Observations in EYFS are a key piece of the puzzle. This is because they allow us to link up past and future learning, assess progress and learn more about children’s needs and interests.
2.1 In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents and carers share.”Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2021
You will be observing children all the time and noticing their skills, knowledge and interests and thinking about where this fits in the child’s learning journey. You will be thinking about their progression through your curriculum and continuously planning their next steps as they play and access your provision. It is up to you to decide which of these observations it would be of value to record in writing, what format, and in how much detail.
2.2 Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork.Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2021
With that in mind- think carefully about how many observations that you NEED to record to inform your professional judgements about progress. When carrying out our observations in EYFS we are used to observing and recording EVERYTHING! We no longer need all this evidence. However having some written evidence can be really helpful when you are thinking about assessing children’s progression through the curriculum and gives a breadth of context.
Remember to ask yourself…
- Who is the observation for? Will it be helpful to other staff, act as a reminder, or help to inform other stakeholders, including parents?
- Does it help to build a picture of the child?
- Is it a WOW moment that tells you something new and remarkable about the child?
- Does it help you monitor any areas of concern? Remember if there are concerns over children’s development or safety you may need more written evidence.
If you are looking for a simple observation template then download my pack of observation support including:
- Observations in EYFS Templates
- Characteristics of Effective Learning Mind Maps
- ELG Mind Maps
So just a short note from me today. I hope the new academic year has started well for you and as always get in touch across the socials and via the “CONTACT” page.