One of the fundamental reasons for documenting plans and experiences in our setting is to have a record for children, professionals and educators to use to reflect and make future plans, and also to share the experience with families. It is therefore one of the key teaching techniques used in our centre to support and enhance children’s development and learning experience.
Documentation typically includes samples of a child and or group of children’s work at several different stages of completion; photographs showing work in progress; comments written by the caregiver or other adult working with the children; transcriptions of children’s discussions, comments, explanations of intentions, possibilities and follow-ups about the activity and or experience and comments made by families. Examples of children’s work and written reflections on the processes in which the children engaged are recorded and displayed: around the centre; the daily diary, project books, DVD’s and portfolio. The documents reveal how the children planned, carried out, and completed the displayed work.
Our Documentation meets the requirements of the NQF. Further, the centre has adapted suitable aspects from the NSW Curriculum Framework, Reggio Emillia and Developmentally Appropriate Practice approaches to documentation.
Another key principal to our documentation is that high quality documentation of children’s development and learning, work and ideas contribute to the quality of our early childhood program in at least six ways and aim to reflect this in our practice;
- Enhancement in Children’s learning;
- Taking Children’s Ideas and Work Seriously;
- Professional Staff Planning and Evaluation with Children;
- Parent Appreciation and Participation;
- Professional Staff Research and Process Awareness;
- Children’s Learning Made Visible.
The powerful contribution of documentation in these six ways is possible because children are engaged in absorbing, complex, interesting projects worthy of documentation. This is because in our environment when staff are considering and supporting a child’s development, it is important to consider and integrate every aspect of the child’s development (holistic approach). Within this framework it is implemented by promoting life enhancing relationships, acknowledging the child as capable and resourceful, honouring diversity and through providing opportunities to experience an environment that promotes the making of meaning and connections.