Sunday, 1 December 2013

HOW I DO MY DEVELOPMENT FOLDERS/ LEARNING JOURNEYS

After the planning post getting such a huge amount of interest and some really lovely emails and messages I thought I would share how I put together the children's development folders. 

I use a ring binder for each child and brake them up in to the Primary and Specific Areas using folder dividers. I paste a brief description of the EYFS in to the front of the folder to help parents understand the EYFS. 
I have a sheet in the front as well that I date and sign every time the folder goes home. I like to send the folders home every 3 months so that the parents can add evidence to the development sheets, add pictures or make notes about how the child is progressing at home. This makes it a jointly created and complete overview of a child's development. 




In each section I have the "Early Years Outcomes" printed out with an area next to each Typical Behaviour point for you to plan something to meet that area of development. Next to that is an area to make a small observation when you have noticed that the child has this area securely developed and has displayed evidence of this repeatedly.
At a glance you can see what areas are not yet secured and what needs to be planned for.

There is a section with the letters E,D,S in it. These stand for "Emerging, Developing and Secured". You can Mark the appropriate letter by each statement to help you gage where the child is in their learning of each one. Again this will help you to plan for that child and think about the things you might need to offer in your free play, experiences and activities.

Below is an example I have written up to show how I use it. Again I date everything so you can see a clear line of development and have a reference for each one. I like to go through each child's folder at least once a month to update it. The children an I are often adding pictures to their folders and looking through them to see the photos of themselves.


Under each Prime and specific area I also add little mini observations that I write on white labels. I hole punch white sheets of paper and place them in the sections and stick these labels on to them in the relevant area. Again everything is dated. These can be little "Wow" moments or things that you might forget if you don't make a quick note!
I have a clip board with the labels on and keep it close to hand. Then I can make observations as they happen.
This is an example of the type of mini, wow moment observations that I do. They do not have to be big. A few lines are enough and then stick them in the folder in the corresponding area.


As well as the development sheets I have a section at the back of each folder to place any art work, mark making, photos or anything that the child has worked on and that they wish to place in there. I always date these items so that parents can see how they are progressing.


I also write bigger observations which I link to the EYFS and COEL. These are the blog posts that I write up and share on here. I often just copy and paste them to a word document and then slightly edit them so they are specifically relevant to that child.  Then I print them and add them in to the folder. There are many ways to do in-depth observations. I like to use the blog posts as they have all the links included and are quite in-depth so I see no point in writing up extra ones! :-)


I believe in making the paperwork side of this job as easy as possible while still covering everything. You could add so much and have so many forms to fill out but these are the main ones that I use.

Every time the folder goes home I remind the parents to sign the front sheet and to make a comment if they would like to. I draw their attention to the areas of development and age sections that are relevant to their child at this time. I then ask them to make written comments if they have seen evidence of anything relevant at home. I also ask them to date it. I always read through the folder when it comes back and check to see what has been added so that I am aware of all information shared from home.

This is just how I do my folders and there are many ways you could do them. I hope that this has been as useful to you as the planning post was.

If you have any questions then please do message me.




16 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I'm just starting out as a childminder and have yet to have any mindees so the paperwork seems like a mine field so seen something that works for others is great. Xx

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    1. your very welcome. Have you joined the facebook page? I share all paperwork templates on there.

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  2. Pip you are a genious..don't know how you do it! X Jan

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  3. Sarah at Lollipops Childminding2 December 2013 at 12:19

    Pip, I really like how you do your folders. Mine are similar, but I will be making some tweaks to them after reading this :) Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Love the way you do your files if you don't mind me asking what is your Facebook page so could av a look thanks in advance

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    1. https://www.facebook.com/wormseyeviewblog There is a link at the top of the facebook page to the group where i hold all the files of blank templates for the sheets in my planning and development folder blog posts.

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  5. Hiya, what a great idea it is to have a sheet for parents to comment and date when sent home. Thsnk you x

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    1. i can not take credit for that one i am afraid. another childminder I know created it and I think it was a really good idea. Shows Ofsted that you are sending them home and including the family in their progress.

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  6. Hi, I love the way you do these! When you say you do longer observations, what exactly do you mean by that? I notice a few childminders mentioned longer or planned observations, but how do these differ from regular observations? Do you cover more areas of learning? I presume you still transfer the information gained into a tracker sheet of some sort, or is this not necessary? I'm a relatively new childminder so learning journeys are all new to me! Also where you said some of the things you put in the learning journeys are from your blog posts, could you possibly point me in the direction of these blog posts? I'm really keen to get my head around everything! Maria :)

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  7. Sorry, my previous post was a bit of a "senior moment"- just looked at one of the blog posts on the left and I see what you mean, I thought you meant there were specific post related to learning journeys, I was getting confused! But do you still transfer info to a tracker sheet? Also, do you do termly PLODS or individuals plans and put them in there? What about summary assessments, or do you feel it's not necessary seeing as you're plotting it out clearly enough anyway? x

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  8. i do not use tracker sheets as such as the EYO sheets track every area and development point in detail. I also use the planning for column on these sheets for individual planning to encourage an area of development that they have not yet reached. I then add that to my weekly plans which is explained in another blog post. I do the 2 year check for the children that this applies to and use the information on these sheets to see what areas the children have a strong development in and any areas that I feel still need work on. This allows me to mark on the 2 year check if an area is Emerging, developing or secured. I slightly adjust the blog posts to relate to one child and then print it out and add to their folder. These are my longer more in-depth observations. mini observations as more like the evidence on the EYO sheets, the white label stickers and such like. Does that make sense?

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  9. Thank you, yes that helps a lot! As far as the "emerging/developing/secure" section of the EYO sheets goes, say if you feel something is 'emerging', do you write an 'e' along with an observation, then if you get another piece of evidence for that behaviour you write a 'd' and squeeze the new observation in the box along with the previous one, then repeat it when you feel ready to write an 's'? Also roughly how often do you do an observation on each child- do you just get the smaller ones as and when you see them, or do you plan a frequency per child? What about the longer ones? Sorry for all the questions, I just feel like you're clearly a good person to get advice from! Maria :)

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  10. not a problem. Questions are fine. If i see something emerging then I put an "E" in the box. I may put a white label observation in the folder on the plain bits of paper I mentioned. Then when I see it more developed I will do the same and put a "D" in the box on the EYO sheets. I would also make a note of how I could extend this and help them achieve this area in the middle section of the EYO sheets. Once i have observed it as a secured area of development I write a mini observation in the box on the right hand side and mark an S in the other box. It would be good at some point to write a larger observation about this development and link it to the EYFS and mention the COEL that you have observed in this child. For me these are my blog posts about a child and then at the end i write the links. If you read one of these on here you will see what I mean. Not sure I have explained this very well

    Do you use facebook? I have a group with all the print outs in https://www.facebook.com/groups/185459191647083/187036821489320

    I also have a facebook page you can link that i share my ideas and new blog posts on if you would like to have a look. https://www.facebook.com/wormseyeviewblog

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  11. Yes you've explained it really well, thank you! I think I'm getting my head around it finally! Yes I follow you on Facebook too. Did I see you on a video on Pacey too? About outdoor play?

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  12. yes :-) we are also in the messy play one and they are working on some more that we have been included in that will be online soon!

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  13. Oh fab, I'll keep an eye out for you! Thanks for the info :)

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