ICT in the Early Years
E2BN ICT in the Early Years

Obervation, Assessment and Planning

Use ICT to help you record and communicate your observations

  • Make learning visible. Take close up photographs of children to record their learning and achievements; does the picture tell a story?
  • Document a child’s learning journey with photographs. Share these with the children and their families by putting them into books or on display.  
  • Develop an ongoing record of a child’s learning journey with their family, both contributing through things the child has said or done, through photographs and notes. One way to do this is to create a ‘special book’; a folder that can be added to within the setting as well as taken home and added to. Children love their ‘special books’ at Homerton and regularly add to them and share looking through them with their friends. 
  • Use a computer/laptop/IWB/plasma screen/digital photo frame to display slideshows of photographs of children at play. These are a great talking point for parents and carers as well as for the children themselves.
  • Not all photos need to be printed. Share children’s experiences with them by looking through the play back feature of the camera, this is also a good way to share your observations quickly and immediately with parents and carers e.g. when a child is settling in to the setting.
  • Use digital video to observe learning and share with small groups of children through a digital display (computer, IWB, digital photo frame). Children will notice experiences like jumping in puddles, or seeing shadows, in different ways when they reflect back on the experiences. Sharing video provides opportunities for extending children’s learning.
  • Capture children’s communication and language through digital recordings. Think how you will use this, try to save time by keeping it in digital form and not transcribing it. Perhaps it could be added to a digital portfolio or added to a PowerPoint sharing children’s learning.

Use ICT to help with planning

  • Make sure you have pro-formas ready on a computer for all types of observations and planning.
  • Use the electronic version of the EYFS. You can search the areas of learning and quickly navigate and cross-reference the principles. There are plenty of useful web-links, groups to join and you can take part in some of the e-learning courses for CPD.
  • Use a central folder on a computer for all staff to be able to access and share policy documents, pro-formas for IEP’s, photographs that have permissions for newsletters and booklets, curriculum documents etc.
  • Show children photographs and video of themselves at play through slideshows on a computer screen, IWB, plasma screen or digital photo frame. This will often prompt children to remember a previously enjoyed experience and to plan together to continue the play.
  • Encourage role-play planning with children through introducing a scenario e.g. a vets surgery or a garden centre; using computer role-play software, photographs and video of real world settings.

Use ICT to help you make and communicate your assessments

  • Encourage children to photograph their own learning and achievements and to put them into a book or in a folder on the computer. Help them add captions. Help them to become reflective learners.
  • Build a digital portfolio of children’s achievements. In reception you could extend this idea by downloading this template EYFS Profile PowerPoint; just copy and paste the scale points from the ‘notes’ part of PowerPoint to the slide to support a photograph and observational assessment.
  • Digital audio could easily be added to the above and will help involve children in making statements about their personal learning experience.
  • Use photos in assessments shared with parents, carers and other professionals. Develop your skill in taking photographs to communicate children’s achievements well, a digital camera is ideal for this because you can take many photos and only use one.

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