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Recording learning, not tracking progress (Part 1)

by Helen Edwards on October 20

Documenting children’s learning is a process: collecting, interpreting and reflecting upon a child’s learning and development. In addition to informing parents and carers about their child’s learning journey, documentation can help to plan appropriate next steps and learning opportunities for each child. It can also serve as an effective assessment tool without the need for ticklists of expected learning outcomes which often reduce the curriculum and diminish teachers’ freedom to provide an exciting, stimulating age-appropriate learning environment.
In this article, Helen Edwards discusses the benefits of focusing less on tracking children’s knowledge and skills and more on identifying and describing their unique learning journeys.



Helen avoided full-time work for many years, following her ambition to be a perpetual student. After a degree in Linguistics, Music and Astronomy (probably the only person to have studied this particular combination of subjects) she gained a D.Phil from Sussex in Experimental Psychology. At the grand old age of 28, she thought she'd better get a proper job, so completed a PGCE and became a primary school teacher. After the birth of her second child she opened her own nursery, which she managed for ten happy years. She was amongst the first to achieve Early Years Professional Status (EYPS), and tutored students on early years courses at Brighton University. She has also been a local authority EYFS advisor and an early years Ofsted inspector. Helen is part of the Education Team, and she organises the Tapestry Education Conferences (TECs), bringing together educators, academics and LA advisors for lively discussions about teaching and learning.