At The Coastal Federation, including Starfish Preschool we provide all children in reception or pre-school with an ‘online learning journal’ through the platform of ‘Tapestry’, which records observations, photos and videos and also provides an opportunity for parents to comment and add their own observations to their own child’s journal. This helps to provide a strong partnership between the setting and home as the children develop from when they first attend the pre-school through to when they move up to year 1 or leave to attend another primary school (or for any other reasons if before this time).
At Starfish Preschool we use the secure online system Tapestry which allows staff and parents to access the information via a personal password protected login. Each child is allocated a key person who is responsible for their development and the compilation of their learning journals, however all staff can contribute observations for any child. Parents logging into the system are only able to see their child(ren)’s learning journal. Parent access allows them to comment (or ‘reply’) to observations that staff have input as well as adding their own observations and photos/videos – any observations the parents add have to be approved and added into the journal by the staff to ensure appropriate content. Before parents are linked to their child(ren)’s learning journal they are asked whether they give permission for their child’s photo to appear in other children’s learning journals. Before accessing the system, parents have to sign to agree not to download and share any information on any other online platforms or social networking sites (such as Facebook).
Whilst Tapestry provides a fantastic tool for sharing information between the pre-school and parents, it is not used as a way of sharing general communication. Each child’s learning journal is a document to record their learning and development which parents can add comments on or contribute to with information of what they have been doing at home. Any further discussion of progress or concerns will be done during a face to face conversation at the setting during a prior agreed time. Observations are regularly monitored by the managing staff to ensure they are providing relevant and informative information.