Sharing practice - observations
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Sharing practice - observations

    OBSERVATIONS... we have had quite a few questions about obs from newly registering childminders on the Independent Childminders Facebook page recently. If you want to find out more please read on... I hope this helps...

    There are lots of different ways of doing observations and they happen all day every day - but they don't all need to be written down! There is NO requirement to write 1 a day or anything like that.... we know some cms have been pulled up for not doing enough (1 or 2 a month) so you do need to find some middle ground.

    While some established cms don't write them because they are confident to 'talk the talk' with Ofsted during inspection, I recommend new cms and anyone who goes blank in front of an inspector does have obs written down for each child.

    To name a few different types of obs... there are...
    - time obs - you watch what the child is doing over time and see how he is moving round, interacting with toys, concentrating etc
    - adult led obs - you set something up and obs what the child does / how they interact
    - child led obs - the child wants to do something
    - group obs - children play together and you spot new language or children learning from each other. Don't name other children in a child's obs - say 'playing with a friend'
    - focus / longer obs - you want to obs something so you set up and watch and record it
    - wow moment obs - you want to share something new / fab with parents
    - obs linked to the learning characteristics - The Characteristics of Effective Learning
    - home obs - parents tell you child has done something new at home etc.

    You need to find what works best for you.

    Obs can be short (a few lines) - long (to fill a page) - very short (a sentence) - a few words (a wow he put his shoes on) ...
    You can do 2 a week or 4 a week with nothing next week because nothing much happened. Obs build up over time - they are not a gallop to the finish line.

    When you have your obs you use Early Years Outcomes to note the progress the child is making. Try to get obs across the 7 areas of learning so you build up as complete a picture as possible of the child.

    This prompt sheet might help -

    When the child first starts you need some 'starting points' obs from you and parents - assess them against Early Years Outcomes - then you can start noting progress. The 'starting points obs' should be done pretty quickly - Ofsted want to see planning to support the child's learning from day 1.

    We all work differently - if you find your method works well for you great!! If you are looking to make changes then I hope this has helped

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Thank you. Great to refresh!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    oct 02
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    thank you.

    I do name other children in childrens obs if relevant, mainly because they may be in the photograph, child may use other childs name in play, or they may have instigated an activity that prompted the observation. Or, it may indeed, be a joint observation. I have permission from all parents to have photographs of their children in each others LJ, diaries, photos etc.

    obviously, if a parent was very anti, then I would have to re-think, but unless there was a court order type issue, then I'm not sure I could work with the parents.

    its very hard - Ofsted say we don't have to do them - yet some CM are pulled up for not doing enough, or I know a CM who was told she did too many!



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