Many EYFS practitioners will have thought to themselves ‘hmm, who do I need to observe’ or have often said to themselves ‘right, today I need to focus on…’ it’s an ongoing challenge I have felt to ensure that each child has the evidence to support your judgements and assessments on them, in my experience especially when they are moving up to Year 1. As an LA EYFS moderator I have often said ‘there is no set amount of evidence needed’ however as a practitioner myself I do like to still have hard evidence to back my judgments, like many others I am sure this is the case, especially if powers above want reassurance of your judgments.
Throughout my career I have trialled different ways and systems to ensure that I have collected evidence equally for each of the children in my class and have shared and ran the ideas with other teachers in my phase. These included tracking sheets, triangle sheets and basically did nothing but create more and more paperwork, which lets be honest, we can all live without.
The system I have introduced this year has immediately had a positive impact upon my phase. The idea first came about when my school wanted to have consistent working walls throughout the school and wanted to see consistency in our classes. However with my children not able to see our board because of the height (thus why we have number lines and sounds under windows and at table level) I discovered they could be put to better use.
Above you will see one of my display boards in my class. I have split it into 22 rectangles and given each child their own rectangle with an A5 clipboard (this could also be done with plastic wallets or paper folders) . The idea is simple, whenever a child initiated observation is completed on a child it is simply placed in their rectangle on their board (the rectangles also have a picture drawn by the children of themselves and a photograph taken).
This way at any point in the week practitioners can see who needs observing or focussing during our child initiated time (plan do review).
Anyone in the unit can observe a child and then it is blogged (see previous blogging post) by their class teacher. This system is now used throughout our phase with both nursery classes and our other reception class and straight away staff can see the benefits.
I view my wall obviously daily, however on a Wednesday evening review who has been observed and then share with my staff who needs to be focussed on over the next couple of days. Just at a glance you can see where the gaps are.
Such a simple idea but one that really works!