observing effectively n.
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  1. OBSERVING EFFECTIVELY © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  2. You need to do observations regularly: throughout every day and every activity, including routines. They should be mostly short and to the point giving an accurate reflection of what occurred. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  3. Recording observations An observation can be recorded • on a specific observation sheet, for detailed writing which is to go in an official file or to a specialist. • on a post-it note. • on plain paper. • as a photo. • as a video. Or, it could be contributed by a parent. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  4. Photos • Aphoto can be quite small; you’ll need quite a few and you’ll need to store them or keep them in the child’s book. • You can use a digital camera and print photos on to normal paper. Be careful not to make them such high quality prints that they become too expensive for the setting to produce. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  5. Videos • Videos show the child in motion and also often capture the words or sounds. • Be sure to get parental permission first. • Be aware of the EYFS requirements that safeguarding policies and procedures must cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting. (paragraph 3.4) © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  6. Sound recording • Dictaphones are also another very useful tool, especially when observing young children. • You can discreetly record a baby’s babbling, or a young child’s early attempts at talking. This can be lovely to listen back to and can be downloaded to a disc for parents. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  7. What can I do with the observation? • Always reflect on it and analyse it alongside your development matters charts. • Store them either in the child’s file or their own development book, often called a ‘learning journey’. • Allow parents access to these so they can enjoy all the information that you have collected about their child. • Never leave them out for other parents to view. They are confidential documents. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  8. Further suggestions • Use the analysis from the observation to plan the child’s next steps. • Also use the observation to see whether there are aspects of the environment or resources that need changing. • There might be an area that children don’t really use; through your observation you might discover why this is. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012

  9. Summary Observation is used to inform us about an individual child’s development, but it may also shed light on group dynamics, staff-child interaction and the quality of resources. It may, for example, highlight an over-used part of the playroom that might need to be enlarged or the resources extended. Make your observations work for you. © Laser Learning Ltd 2012