The Purpose of Careful Observation and Noting What Children/Young People Do and How They Behave

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There are various reasons why we observe children in schools. We make objective decisions and assessments about pupils; •Behaviour
Learning styles
Levels of development
Skills
Learning achievements
Learning needs/future goals
We need to see how they interact with other children and adults and how they perform against each other. There are two main types of observation – informal and formal. With the informal observation you may observe a child in the classroom, out on the playground, in group activities, etc. These are called informal conditions. To observe a child in an informal way you can determine if they are well coordinated, talking at a correct level, also if they are alert when asked questions. The way that they relate to others can be observed to determine lots of information. The person who is doing the observation can learn to observe in detail the actions of the child without them even realising they are being observed. A child's behaviour might be observed at lunchtime, at school, in the canteen or on the playground. The other type of observation of a child is the evaluative type of observation. This is usually done by a professional, psychologist or social worker. They use statistical tools to evaluate a child within a group of children and on an individual basis such as for dyslexia. Whilst observing, it is important to make notes on your observations for future reference. You should concentrate on what pupil can do as this can provide you with your next learning or behaviour target You must make sure that you follow the schools policy on observations and only share your observations with the person who has requested it. It is important to share your observations to ensure that you have an unbiased view of the child and you are contributing towards the child as a whole and not just a snapshot as your observation may be one of many.
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