Regular observations are made, there is a breath of satisfaction. But what happens to them? Are they cross-referenced to the Areas of Learning, Development Matters Statements and Characteristics of Effective Learning?
Can everyone in your team then decide what the child’s next steps are? For tomorrow? Soon? Can they weave these into the child’s interests? Where they like to play? Consider how they play? Can everyone do this, so that no child is at a disadvantage from others due to the differing abilities; the knowledge, experience and skills of their key person?
“I really like the focus plan, if I’m sat with a group of children at a learning opportunity, it is easy to type in a focus word, get a list of each child and find out exactly what they need to work on for their next steps. For example, if I type in scissors, it might tell me that Maisie needs to snip with scissors, but that Lola needs to practice holding the scissors correctly. With this information at our fingertips, it makes our job easier and each learning opportunity is tailored to every individual child.”
Early Years Practitioner, Buttercup Corner, Oldham.
If all that is done effectively and consistently well for every child in your setting then you don’t need spark, unless of course, it takes ages and it is costing you in salary, work: life balance or the quality of your provision.
Do you know instantly how many observations have been made? In which areas of learning? For which child? Can you measure how well a child is progressing or how well a member of the team is doing? Do you have issues with people’s ability to write well? Do you have to check everything before a parent receives the information? Well, we at spark can help you with your dilemmas as we have experienced them in our settings too.
Having information at your fingertips is a great asset when there is so much to do and any moment now, something else will take up your time. Maybe you earmarked the next moment, to evaluate how well your two-year-olds with EYPP are progressing … That can be done instantly and in different ways on sparkPRO. Our reports section shows what spark produces for both practitioners and management. Everything comes together in one place, so the right one can be selected. Each is easy to decipher.
Planning features are designed to meet each child’s learning and development needs, as individuals and groups. Capturing observations is quick and easy as practitioners work with the children. As each child’s learning journey is built through these observations, links are automatically made to the Characteristics of Effective Learning and an extension of this, to Sustained Shared Thinking Strands and ECaT should these prove useful to your setting.
Measuring progress is instant on spark and your fingertips will access a wealth of information. For example, graphs and charts give quick overviews, spark shows comparisons of progress; baseline assessment and where the child is ‘at’ now and if you use them the Well-Being and Involvement Scale ratings (Leuven Scales) are plotted for easy analysis.
With the software’s assistance, reports can be made by staff members, to show their evaluations of each child’s progress and where, what and how they will improve in their teaching strategies to improve, assist and facilitate better.
Working with our customers we continue to improve what we do too.