Observation is about watching children's actions, expressions, gestures and behaviours, and listening to their talk and interactions. Observation is the practice of looking at and listening to children to find out:
Good observations come from the staff member who knows the child well and has built a positive relationship with the child and their family.
It is important that you share your observations with parents and your colleagues, so together you can decide whether the child’s development is at the expected stage. Observation will help you support the child and to help them develop new interests, learn new skills and gain new knowledge. Your observations will also allow you to make sure that resources, such as toys and equipment and experiences are suitable for the child.
It always requires a sensitive and respectful approach to children's play and an attitude of openness to the child’s learning journey. Observations should document what the child has achieved, not what they have failed to do.
In this learning resource we take a look at everyday situations that you might see at any time in your work. These occasions can be short-lived and in a busy day easily lost among other events that take more of your time and attention.