Child Observation Report


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Observation is important as the practitioner can find out what the child is interested in and what motivates them to learn alongside their progress and how they behave in certain situations, additionally at the same time it identifies if children need assistance within certain areas of learning or socially (DCSF, 2008). Furthermore the observations check that the child is safe, contented, healthy and developing normally within the classroom or early years setting, over time the observations can be given to parents as they show a record of progress which helps to settle the parent and feel more comfortable about their child’s education. Observations are not only constructive within learning about an individual child, they can be used to see how different groups of children behave in the same situation and how adults communicate and deal with children’s behaviour (Meggitt and Walker, 2004). Overall observations should always look at the positives of what children can complete within education and not look at the negatives and all observations should become a fundamental part of all practitioners work alongside reflection (Smidt, 2009).

Reflection within early year’s settings and schools allows for the practitioner to think about the work that is being completed either whilst doing it or after it has occurred, the reflection allows for seeing how the work has gone or whether it needs to be changed for future practice. Schön is a key writer about reflection and illustrates the differences between reflection in action, reflection on action and reflection whilst completing the task. The above critical skills help all practitioners to develop understanding as they hugely impact on others lives, if this skill is not engaged in then practice could be effected (Leeson, 2004).

The class in which the observations took place was a Year One and Two class with twenty six pupils in the class. Adults within the class were the Teacher, one Teaching Assistant with the occasional help of a Special Needs Assistant. Confidentiality is important within the classroom setting therefore to respect the individuals own confidentiality they will be known as Child J throughout this assignment. Child J is a male aged five years and three months. It was decided that the observations of the individual would be about concentration, as the Teacher was concerned that J does not have the ability to concentrate for more than five minutes at a time. The observations will be noted and taken further if it is felt that it will be beneficial to the child’s education.

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Time Sampling
Time sampling observations are used within schools and early years settings, as they are observations of children which are recorded at fixed regular intervals of time to ensure what is happening at that time is noted. Time sampling observations are a constructive way to collect the observational data and it is presented over a longer period of time this allows for precise data and short focused snapshots of the individual child’s development. Practitioners can use this method of observation if they are feeling concerned about an individual, as it can be undertaken at different periods of time to see how the child is reacting throughout the day, although they need to ensure that the child does not notice they are being observed.


Target Child
Target child observations were invented to help study concentration in children and give an idea of an individual child’s holistic development, these observations can help to show a child’s development at particular stages as the individual child is observed over a set period of time. Additionally noted down in the observation is language which was used and what social group they were with. There are advantages and disadvantages to target child observations with the advantages being a vast amount of information provided about the child’s progress furthermore it allows for the observer to notice where the child spends most of there time and who they interact with. The disadvantages to the target child observation is that the observer needs to have specific time set aside to concentrate solely on the individual child and have the ability to summarise accurately. Another disadvantage to this observation is that codes are used to ensure the observer has mainly there full attention of the child without having to look at the paper to much. The codes are for certain names and interactions however the disadvantage of them is the observer needs to learn them and feel comfortable with them before using them and they can be difficult to learn to some people (Hobart and Frankel, 2004).

Event Sampling
Event Sampling is pattern building observations about children’s behaviour, and they focus on the event that provokes certain behaviour and to clarify what really happens around that behaviour how long it lasts for and does the event happen at certain points of the child’s day. Event samples help immensely in seeing whether the child had a behavioural problem and they focus on apparent problems and try to find solutions to manage the behaviour effectively although it can lead to the child being referred to other professionals providing this will better the child’s education.


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