Observing and Listening to Children Essay

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Observing and Listening to Children Observing and listening to children are crucial to the role of early years practitioners. As discussed in Study Topic 5, part 4, observations inform the process by which practitioners; assess children’s developmental stages, relate children’s abilities to the National Curriculum, reflect on effectiveness of provision and plan how to support and challenge a child in their development across all areas of learning. Through analysis of my observations of Sally, a 4 ½ year old girl and with reference to the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage Curriculum (QCA/DfEE, 2000), I will describe how to plan Sally’s curriculum in order to support her through her next steps of learning. Section 1 - Pen Portrait Sally is 4 ½ years old and this is her 6th term in the nursery. She is an only child whose parent’s are separated. She lives with her mother and sees her father on alternate weekends. Sally’s Grandma lives close to the nursery and is very involved in her care. Sally attends the nursery full-time and is very well settled. English is her first and only language and she is confident within the nursery, spending a lot of time in the home corner and playing with the small world toys where she enjoys imaginative play. Sally and her friend Jude enjoy role play taking on the roles of members of the nursery staff. They often incorporate this into their games. Sally works well within the group. She shows increasing independence when selecting and carrying out activities and is always interested and excited to learn. Section 2 - Observations Two observations of Sally are included below. A narrative method was used, as described in Study Topic 5, p22. In both cases Sally was involved in free play ‘where children set the scene and pace, decide the context, and lead and control the action’ (Study Topic 4, p20).
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