the child's focus week) and any
    examples of work such as painting, writing and drawing. I also staple in an observation booklet completed by parents/carers (I give them a booklet to complete during their child's focus week).

    Everything is dated and stuck in in date order to
    show progression. Splitting it into areas of learning is difficult, as has been said before,
    one observation can relate to many different areas.

    At the end of
    the child's focus week (usually 3 children per week), we go through the
    book with the child and annotate their comments on speech bubble shaped
    post it notes.
    I number each obs/photo so I can reference them to the child's individual EYFSP booklet (A5 size which I think I downloaded from TES

    At the end of the child's focus week, I go through the book and cross reference all observations/photos/drawing etc to the child's individual EYFSP sheet. I can then look for gaps in their learning and the learning areas in which I might need to make further observations.

    I use the eyfsp sheet and the child's interests to create an individual learning plan, which is basically the PLOD sheet taken from the EYFS cd.
    The child's individual learning plan (one per
    term) is shared with parents and also put in the book when finished with.

    that is it....it's a lot of work, but the system works well. My TA helps out with the evidence sorting and she helps to stick photos/obs in the books as well.
    The books are lovely and very informative, the children, parents and other teachers think they are great. (I wish my own
    children had had one when they were in Reception!)
  7. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i use scrap books as well, in date order. i used to split into 6 areas, but find it much easier now. they do look lovely :D everyone, including ofsted, thinks they're great.

    it'll be all change with the 6 areas before long anyway if the tickle review gets through consultation, so now's a good time to try new/more flexible things out.

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