Self-evaluation and action planning
12th February 2018
The recent news from Ofsted that they are withdrawing their Self-Evaluation Form in April 2018 has received mixed reactions from early years practitioners. Many say they did not use it anyway and will not miss it while others are concerned about how they are going to show self-evaluation and action planning in the future.
I think of self-evaluation and action planning rather like my New Year resolutions – I want to go to the gym every week and give up unhealthy food. The gym membership might last a while but the unhealthy food… yes, well, let’s not go there!
However, I do want self-evaluation and action planning to flow through my days and weeks and have a positive impact on my ways of working – I don’t want to give it up in a month or two because I am too busy with other things and, equally importantly, I don’t want to lose focus by setting myself unachievable aims.
For this reason, my aims for self-evaluation and action planning are time-driven. I think in terms of a month – what can I achieve? Yes, some aims might be longer term like improving the garden in the summer or doing some work on the entrance hall in the autumn after we have saved some money, but as a general rule I want to achieve one thing related to self-evaluation and action planning every month.
In my aim to be a thoughtful and reflective practitioner, I make a list of things I have to do, such as updating policies and procedures in February and reviewing children’s learning and development every term… then I slot in other areas of practice I want to consider.
I think about what I want to achieve and I track my progress, coming back to my action plans over the weeks and observing their impact on my business and outcomes for children. I use my diary and a blog for parents; I take photos sometimes; I always share with parents and involve the children; I research, read and access training where possible; I do some continuous professional development; I discuss with colleagues – I am not alone working in a vacuum.
Passion for raising outcomes for children is essential in the early years: well, we are hardly in it for the money, are we? We need to think about today and how it went – tomorrow and what we are planning to do – and next week. In the longer term, we consider next month and next year and where we want to be and how we can drive our business forward.