Supervisions – What’s in them? Part 1

It still amazes me that there isn’t more guidance about supervisions in Early Years.  Supervisions are an important part of what we do, yet they still seem to be done differently in every setting I go in to.  Surely this can’t be the way it should be!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to run down all the areas I think are important to include in supervisions and dicuss why.  This isn’t a top 5 list or anything like that, everything is important, so don’t worry about the order!

I’m going to start with something that probably doesn’t get much air time in many supervisions, simply because I wrote a blog about it recently: Moderation.

Why should this be in Supervisions?

Moderation is all about getting staff to assess children’s development in line with each other (and hopefully, in time, with other nurseries and schools).  As assessment is a bit more of an art than a science at times, this can be quite a challenge.  This means that, unless you are going to have very strict guidelines about what they should observe, you’re going to have to discuss each practitioners decisions when it comes to their key children, then try to align that between staff.  There isn’t really better time to do this than supervisions!

What should be discussed?

Children’s development should be discussed in a supervision (I’ll talk about that in more detail in the future), but we’re interested specifically in making sure that all staff are assessing children to be at a similar level.  This will hopefully have multiple positive impacts:

  • Children with accurate assessment can progress faster as we know where they are from a planning point of view.
  • Children will continue to make progress as they transition from room to room, and even as they leave for school.
  • Staff can feel more confident when identifying special education needs, developmental delays and when working with outside agencies.

Let me know in the comments if you are already discussing assessment and moderation during supervisions (or even if you aren’t).  And look out for my other ideas for what to include in supervisions in the coming weeks!

About the author: Matt Stanford

Matt Stanford
Matt has been working in education for 10 years, teaching science to all ages from preschool to degree. Before he became a teacher he studied chemistry at Masters level and completed his PhD at The University of Warwick. It was during his time at university that he got involved in outreach work in local primary schools and found his passion for inspiring learning.

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