Printable Learning Journey Templates

The Learning Journey Plus contains everything you need to create your own printable learning journey template that you can use with every child. The Workbook will guide you step-by-step to design, create and print a learning journey folder that works for your setting. The templates include starting points, 'all about me' pages, observation record sheets and transition report templates.

Real help with writing observations and next steps

If you are new to writing observations then you may find that the supporting document Linking Observations to Continual Assessments and Next Steps, will be helpful. You can use the document whether you are using my Learning Journey templates or your own.

The supporting document contains 200 photographic examples of photos linked to observations, next steps and planning. It is the only support document you can buy with actual models you can copy while you're learning. It is the next best thing to ‘having an instructor in the room with you’ telling you what to write.
Click here to view seven examples:

“Advanced” Ideas: recording speech and feelings, writing in the first person, taking photo sequences and what not to photograph

If you have been writing observations for some time you may just want to get some new ideas. The supporting document is full of new ideas including how to use photo sequences to capture events, how to record talking and feelings, and how you can improve your observations by writing in the first person. All childminders should also read the examples of what not to photograph.

Data Protection and Permissions for Photographs

The Learning Journey Plus has all the information you need about registration legal requirements with the ICO (data protection), plus wording for policies and photographic permission forms you will need from parents before storing photographs of their children.

Create a Formal Assessment System to monitor progress for each child

No observation - assessment - planning cycle is complete without a system for assessing the children. Many childminders overlook or ignore assessment which is a shame because it is very important. The primary purpose of making formal assessments is to occasionally check the whole child’s development against what is considered “normal” for his age and in doing so to flag any areas that may be a cause for concern.

Ofsted states that:

We will expect you to know where each child that you care for is in their learning and development and whether this is in line with, above or below the developmental milestones for their age.

Ofsted wants and expects you to make judgements about the child’s development but it can be very difficult to find resources to help you to do this in any sensible manner. Each childminder is expected to refer to Development Matters and use it to come up with their own way of assessing each child. Many childminders are left wondering where to begin! 

For this reason I have created a simple new assessment system especially for childminders to use with the children you look after. The three one page formal assessments included in the Workbook provide you with a sensible method to assess the child’s development at three points in time: at their first birthday, third birthday and before they start school. For tidiness, and to make them easy to use, each assessment is no longer than one page in length and will include only developments that really matter.

If you use these to regularly assess a child, you might really help the child by bringing learning or physical disabilities to the attention of the parents and professionals as early as possible.

Doing a small assessment on a child is better than feeling overwhelmed and doing nothing at all.

As well as these assessments at age two all childminders have to complete a 2 Year Progress Check. A written Progress Check at Age 2 is an Ofsted requirement, so if you have not already got a Progress Check in place for your setting then you will need one. If you want help with the Progress Check Age 2 you may want to take a look at my one (which is my best selling product only £10) and the only one you can buy with detailed guidance notes so that you know exactly what to write on it.

Seven examples of how to write observations and next steps

Use the subject index provided to look up a photo you have taken. Here are seven examples. There are 200 photos and observations similar to these in the Learning Journey Plus supporting document organised by subject area and age.

Subject: Sitting up

observation sitting up

Subject: stickle bricks, construction toys

observation stickle bricks

Subject: transporting things, filling and emptying containers

observation transporting

Subject: friendship, playing alongside

observation playing alongside

Subject: zips, self-care

oservation self care

Subject: mark making, writing

observation marking

Subject: crawling

observation crawling