ELDA Observation Sheets
How do the Observation Sheets benefit you?
Each day of the Day By Day NCF Programme there are suggested Observation points (suggestions for assessments) taken from each ELDA and its Aims. You don't have to search through the NCF document to find them.
There is a complete list of these Observations (137 in total) in each child’s Activity pad. These pages are taken out and placed in the child’s file where the teacher can record what has been observed. You don't have to make copies and you can record your observations directly into this file.
These Observation Sheets are a tool for improving observation of the children, not a big stick to hit yourself with! Many of the observation points overlap in the different ELDAs and if you make observations from each ELDA you will get a balanced picture.
Why Observation Sheets?
The National Curriculum Framework consists of guidelines for:
Observing the developmental and learning needs of each child. Planning activities to meet each child's own developmental needs and learning interests. Doing the activities with the children. Assessing children's developmental and learning needs and evaluating the ECD programme in terms of its ability to meet the needs of each child. Assessment in these early years in informal and is carried out every day for each child.
In the NCF the emphasis in assessment is on observing children in an ongoing and planned way, during their daily routines, structured and free play activities.
Observation means watching carefully and listening carefully to each young child each day. The guide to assessment is based on the six early learning areas and the suggestions for assessment for each. Adults use these suggestions as the basis for their observations of each child.
Step 1: Prepare for assessment by organising:
1. A note book to keep close by, in which dated notes can be jotted down about each child during the day on important milestones and challenges that the child faces.
2. A file for each child into which to transfer dated notes and to store all the information about the child (photocopies of the Road to Health card, registration details, copies of reports to parents, notes on discussions with parents and so on).
3. A timetable of formal meeting times available for discussions with parents.
Step 2: Generating and collecting evidence of achievement.
The practitioner needs to remember what she has observed so that she can plan efficiently and effectively for each child's needs and interests, and so that she can discuss these needs and interests and her plans with the parents of each child.
The best way to do this is to make notes on each child's key developments and interests. The notes will be based on the information in the six ELDAs.
Observe each child's actions and behaviour each day.
Look at her actions to see the skills she is developing for example, sitting up, taking steps, twisting her body, holding a crayon, making marking on paper.
Listen to the sounds that the child makes ('a child speaks in a hundred languages')
Use the senses of smell and touch to observe illness in the child (for example, the smell of the child's breath, faeces, temperature, dryness, sweating).
Make notes on your observations. Written evidence is very important. This is especially so with health and safety, which are governed by law that is evidence of injuries, accidents, illness and steps taken to deal with these.
The parent and the ECD practitioners remember the key information about the child's development and learning. The ECD practitioner records this in writing first in her observation notes each day and then more formally in the reports of the child's progress and needs.
The Day By Day NCF ECD programme reports are designed specifically to transfer the information from the Observation sheets across to the report easily.