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Supervisions – What’s in them? Part 4

So we are already on to the 4th and final part of our series of blogs about the content that we believe should be included in a supervision, you can find the previous articles here, here and here.

If you have read the previous posts, then jump right in below, but if this is your first one, then here is what you have missed…

Including moderation allows you to make sure that staff are all looking for the same things and that children continue to progress when they switch rooms.

Safeguarding issues should be the first thing you discuss.

Peer observations are a great learning tool that overlaps nicely with staff development during supervisions.

This time around, I will be discussing why I think Key Children are such an important part of a supervision.

Why should Key Children be discussed in Supervisions?

The real reason that we do anything in a nursery should always be to benefit the children, and supervisions are no exception.  It would seem completely wrong therefore, to not be talking about the children for the majority of the time during a supervision.  Or rather, the majority of the time during the supervision AND planning – spending enough time thinking about key children before the supervision might mean there isn’t much conversation during it!

Supervisions give an excellent opportunity to discuss observations too, making sure they are happening in all areas equally and that the children are making good progress.  If you want to go in to more detail, then why not consider how each cohort (group of similar children) is achieving within the room, and if any of those fabled Gaps can be closed.  Don’t forget that a cohort is a cohort, even only one child meets the criteria!

What should be discussed?

Having an opportunity to discuss anything about children would be an excellent use of time. But an unstructured discussion is probably not the most useful.  I would focus on development and relationships, both of these are important and are excellent conversation starters for any issues the children may be facing.

One last thing, before we finish off the series – a really important thing to remember for supervisions is that they should be protected time.  It’s impossible to talk candidly about children and yourself with interruptions going on.  A simple way to avoid interruptions is to download a copy of our new sign and putting it up when you want it to be quiet:

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Let me know in the comments what you think I should be including in supervisions and missed.  If you are looking for how to change your supervisions to be more effective, then look no further than this product: I helped write it, so it covers everything from the blogs and a lot more!

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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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