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Observation, assessment & planning

A short introduction to observation, assessment and planning.

Good for looking at

  • Observation
  • Assessment
  • Planning
00:01
Observation, Assessment, and Planning.
00:06
Alert observation, looking and listening,
00:10
is a crucial part of being an adult
00:12
who will be helpful to young children.
00:17
Parents are most supportive of their children
00:20
when they notice what is happening
00:21
and adjust what they, the adult,
00:23
do in response to what has interested their child.
00:35
Early-years practitioners
00:36
have a professional responsibility
00:38
to fine-tune their skills of observation,
00:41
realizing that a great deal
00:42
of valuable observation is relatively informal.
00:46
It is a case of keeping your eyes and ears open
00:49
and maintaining an open mind when you make sense,
00:51
interpret what you have noticed.
00:58
Good early practice involves a continuing process
01:01
of observation, simple assessment, making sense,
01:05
and flexible planning.
01:07
Mary Jane Drummond usefully described this process or cycle
01:12
as being all about seeing children's learning,
01:15
understanding their learning,
01:16
and then putting our adult understanding to good use
01:20
for the children themselves.
01:23
Good quality observation hones in
01:26
on what is actually happening,
01:29
what has caught children's attention.
01:36
Video footage give you the opportunity not available
01:40
in daily life to look and listen again and again.
01:46
You're splashing it.
01:47
It is possible to polish up your skills
01:48
of observation towards these small details
01:51
that happen quickly and so may be missed
01:53
unless you are on the lookout for them.
02:11
What sense do you make of what is happening?
02:16
What is it in more detail about this activity
02:19
that makes it so welcome to this baby or child?
02:25
What have you, the adult, learned from this observation
02:28
about this individual child and in general?
02:40
It might be something that appears simple
02:42
like the importance of regular friendly eye contact
02:45
with young children.
02:48
Are you splashing Gwinn?
02:49
In ordinary daily life,
02:51
what strikes you about individual children
02:53
and their current interests?
02:56
What motivates them most strongly?
02:59
On the basis of what you have observed,
03:02
what do you think are these children's preferred ways
03:04
of learning?
03:19
What have you learned about this individual child
03:21
and what works well for them
03:23
along with what are sensible next steps for him or her?
03:27
Effective and sensible planning day-by-day
03:29
with young children is led
03:31
by what you have noticed recently.
03:34
It is never good practice for group settings like a nursery
03:37
or for child-minders
03:39
to have a rigid forward plan for activities.
03:42
Of course you have plenty of good ideas up your sleeve,
03:46
but what you notice today should influence
03:48
how you fine-tune any flexible plan for tomorrow.
03:52
And just as important,
03:54
your observations will highlight those crucial aspects
03:57
of good planning around young children,
03:59
such as allowing generous time for experiences
04:02
and respecting that young children need personal attention.