A Learning Journey is an effective way to collect evidence of children’s development under the key areas identified by EYFS. But are you left wondering what to include to make the most out of them?
We’ve put together 10 simple ideas to help you put together an EYFS learning journey that enables you to present evidence of how children are progressing.
1. Speech bubble templates:
Cut out colourful speech bubble templates and use them to record what children say. Not only is this a simple way to support an observation, it also presents an event from a child’s perspective and tracks their language development. These can then be added to their learning journey and can be used to track their progress with language against EYFS outcome goals over time.
2. Include photographs:
Include photographic evidence to support your observations and assessments. So, remember to keep your camera to hand and take photos of children in action to stick into and personalise their EYFS Learning Journey.
3. WOW Moments:
Create a WOW note template and have them readily available for parents and carers. This practice allows parents to record their child’s special achievements and make their contribution to tracking their child’s Learning Journey.
4. Create an “At Home” section:
This is another way to involve parents and carers in the development of their child’s Learning Journey. Encourage parents to bring in content from home; this could include photo diaries of family trips, certificates or even artwork and mark making achievements. Parents could also be asked to add their own short observation/explanation and the evidence can be added to the Learning Journey and contribute to tracking of EYFS progress.
In addition to the more formal and routine early years observations, use post-its or special stickers to record spontaneous observations. These snapshots and bite-sized anecdotes will help add depth to the Learning Journey and track moments that could sometimes be overlooked. Our handy, pocket-sized observation sticky notes are a quick and easy way to record an observation in any environment, such as outings.
6. Include samples of work:
Whether it’s mark-making, role-play, artwork or creative expression, real samples of children’s work provides evidence within a learning journey to support your EYFS observations. In addition, instead of simply sticking the work in, why not create special templates?
7. Diary of significant events:
The Learning Journey is all about tracking development over time and a diary of significant events is a great way to do this. You could pick a theme/event for each month, such as Mothers Day in March or Summer in July and collect a piece of related work. This is a great way the children and their parents to look back over the year and see what they’ve learned and experienced.
8. Involve children:
Older children will enjoy helping to put their Learning Journey together. For example, they could personalise the cover, choose which pictures and pieces of work to include and a have a picture of their family in the ‘All About Me’ section. There are lots of opportunities to encourage ownership!
9. Repeat an activity:
A fun way to track development for a learning journey is to ask children to do the same activity at different time intervals. For example, they could draw a self-portrait when they starting a setting and again when they leave. Parents will enjoy seeing the visual difference of how much their child has learned.
10. First and last day:
Create a template to record a child’s first and last day at the setting. This could include a photo, an outline of what they did, what they enjoyed and how they felt.
A personalised record of a child’s unique development journey tracks those precious moments as an early year’s child learns, discovers and develops.
Learning Journey resources to make tracking easier:
Are you looking for an efficient and attractive way to record and organise observations, plus carry out next steps planning and tracking of progress?
- My Learning Journey contains sets of blank templates designed to make it easy to capture and document developmental evidence, and it can be personalised with your setting’s name, logo and any other information you would like to include.
Simply fill them in, add photos and copies of children’s work. Over time you’ll create a Learning Journey that will impress Ofsted and be a precious keepsake for parents. Available either as a ring bound folder or a plastic report file folder.
- Learning Journey Tracker – This full ‘By Age’ Learning Journey Tracker works alongside the Learning Journey. It allows you to track each child’s progress in the 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning and meets all EYFS/Ofsted requirements.
- Observation Sticky Notes – These handy, pocket-sized observation sticky notes are a quick and easy way to record an observation in any environment.
Here is a perfect example of how to use our Learning Journeys – courtesy of Clare’s Little Tots.