Visual observations to gather information plays a vital part in daily life of a school. We are continually observing and monitoring children’s development as they progress through the school. It is necessary that we identify children at risk and those who potentially could become a risk. Early intervention is crucial to lessen the delay of development. Once a risk has been identified, it is essential to involve parents/carers and any staff that are involved with the child/children.
Information from parents/carers and other colleagues help us paint a better picture and allow us to celebrate any successes or reinforce any previous worries that have previously been observed.
In my role as a HLTA I continually assess the children that I am working with. On a daily basis, I will check reading diaries, to check if a child is reading at home. Other observations would be visual e.g. checking for unusual injuries/bruising whilst changing for P.E, looking out for a child’s emotional well being if they appear upset or distressed in any way. I would also raise a concern if I noticed any hearing or sight difficulties.
My interaction with the children during lessons gives me a good picture of their development also. By listening, seeing how they interact with others and observing what they are doing are of great benefit. I will then find time to verbally feedback to the class teacher, or briefly record any observations, if I have noticed anything that concerns me.
Formal testing is implemented in both KS1 and KS2 in the form of SATS this allows us to analyse the information collected against expected patterns of development. P-scales are another method where development is assessed for those children with learning difficulties.
The school also has regular visits from Health Visitors and external agencies. They help