Observation, record keeping and assessment

Principle and statement of intent

At Bumbles Day Care we aim to offer a learning programme that uses planned play activities that allow children to grow and to develop the skills they will need to become confident and independent, and to reach their full potential.

In forming this policy we follow the guidelines and principles as detailed in the:

  • Department of Health & Social Services NI – Childminding & Day Care for children under age 12 Minimum Standards published July 2012. – Quality of Care, states that:-
  • Children’s wellbeing is promoted and their care, developmental and play needs are met.
  • Observations of what children do and say, are used to meet their individual needs, promote their wellbeing and guide the way we work with them.

Observation involves watching children closely and then noting down what is seen and heard in order to:

  • Gain a detailed understanding of the child.
  • Plan for children’s needs and interests, including specialist advice and support when required.
  • Plan for progression and differentiation.
  • Inform curricular planning.
  • Share the child’s development with parents/carers.
  • Provide information on transfer to the next stage of learning.
  • Give staff a greater insight into how children learn.
  • Observations are made by adults, who are involved with the child, including: parents/carers, Bumbles staff, students and other professionals (e.g. health visitor, speech therapist, physiotherapist and educational psychologist) as well as the children themselves

In Bumbles 1 we have introduced Learning Diaries, which will include the name of your child’s assigned Key Person. On starting Bumbles we will ask you to tell us in the diary some key information on your child such as:

  • What they like to do
  • What they like to play with
  • How do they respond to new experiences, people?
  • What comforts/excites them
  • What interests them
  • What makes them laugh
  • The Learning Diary will be for them “A record of all the unique, interesting, surprising and powerful things I say and do during my Early Years”

The Diary will be a record of how they are progressing in:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy Skills
  • Physical Development
  • Cognitive Development

Observations will be both spontaneous and planned and will be reflected and analysed, weekly and monthly to enable us to respond and develop our curriculum planning, continuously reviewing to ensure we are meeting children’s individual needs.

There will be a report at the end of each term, Christmas, Easter and end of June, but parents/carers can have access to their child’s Learning Diary at any time and we would encourage and welcome their input into every aspect of their child’s day.

At the end of the children’s time at nursery their Learning Diary will either be passed on to their next provider, with parental/carers consent, or be given to the parents to keep or to pass on.

A child’s Key Person has the responsibility for monitoring that child’s development in the Key learning areas, and will work with parents/carers if the child needs any extra assistance in reaching the desirable learning outcomes. She will not be with each child every minute of the day as we encourage interaction between all staff and children – but will keep a watchful eye on the children assigned to them.

In Bumbles 2 the emphasis of observations is to help us to get the balance right between play and relaxation whilst still being focused on our care ethos of helping children to grow in confidence, independence and self-esteem.

In PlayStation, each child has a scrapbook, which records their particular interests and staff will use these books when evaluating and planning play.

At Kids Club whilst we do not keep formal observations, if there are any issues or concerns regarding a child, then a book will be started to assist staff in gaining an understanding and helping to develop a plan to promote that child’s well being and development.

All children’s records are treated in confidence as per Bumbles Confidentiality and Data Protection Policies.