HOW I DO MY DEVELOPMENT FOLDERS/ LEARNING JOURNEYS

After the planning post getting such a huge amount of interest and some really lovely emails and messages I thought I would share how I put together the children’s development folders. 
I use a ring binder for each child and brake them up in to the Primary and Specific Areas using folder dividers. I paste a brief description of the EYFS in to the front of the folder to help parents understand the EYFS. 
I have a sheet in the front as well that I date and sign every time the folder goes home. I like to send the folders home every 3 months so that the parents can add evidence to the development sheets, add pictures or make notes about how the child is progressing at home. This makes it a jointly created and complete overview of a child’s development. 

In each section I have the “Early Years Outcomes” printed out with an area next to each Typical Behaviour point for you to plan something to meet that area of development. Next to that is an area to make a small observation when you have noticed that the child has this area securely developed and has displayed evidence of this repeatedly.
At a glance you can see what areas are not yet secured and what needs to be planned for.

There is a section with the letters E,D,S in it. These stand for “Emerging, Developing and Secured”. You can Mark the appropriate letter by each statement to help you gage where the child is in their learning of each one. Again this will help you to plan for that child and think about the things you might need to offer in your free play, experiences and activities.

Below is an example I have written up to show how I use it. Again I date everything so you can see a clear line of development and have a reference for each one. I like to go through each child’s folder at least once a month to update it. The children an I are often adding pictures to their folders and looking through them to see the photos of themselves.

Under each Prime and specific area I also add little mini observations that I write on white labels. I hole punch white sheets of paper and place them in the sections and stick these labels on to them in the relevant area. Again everything is dated. These can be little “Wow” moments or things that you might forget if you don’t make a quick note!
I have a clip board with the labels on and keep it close to hand. Then I can make observations as they happen.
This is an example of the type of mini, wow moment observations that I do. They do not have to be big. A few lines are enough and then stick them in the folder in the corresponding area.

As well as the development sheets I have a section at the back of each folder to place any art work, mark making, photos or anything that the child has worked on and that they wish to place in there. I always date these items so that parents can see how they are progressing.

I also write bigger observations which I link to the EYFS and COEL. These are the blog posts that I write up and share on here. I often just copy and paste them to a word document and then slightly edit them so they are specifically relevant to that child.  Then I print them and add them in to the folder. There are many ways to do in-depth observations. I like to use the blog posts as they have all the links included and are quite in-depth so I see no point in writing up extra ones! 🙂

I believe in making the paperwork side of this job as easy as possible while still covering everything. You could add so much and have so many forms to fill out but these are the main ones that I use.

Every time the folder goes home I remind the parents to sign the front sheet and to make a comment if they would like to. I draw their attention to the areas of development and age sections that are relevant to their child at this time. I then ask them to make written comments if they have seen evidence of anything relevant at home. I also ask them to date it. I always read through the folder when it comes back and check to see what has been added so that I am aware of all information shared from home.

This is just how I do my folders and there are many ways you could do them. I hope that this has been as useful to you as the planning post was.

If you have any questions then please do message me.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu