Learning Journal and Developmental Observations


These are two fantastic resources to support early years educators in formulating a holistic picture of the child.

It is important to note that although both documents are used in an observatory capacity as part of the assessment process, they are two very different documents.

The developmental checklist should be completed by an educator according to the child's developmental age, that is, key milestones being reached. The developmental checklist does not constitute a validated instrument for assessment, but provides key information and indicators to the educator in terms of the child's development and can be utilised to inform the educator if further assessment may be required for the child in terms of developmental milestones.

Developmental observations should be carried out alongside Aistear Assessments which are documented through the Learning Journal.

The Learning Journal provides a quick and general overview of a child's interests, skills and capabilities as they grow and develop.

An observation or "wow" moment in the child's learning will be completed monthly (as a minimum). From this the practitioner determines the best activities and strategies to engage the child to extend their learning. The Learning Journal is very much a working document between the educator, child and parent.

Both documents work in tandem within the Aistear Siolta Framework and the curriculum of the service. Aistear sets out broad goals for children's learning and development. Guided by these, the Framework gives practical information and ideas to help practitioners provide children with experiences that are fun, motivating and challenging as they set off on their unique learning journeys. The Learning Journal captures this learning.

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