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observing pupils: Be aware of the type of observation and its purpose. Following school procedures eg with recording information and confidentiality Never letting personal feelings or opinions influence the observation outcome Getting parental permission, if necessary Keeping distractions and disturbances to a minimum Know your children so unusual behaviour can be picked up on Keep the results of the observation clear, relevant and concise. The importance of involving pupils as partners in observation and assessment Agreeing next steps together eg setting targets/goals So children know they are being observed/assessed and can try their best So that children understand the purpose of the observation/assessment So that children can see what progress they have made So that children can see which areas still need development So that the children are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
K3 Potential sources of distractions and disruptions during observations of pupils and how to minimise these • too hot/cold/noisy (open/close window/door) • lesson intertupted by visitor or fire alarm (get children back on track asap) • not enough space (move activity or re-arrange the classroom) • temptation of fiddling with lesson resources (don't give/put these out until needed) • child with behavioural difficulties (support staff can help) K4 Techniques of observation that are appropriate for different purposes Naturalistic This is the observation of a child in their natural surroundings. This means not structuring the observation, just viewing the child as they are. Snapshot A description of what the child is doing at a certain time, for example at bath time. Longitudinal Observations carried out over a period of time, this includes such things as, the development of a child’s language. Participative This is joining in whilst observing, e.g. a throwing and catching activity with a child. Non-participative Only providing attention to the child when necessary, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible when observing the child.
Time sampling Recording what a child is doing at regular intervals during a specified amount of time, e.g. every fifteen minutes during an hour visit Event Sampling Observing and recording relevant events when they occur for example a temper tantrum. This method is useful if you live with the child. K5 Your school’s processes and procedures for observing and recording pupil performance and development Observing: • We regard observation as extremely important. • Teachers should stand back and observe as often as possible. • Observation should be undertaken with specific objective in mind. • Observation can at times be either passive or interactive - i.e. discussions of observations with children. • We should aim to observe each child over a period of time engaged in individual work, small group/interactive situations, whole class situations, interaction with adults, structured and unstructured activity and in situations covering a variety of curriculum activities. • Such observations might result in written records (which may be kept as teacher's own informal records) which improves our real understanding of each child's strengths, weaknesses and capabilities and should assist in planning for each child's future educational needs. Recording: • Records must be kept for each individual child on academic achievement, other skills and abilities and individual progress. • Evidence of attainment needs to be retained in order to support judgements made and to inform future planning and learning. • Through such a system continuity and progression can be assured. • A high degree of trust and confidence is necessary between staff, children and parents for such a system to operate openly and well and we should aim to build on this at all times. • The recording of assessment outcomes should be constructive, should highlight positive achievement and give guidance for future development. • Formative records should be open and accessible to all staff and parents of individual pupils.
K6 When and how these processes link to external requirements or ‘baselines’, or curriculum frameworks followed in your home country • How these systems link into the National Curriculum. • Ensuring that all areas of the curriculum are being met through reviewing observations made of children.
This can then follow through to planning future activities to ensure adequate provision is being made for each child. Baseline information is the assessment made when a child first starts which informs staff of their current stage of development and skill level. This information is obtained through initial observations and also discussion with parents/carers and any other settings the child has attended. This process is necessary because once a child's baseline is acertained, activities appropriate to their current stage of development can be planned which will progress to the next stage. The school undertakes SATs tests at the end of each Key Stage. Assessing Pupils' Progress (APP) is also being carried out in Literacy, specifically on children's reading skills.
K7 Possible cultural, social and gender based influences on pupils’ responses to being observed • EAL may make instructions hard to follow • Less confident child may not participate fully • Children who know they are being observed may become anxious or over confident • The grouping of the children may influence the outcome depending on ability and friendships and confidence. • Outside influences eg children who are upset or ill. K8 The concepts of reliability, validity and subjectivity of observations • When observing – remain objective and accurate, only record what is seen/heard • Do not let personal opinions, assumptions or feelings affect the outcome of the observation • Check your observations with other members of staff to see they are consistent • Go back and observe the child a second time to be sure of the accuracy of your findings. K9 How to summarise and present information from observations of pupil performance and development • • • • • Present:Typed up into the EAL feedback sheet Feedback written in a child's reading record A written evaluation on a lesson plan for a lesson just undertaken Verbally, at an appropriate moment. Summarise: clearly, concisely, accurately, fairly, considerately, profesionally, objectively, relevant information, using agreed method.
K10 The importance of confidentiality when dealing with information about individual pupils and the school policies and procedures for ensuring confidentiality of information • Data Protection Act • Child Protection • Reassurance to parents/carers • Professional Standards • To build trust • Avoiding unpleasant situations • Confidential records kept in school office for allocated amount of time • Certain information can be shared with outside agencies eg social services • Teaching staff must not divulge any confidential information on out of school hours • Confidential information must be stored correctly, not left lying around. K11 How reflection on the outcomes of pupil observations can be used to inform your own practice • Behaviour management • Setting appropriate targets for children • Giving each child the right amount of support • Differentiating for different abilities • What has the child achieved • What can we plan for the child next? K12 The influences on how children/young people develop and what these might mean in the context of the pupils you are working with • health status: physical and mental health • genetic inheritance • gender • social, cultural, environmental, financial and family background and circumstances • play opportunities and environment • discrimination
K13 The importance of recognising that children/young people's development is holistic, even though for convenience it is divided into different interconnected areas, and how this affects practice • Development is holistic; it consists of interlinking areas. • All are interwoven in a child’s life and are developing simultaneously. • Progress in one area affects progress in others. • Similarly, when something goes wrong in any one of those areas, it has an impact on all the other areas.
Holistic development sees the child as a whole person, this means that the child is considered as a unique individual and their development is centered around their personal circumstances. The development of the child may be affected by many influences, eg family background, econonic circumstances, personal health, disabilites, special needs, previous experiences etc This is important when you are observing because you can look at the development of the child as a whole and see what progress they are making (or not), as you are not concentrating on one particular area of development. You can get a much rounder view of the child's development and can see how all areas of development are interlinked and influence each other. A holistic approach is important when assessing as you are able to assess the child as a whole person and understand what they have achieved and what they have not achieved by looking at how the developmental areas link up, and how progress in one area can affect progress in another area. This approach is also important because it influences the planning of future activities involving the child which will help their development as a whole person and not just their development in one area.
K14 That children and young people develop at widely different rates, but in broadly the same sequence • Children develop at wildly different rates - children can start walking at anything between 10 months and 16 months. A disability may mean a child walks much later or never walk. • But in the same sequence - children will always gain control of their limbs first, they will sit up next, they may crawl or bottom shuffle next, they will walk next, they will run next. It always has to be in that order. • General Sequence is: Moving from simple to complex actions From Head to toe (developmental progresses downwards) From inner to outer (actions near the body to more complex ones further from the body) eg. co-ordinating their arms; using gross motor skills before developing fine motor skills to use theri fingers. From general responses to those that are more specific eg. a baby showing pleasure when using its whole body, to an older child using appropriate words and gestures.
K15 Children and young people’s expected patterns of development from 3 to 16 including: a physical development b communication, intellectual development and learning c social, emotional and behavioural development Types of Development/Age 3-7 years 7-12 years Understands concepts, learns independently and at school, has hobbies and interests. Has a best friend, influenced by peer pressure, has a conscience and a set of values, forms groups. Is independent, has preferences, mood swings, a sense of fairness, is caring. Needs praise and own space. Grows taller, bones and muscles broaden, loose baby teeth, motor skills are refined, starts hormonal changes. Sophisticated language, clear speech, good spellings, listens, is expressive. 12-16 years Becomes a logical thinker, has good memory, solves problems.
Intellectual/Learning Learns to read and write. Uses reason & imagination. Is inquisitive.
Making friends, taking turns, sharing, manners, self willed, independent, affectionate, understands rules, needs discipline & security. Develops self esteem.
More mature, more time spent away from home, may find boy/girl friend. Develops crushes, experiences hormonal changes, is contrary, independent, self conscience, may experience peer pressure. In between adult/child Puberty starts. Girls:breasts develop, body hair, hips widen, periods start. Boys: voice breaks, body hair etc Same speech as adult, can use abstract language, idioms, metaphors. Uses texts and emails as a form of communication.
Dresses self, toilet trained, new teeth, grips pencil and utensils, uses stairs, rides bike, plays sport. Fluent speech (unless delayed), makes grammatical mistakes, tells stories & jokes.
K16 How to promote the development of children/young people in the age range of the pupils with whom you work • Setting realistic targets • Using praise, encouragement, rewards • Using observations and assessment to find out what they have achieved • Encouraging positive behaviour • Encouraging children to make healthy choices • Keeping children safe • Giving children choices • Encouraging independent learning • Helping children develop self confidence and self esteem • Supporting childrens additional needs eg EAL, SEN • Building postive relationships.
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