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Help your nursery practitioners fall in love with EYFS observations again

9 min of reading
19 April 2023
Help nursery practitioners fall in love with EYFS observations - cover image

EYFS observations are a necessary part of a nursery practitioner’s role. They are designed to record and celebrate children’s progress and development across all the areas of learning in EYFS. But of late, they have become a chore in nurseries. In this article, we share how to help your nursery practitioners fall back in love with observations.

In this article, you will find:

    What is an EYFS observation?

    An EYFS observation can take many forms; each method has the same goal: to collect a snapshot of the child’s development and learning. These snapshots are then invaluable in creating a big picture understanding of the child’s strengths and areas for development (or intervention).

    Nursery observations are monitored against the framework your setting uses. Your observations will mirror the EYFS curriculum your nursery follows. Therefore it is important to choose nursery software that marries up to the framework you choose for effective synergy. Blossom has the option of several EYFS frameworks (including Development Matters 2021 and Birth to 5), always keeping current with the newest EYFS curriculum changes.

    Nursery practitioners and EYFS observations - EYFS observation

    Why are EYFS observations important?

    Early observations help bridge the gap between a child’s development and their peers’. Recognising stagnant or limited progress in a particular area can help nursery staff create suitable interventions or begin the process of SEND assessment and support. Interventions and activities to support children with communication and language delays are among the most common delays found in EYFS.

    Why do nursery practitioners dislike recording observations?

    Nursery practitioners may have fallen out of love with writing child observations, losing sight of their importance. Being a key worker for an EYFS child is time-demanding (and hugely rewarding) and comes with a significant amount of paperwork. There are several challenges facing nursery practitioners when writing observations. We unpick some of the most common challenges our Blossom customers face- with solutions to explore.


    Nursery practitioners support several children at once, helping them to make their best progress. However, keeping accurate and detailed observations is a challenge. Writing paper-based observations takes up a large amount of staff time and requires an excellent memory for all the small details of the behaviours witnessed. Blossom can be accessed from any hand-held device or PC, making on-the-spot observations possible, reducing admin time for your practitioners and increasing the time spent with the children!

    Nursery practitioners and EYFS observations - Time-constraints

    What to include in an EYFS observation?

    The levels of detail provided in observations can vary between staff members; some practitioners may include extreme detail, whilst others cover the essentials. Finding a balance when writing an observation can be challenging. Encourage your staff to have team conversations on what makes a ‘good example of a recorded EYFS observation.’ Use CPD sessions to ensure consistency of observation language and terminology across your whole setting.

    What are the latest changes to EYFS legislation?

    EYFS legislation is constantly changing. With upcoming changes to the SEND process and funding, it is essential to help your staff to keep up-to-date with these changes so that they may write the most accurate and relevant observation possible. Blossom’s software is designed by nursery managers themselves who, like you, are at the forefront of any and all EYFS changes, and ensure the nursery software is kept up to date for its users.

    What makes a good EYFS observation?

    How to make nursery practitioners fall in love with observations again

    Your nursery practitioners put a lot of love and effort into the children in their care. Recording these big and small steps of development is a testament to their skills as nursery practitioners. You can take some steps as a nursery owner or manager to help your team fall in love with EYFS observations once again.

    Celebrate good practice

    When your nursery staff use images and videos well to document milestones or skills developed, share these good examples with the rest of your nursery team. This encourages a positive learning culture that helps staff feel valued and motivated to continue this high standard of their work.

    Use technology to save nursery practitioner time

    Your nursery teams’ time is precious. Reduce unnecessary administrative duties for your practitioners by using nursery software. Blossom’s observation recording features help staff record a milestone, behaviour or action quickly and efficiently, including sharing with parents and families to boost positive human relationships in the nursery setting.

    Nursery practitioners and EYFS observations - Use technology to save nursery practitioner time

    Encourage positive parent-interaction

    Parents know their child best; encourage your nursery practitioners to stay connected with nursery families. Parents can add to the evidence collection for these developmental stages with the option to add home observations via the Parent App as well. This works to create positive relationships and outcomes when it comes to observations, helping your staff to enjoy the process more.

    Use a mixture of observation methods

    Jotting notes to write up in hindsight has its uses. However, an image or video can quickly, and in detail, demonstrate a skill. Help your nursery staff to reduce the amount of observational admin by using nursery software that allows photos and videos to be uploaded to the child’s online learning diary.

    Sign off EYFS observations quickly

    If your staff have a pocket of time away from room responsibilities to complete their observations, make the most of it. Owners and managers receive an immediate in-app notification when an EYFS observation is submitted for review. Enabling you to send immediate small tweaks to the practitioner or approve the observation to help your nursery staff work efficiently, and send their incredible observations out to parents faster.

    Nursery practitioners and EYFS observations - Sign off EYFS observations quickly
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