A brief introduction to documenting experiences and opportunities within Abbey Mill Childcare.
WHAT IS DOCUMENTATION?
In everyday life we document in many ways…. diaries, social media, keeping records
In our Early Years setting documentation refers to “making thinking and learning visible” using text, transcripts of children’s words (ideas, thoughts), photos of the process and examples of children’s “work”!
We document to share, to understand and to be understood.
WHAT DO WE DOCUMENT?
HOW DO WE DOCUMENT?
Within Abbey Mill Childcare we have researched, discussed and trialled various methods of documentation to determine which methods would benefit our children, families and staff.
We have now found our rhythm and have adopted two main forms, firstly making use of our playrooms and communal spaces to communicate learning through the development of “Story Walls” and secondly, the use children’s “Learning Stories” to document children’s experiences, opportunities and learning.
The starting point of any story is a “PROVOCATION”. This is whatever provokes thoughts, discussions, questions, interests, creativity and ideas. A provocation can come from:
· Suggestions from the children
· Following children’s interests
· Parental suggestions
HOW THE STORY DEVELOPS….
Once we have our provocation we build the story threading together all the ideas and evidence which highlight the children’s journey and the learning which is taking place. We do this by:
· Listening to the children’s voices (Recording dialogue of what children actually say and how they say
· Using a variety of media to show progression of development and learning
Ø Handwritten and printed notes / comments
Ø Photographs to link activities and highlight the children in action
Ø Displaying examples of children’s work…. letting them choose what they want to include!
· Building links to Curriculum for Excellence, Pre-Birth to Three and Building the Ambition to see how
our children’s opportunities and experiences link to National Guidance
· Considering “Next steps” indicating where are the children leading us? What do they want to know?
· Recording dates on all evidence to maintain a timeline.
· Considering parental involvement…. adding our family’s voices to our story.