Observation, Assessment & Planning

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognisechildren' progress, understand their needs, and the plan for activities and support' (EYFS, 2021)

At Footsteps we believe that children learn through play. We recognize the importance of the role of the adult in supporting children’s learning. We also believe that parents are the child’s first & most enduring educators and aim to work with them in every aspect of the children’s learning & development.

We want to ensure that staff get the time they need to spend with your children, supporting, encouraging, playing, sharing & collaboratingas we know that this is the way children learn. We understand the need for observation & assessment but keep this to what is needed.


Why do we observe? – To identify a child’s individual needs, interests, unique stage of development & next steps in learning for that child.

We use online learning journals at the nursery through Tapestry. Parents will receive an email alert when an observation is ready to view. Parents can reply to observations and upload their own observations of the children in their home learning environment. 

Observations are done at the following times

- On entry - The key person will observe your child and find out the starting points in learning. They will find out what the child can do, what their interests are and use this to plan activities and experiences. 

- Half termly - staff will do a futher observation every half term. These will focus on what the child did, the role of the adult and how this learning can be extended at home.

- If we feel there is a need then families may recieve more observations in order to support the child's development both at home and in the setting.

- You will get regular photos of what your child has been enjoying at the nursery.

Parents can also observe at home and upload these observations to tapestry to share with staff.

You can access your child's learning journal at any time to see what progress they are making.


Practitioners use their knowledge of the child and their observations to complete a number of assessments throughout your child's time at nursery.

- Yearly in the spring term. Practitioners will spend time with children & use their professional judgement to make an assessment on a child's learning & development in the prime & specific areas.

- 2-year check - this is a statutory assessment around the child's birthdy. Early intervention is important in ensuring all children get the support they need. This may be shared with your child's health visitor.

Parents have 4 set opportunities a year to meet with their child’s key person and discuss their progress. These are

  • Formal parent consultation days in the Autumn & Spring terms
  • A summer parents BBQ - this is a social occasion and a great opportunity to meet other parents.
  • A Christmas party in December.

Parents can meet with their child’s key perosn at any time, just speak to a member of staff.


We do curriculum planning to ensure that we plan activities & experiences that challenge the children and are fun. We ensure that planning covers the 3 main & 4 specific areas of the EYFS.

Monthly plans - Environment - This is done for the indoor and outdoor environment. Practitioners use their formal & informal observations of the children to inform planning. Practitioners add to the planning on a weekly & daily basis to ensure all the children are supported & challenged in their learning environment.

Monthly plans - adult led planning - this is done monthly to give an overview of what the children will be learning / experiencing that month. It will include topics, visits, visitors, focussed book / song and adult led planning

All planning is evaluated by the supervisor & overseen by the manager. All planning is shared with parents via the planning boards displayed in / near the children’s classrooms.

Partnership with parents

  • We make links with parents prior to the children starting with the celebrating me document.
  • Parents support their child’s transition into the setting and in the move to a new floor
  • We ask parents to support their child’s learning & development – we send home curriculum newsletters each term outlining the learning taking place in the classroom, details of outings & song words. It has a home learning section.
  • We have a parents notice board with lots of information about the setting & the surrounding community
  • We need parent helpers on our regular outings & we have parent helper slots available.
  • We have a comprehensive website and parents can email the nursery direct.
  • Your child's key person will add to the online learning journal on a regular basis.
  • Home learning ideas are added to the bottom of all observations
  • On the back of the curriculum newsletter each half term there is a 'home interest sheet' which can be filled in by parents about what their child has been learning & enjoying at home. These ideas are added to planning.


  • We differentiate all activities for the more & less able children
  • Parents give us information on culture, religion & family status
  • We work with The Brighton & HOve Inclusion Support Service (BHISS) & the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) to support children with Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) and with English as an Additional Language (EAL).

Other policies that support this one are;

  • Equalities
  • Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND)
  • Play & Learning
  • Outdoor play & learning
  • Behavior
  • Parents as Partners
  • Visits & outings
  • Key person
  • Listening to children
  • Aims, values & principles
  • Progress check aged 2
  • Art work
  • Emotional Health & Well-being
  • Photographic policy
  • Tapestry