Observations are about what you notice, what you recognise, how you respond to a child, and then later how you reflect and modify your environment or adjust the approach, support or scaffolding to best meet a child’s needs.

1. Examples of what to observe

  • Achievements; what the child did well for the first time

  • Behaviour; how they react in different situations

  • Communication; what kinds of communications are used or not used (eg. speech, gestures, head movements, facial expressions and eye contact)

  • Concentration; how engaged is the child in the activity?

  • Environment; which environment is the child most comfortable or confident in? (this may be inside, outside or a particular part of your setting)

  • Help; if the child needs help from an adult or other children

  • Persistence; does the child concentrate and work things out or stop to do something easier (links to Characteristics of effective learning ‘having a go’)

2. When and how to capture learning

Regularly use the tiney app Learning Journal to capture learning. This will help you plan, assess and identify any support for each child. Your parents will be able to view their child's Learning Journal via the app so you can engage them in their child’s learning, As a guide we would recommend communicating a weekly reflection which highlights the child’s achievements and progress.

As well as that, there are several opportunities when we would advise all our practitioners to be making quality observations:

  • Starting points; getting to know the child and their likes, dislikes, routines and patterns and self-confidence

  • 6 week settling in review; this is an opportunity for you to share and discuss with parents how well the parent, the child and you have all settled into the first six weeks of placement. Gathering parent’s views on their child’s progress, communications with you and any changes to dietary or health needs as they continue to work in partnership with you

  • Termly summaries; covering all 7 Learning Areas for children aged 2 and over. If a child is aged 0-2, these summaries will focus only on the 3 Prime Areas of Learning, and will form part of your Quality Assurance visits. Three times a year you will be required to discuss and review a child’s development with parents and carers. Tiney provides a template to guide you with this task.

  • Two Year Progress Check; this is a statutory requirement covering the 3 Prime Areas of Learning only

  • Transition; sharing a child’s progress with any other settings that the child attends such as nurseries or pre-schools

We provide templates for each of these observation types in the 'Resources' section of your tiney app.

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