What should I be doing with this child's LJ?
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  1. #1
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    Default What should I be doing with this child's LJ?

    I've been looking after a child since May this year and she's just gone into full time Reception from their attached pre school. I've amassed quite a nice collection of observations and photos etc and I was wondering if I'm supposed to keep hold of it until the end of her Reception year or hand it to her parents so they can share it with her new teacher if they want to.

    I'm also really confused as to whether or
    not I should still be observing her and adding to her LJ. She is still an EY child, but the EYFS says that I don't need to adhere to the learning and development requirements, doesn't it? *confused*

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    This is covered in EYFS section 3.40 - best to read it in full for yourself.

    In summary, you don't have to do learning and development, but you should liaise with parents and school about the type of care you provide.

    Here's how I do it...........

    I write a letter to school, quoting the regulation, informing them I provide wraparound care. I offer to provide information (ie. from their pre-school years here) supporting the transition to school. I offer an appointment to meet and discuss the transition and how I can continue to support them, given that school is now the main setting.

    Tbh, communication with our village school is very much a one-way street. I might get no reply at all, or a reply which says next to nothing; or (rarely) a useful, positive response. Whatever the case, I put a copy of my letter and the school's reply (if I get one) in the child's LJ. I now have evidence of at least my attempt to get school on board and meet the EYFS requirement.

    The easier, more productive bit............... I have a chat with the parents to agree the sort of wraparound care/support they'd like and what I can offer. I then summarise this in a short plan, which also goes into the child's LJ.

    I keep the LJ throughout their reception year, and make very occasional short entries with photos. IMHO a couple of entries each term and in the holidays, according to when they're here. It's mostly just reinforcing their school experience/learning plus the odd half-term trip write-up: nothing heavy or laborious on the poor CM's part.

    The most important rule (learned from bitter experience) - I do not let the LJ out of my sight during Year 'R'. If necessary I will photocopy and bind a copy for school/parents, and I only do this if specifically requested.

    To a CM, the LJ is a unique document: hours of work in itself and reflecting many more months of observations and experiences. It is a working document: a tool of my trade and, not least, evidence if inspected by Ofsted. It is irreplaceable. Sadly, it is rarely anything like so important to anybody else, and they won't treat it with the respect it (or we) deserve. A parent may see it as little more than a few nice photos and not care too much if it gets lost. To a teacher, it's just one of a thousand bits of paper relating to just one of tens of children s/he has to deal with (s/he may have very ittle regard for a mere CM anyway.)

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  4. #3
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    Thanks Bunyip. I just feel a bit awkward since it doesn't really feel like this child is "starting school" since the Reception classroom and her old Preschool classroom connect! I

    t feels a little arrogant of me to offer my couple of months of observations up, when the teachers have already known her (to a certain degree) for the past school year.

    I'll try and hold back on the observations now. I just feel like I've read DM so much it's burned into the back of my eyelids and I find myself reaching for the paperwork every time I see a child do something new! :S

    I really appreciate the advice and I'll have a ponder about writing a letter to the teacher.

    Edit: And I completely understand where you're coming from in regards to the LJ, I'd be broken hearted if someone lost it, there's a lot of my hard work in there!
    Last edited by greenfaerie; 10-09-2015 at 07:28 PM.

  5. #4
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    Start with, "As you are no doubt aware, I am under statutory obligation to comply with EYFS section 3.40......etc." The letter can be couched in terms that acknowledge the teacher's existing knowledge of the child and how that makes them a jolly good place to start for ideas of how you can support the learning there.

    Don't undervalue your own contribution, but you can probably use a gentle amount of 'soft soap' on this one.

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