Record, view and review

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By Rachel AgerIndependent Educational Consultant

Using ICT to assess and observe children can provide an insight into moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. Take a look at how settings in Northamptonshire have changed their approach to observation and assessment

Record, view and review

Observations should be planned for. These observations are systematic – they inform us about an individual child; a group of children; an area of provision; or the role of an adult. However, spontaneous observations are also important as they accumulate quickly and can enable you to build up a broad picture of a child. Spontaneous observations are usually short and often capture a significant event; a change or an achievement; children’s wellbeing and involvement levels; who they interact with; their reaction to situations; what interests them; and what they concentrate on. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) emphasises the importance of practitioners’ observations of children and that it is a crucial part of a setting’s practice, whatever the age of the child.

Using ICT to enhance observations

Digital photography, video and the use of sound recorders can all be used very effectively to enhance our observations of children, and to record their achievements. Their power is that they can record exactly what a child does and this can be viewed by the child; their parents; the practitioner; and other professionals. It can be shared and discussed so that everyone involved has a better understanding of the child and can plan for next steps in learning and development.

Observations assist practitioners in:

  • deciding where the children are in their learning and development
  • involving children in self-assessment and in sharing experiences with their family
  • celebrating steps, however small, in their achievement
  • developing an understanding of a child’s development and identifying any concerns
  • discussions with other professionals and significant adults
  • early identification of a special educational need and therefore an early response
  • ensuring all children receive attention.
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