Many childminders would love a straightforward answer to the question “Am I doing this right?” when it comes to writing learning journey observations. It is not always helpful to be told by your EYFS support worker, “there’s no right and wrong way to do learning journeys,” because many childminders through lack of guidance can find themselves overwhelmed or doing far more paperwork than is really necessary. This course aims to help you to get more confident in writing observations and next steps so that ultimately you can create better quality learning journeys for Ofsted and your families.
Each module of the course will be done via email correspondence with Kay Woods, so unlike most E-learning courses, you won’t be left on your own to complete the course! For each module, you will need to email me real examples of your photos and observations. I will then check that you are “doing it right” and offer comments and suggestions for ways to improve.
This course is for any childminder who struggles writing observations and next steps for learning journeys and genuinely wants to improve. The course starts with the basics, then over the 8 modules you will learn to write observations in many different areas of learning and development and the characteristics of effective learning. So if you are new to childminding or new to writing observations, then this course will be a great help to you.
The course is for anyone who worries that you may not be linking your observations to your planning properly and wants to feel prepared for your Ofsted inspection.
Many childminders speak English as a second language. If this is you, then writing learning journeys can be a challenge, and I will help you master the “language of writing observations”.
If you’ve been doing learning journeys for a while, or feel that your learning journey paperwork takes you too long, then I can help you to improve what you are doing by giving you a fresh way of looking at things.
Many childminders don’t get a lot of support by your local authority and if this is you, you may also find you enjoy the interactive nature of this course. It can be nice to know that there is a real person reading what you have written and offering some encouragement and ways to improve.
The following topics will be addressed throughout the course:
The course is in 8 modules which I will email you one at a time. Each section builds on the previous section, so you will need to complete the sections in order and finish each section before moving on to the next. The course starts very basically and moves onto some of the more complex observations you might make. The course looks at the Characteristics of Effective Learning as well as the Learning and Development areas. Most importantly I will ask you to look at learning journeys from a business perspective and help you to think about how you can use your learning journeys as a way to promote your childminding business. We will also explore how you link your learning journeys to your planning and make sure you are prepared for your Ofsted inspection.
Module 1: observing big physical movements
Module 2: recording feelings
Module 3: writing about language development
Module 4: observing fine motor skills and creativity while doing art projects
Module 5: writing observations in multiple areas while doing a cooking project
Module 6: observing children playing with mathematical and construction toys
Module 7: how to use your learning journeys to promote your childminding business
Module 8: writing about bad behaviour in a positive way and preparing for your Ofsted inspection
You can complete the course at your own pace over a minimum of 8 weeks. The course should take you around 10 hours to complete so will count as 10 hours of Continual Professional Development (CPD). When you have completed it, I will send you a certificate. However, the most important goal of the course is that after you have completed it, you should feel a lot more confident about writing learning journey observations and those all-important next steps.
You do not need to be a computer whiz to do this course. However, it is an ‘interactive’ course and I need to check examples of your work. So you will need to be competent enough using a computer to send me copies of your work by email for me to check. This way I will be able to make comments and suggestions so that you can improve.
There are lots of ways to do this, and we will check to make sure you can do this before you begin the course. You can:
If, at the initial stage, we find that it is NOT possible for you to email me samples of your work, then I will issue you a full refund.
Absolutely. You are going to be sending me actual copies of pages from your learning journeys with real photos of the children you look after. So, yes, you will need to get parental permission before you begin.
When you sign up for the course and pay, I will send you a letter that you will need to give to the parents of the children you want to photograph for the course. The parents will need to sign this before you can begin. I will also send you a signed confidentiality agreement that you can keep on your files, making it clear that I am only looking at the photographs in my capacity as an Early Years Trainer and that I will destroy ALL copies of any photographs and observations you send to me as soon as you have completed the course.
If, for any reason, you can’t get parental permission, then I will issue you a full refund because you will not be able to complete my course without parental permission.
No. The course is about teaching you to write observations and next steps. You do not need to be using my Learning Journey Plus system or any of my suggested formats. The idea of this course is that I help you to improve your way of doing things.
Ultimately, whatever learning journey system you use, you need to get the sample learning journey pages into some kind of electronic format so that you can email them to me. So, if you make the sort of learning journeys where you print photographs of the children and then glue them into books and hand write observations next to the photographs, that’s completely fine as long as you can find a way to scan or photograph your page and send it to me to check your work. On the other end of the spectrum, if you do all your observations electronically using one of the paperless aps that are available, that’s fine, but you would need to find a way to send me copies of your photographs and observations by email so that I can check what you’re doing. I will not be able to ‘log on’ to your system; you will need to send it to me in a format I can open, read and comment on by email.
If you already have my Learning Journey Plus, then the course will cost you £75. If you don’t have a copy of my Learning Journey Plus, you will also need to buy a discounted copy of this so that you have access to the Photo Guidance Booklet which you will need to use to complete the course work. This normally costs £24.50, but you can get it for £20 when you sign up for the course.
You will also need access to a copy of Development Matters which you can view and print here.
Full payment is due when you sign up for the course through my ordering page using PayPal. You can also pay by bank transfer.
I will then email you a permission letter for you to give to the parents of the children you want to photograph for the course. If you can’t get permission from parents, then I will send you a full refund.
Next we will check that you are able to email me example pages from your learning journeys, either as scanned copies or photographs. If you can’t send me examples of your work, then I will issue you a full refund.
Once the email communication is in place AND the parental permission forms are in place, at that point I will officially accept you onto the course and email you the first module of the course so that you can get started. Once I have emailed you Module 1 of the course, you will no longer be eligible for a refund if you later change your mind about doing the course.
The minimum amount of time you should take to do the course is 8 weeks. I don’t want you to try and do it faster than that, because the idea is to practice getting good at observing in different areas and this needs to be done over time.
It is then up to you how long it takes you to complete each module. I won’t send you the next section until you have completed the previous one because the sections build on each other.
Rest assured that I will chase you up and hassle you if you lapse and don’t send me your work after a reasonable amount of time!
Just to let you know I got a good in all areas of my OFSTED inspection and I am really pleased with that for my first grading. She was very impressed with my observations and next steps and was impressed with your course as I let her look at all the modules. Thank you for your help.
Thank you Kay. All the comments on my assignments were lovely, encouraging and helpful and I was able to put them into practice. Shelley
This was great. The course covered everything I was expecting and more. It certainly covered my needs and gave me confidence that I was on the right tracks with writing observations and how I can build on them.
(Plus £20 for the Learning Journey Plus Photo Guidance booklet if you don’t already have it)