'Observation based assessment should underpin your practice in early years education'.
This is the message coming loud and clear from many authorities in UK early years education. What does this look like in reality? The answer is: quantities of post-it notes, clipboards, tick lists, digital cameras and an obsession with evidence gathering that threatens to (and often does) interfere with genuine, meaningful adult-child interaction and engagement (the things that should be what good practice in the early years is all about).
Early years practitioners are also producing comprehensive reports on children's learning, often as a document including text and digital photographs that is saved, printed and shared with parents.
All of this constitutes a considerable burden on practitioners who are already stretched to the limit by the pressures of new initiatives and those inherent to early years education anyway.
With this in mind, I commence my blogging journey with a shorter journey - one that I hope will lead to greater freedom on the part of the early years practitioner to get on with what they do best - teach the children, engage with children, and facilitate children's learning.