Observations and planning

Choochoos hopes this information will provide you with a basic understanding of our observation and planning process.

It will show how we observe and plan for every individual child following their interests and building on their next steps.


Observing can be a wide range of things including watching, interacting or being around a child and noting down their actions and anything new. Choochoos observing and planning process is a continuous cycle and is based on every child’s individual interest. Next developmental steps are planned for by your child’s key person following observations made. The EYFS (2014) is used as a guide to support and provide clear learning intentions.

At Choochoos, When writing observations on children to develop next steps, three different coloured post its are used:

  • Green Parent observations.
  • Pink Observations and spontaneous experiences.
  • Blue Planned adult focused/led activity observations.

Photographs are also taken to highlight children’s experiences. Photos from home are particularly useful.

You can send on line us some experiences your child has been doing by following this link…


Planning for the children is competed weekly by all team members – your key person. The planning is a mixture of adult and child led experiences. When planning an adult focused activity for you child the key person completes an activity sheet that describes:-

  • Your child’s next development step and aim of activity
  • Links to Prime and Specific areas of the EYFS (2014)
  • Open ended questions and vocabulary to use.
  • Equipment and resources required.
  • Key person and date.
  • An Evaluation of the experience.

This will help practitioners evaluate and carry out the activity. All observations and next steps are recorded in individual children’s learning journey’s, kept in our lobby for parents to access.

Children’s work and photos are logged in chronological order, All next steps are recorded and dated when completed. These are also written on the planning sheet and forms
the basis for the rooms weekly activities and experiences.

The Key person approach

Choochoos operates an embedded key person approach. A key person is a special person at Choochoos for a group of children and their family of which the Key person gets to know, builds a special relationship/ bond with, observes and plans for.

Also kept in the learning journeys are:

  • Parents questionnaires.
  • Progress matters
  • Summaries of learning.
  • Starting evaluations.
  • EYFS, Parent information.
  • Personal notes & requirements.

Progress matters

The Progress Matters document considers all aspects of development in
the EYFS and allows practitioners to plot individual children’s stages
based on observations previously noted. From doing this practitioners and
parents can see exactly where their children are and it is particularly useful
as any delays in aspects are highlighted, planned for and supported.
The progress matters document is updated and shared with parents every
term, discussed in full during parents evening.The children’s well-being
and involvement is also monitored. It is recorded on every observation
allowing the Key person to closely monitor every individual child.
Choochoos hopes this has been insightful and helpful for you.