Learning Journals and special books have grown in popularity over the last decade, offering early years settings a way to record the special moments of their children, and to keep parents involved in a partnership as their children blossom and grow. More recently they have been used in conjunction with the developmental stages and milestones to assess more formally how children are progressing.
Traditionally these individual records have been collected in scrapbooks or binders, building up into a treasured memoir that children can take with them when they leave for the next stages of their journey through life - each entry forming a thread in the warp and weft of the tapestry that is their life.
The cost, in both time and money, of providing these journals has often caused great problems for managers and staff in early years settings. The purchase of the scrap books alone can be significant, and printing photographs, and cutting, pasting and writing in the journals is a time consuming affair.
Additionally, managers experience the trauma of sending their journals home with parents, only to find they return them late or even lose them. In the event of parents who are separated it can be difficult to make the journals available to both in a fair way; and if one parent is away for other reasons (for example a serving member of the armed forces who is on active duties) it is impossible to use the physical journal as a means of keeping up to date with a son or daughter.
What if it were possible to create records of observations instantly? To add notes and images and have them immediately available to any authorised person as part of the complete story of the child's life at their nursery. To have parents able to view and comment on these special moments, and to be able to contribute their own stories of the child's life outside nursery?
Well, we believe you can. This is what we call Tapestry. Online Learning Journals, from the imagineers at the FSF!
Tapestry is available for your iPhone, iPad, Android and some Amazon Fire devices putting all the essential Tapestry functionality right with you in the classroom.
Download the Tapestry mobile app from the App Store, or by searching for "Tapestry FSF" in the App Store.
Download the Tapestry mobile app from the Google Play Store, or by searching for "Tapestry FSF" in the Google Play Store.
Download the Tapestry mobile app from the Amazon App Store, or by searching for "Tapestry FSF" in the Amazon App Store. Note that the app works with the latest generation of Amazon Fire devices (launched at the end of September 2015). We are looking into supporting older versions.
Tapestry is a standalone application with your own web address, full management functions to control access and communication for both parents and staff.
Each observation or page can include notes, photographs, videos and you can record the results of the assessments that you have made using the EYFS, CoEL, Leuven, Key Stage 1 and 2, and P Scale assessment frameworks. The Welsh Foundation Phase, Aistear and Northern Ireland, and Australian Early Years Learning Frameworks are also included. They can be enhanced by comments from other staff and parents, and each page appears in a pleasing and coherent way.
You can tag observations with the results of your assessments that you have made using the EYFS, CoEL, Leuven, P Scales, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Welsh Foundation Phase, Aistear and Northern Ireland, and Australian EYLF assessment frameworks in order to assess and monitor children's progress.
Tapestry can provide data for summative assessments, thoroughness checks, next steps and more.
The intuitive EYFS 'tagger' allows assessments to be made down to statement level, and multiple EYFS assessments can be made for a single observation (optional - you decide in your management screen).
At any point, you can export a child's journal (observations, assessments and photos), or part thereof, to a PDF file which can be given to the parents or kept for your own records.
This conveniently replaces the bulky and expensive to maintain folders that are handed out at the end of the year.
Many parents use Tapestry daily to see what their child has been learning and to add their own replies to obversations you've created. Being able to keep a copy of this helps preserve these cherished memories.
The special PDF format is ideal for printing to keep hard copies too.
Saying goodbye to children is an inevitable part of the school year. With Tapestry's transfer children feature you don't have to say goodbye to all the observations, photos, videos and assessments lovingly curated throughout
the year. You can transfer children and their data to any other Tapestry account, you don't have to even own the recipient account!
You control how much data is transferred and where to using our secure transfer system. If at any point you change your mind, you can cancel the transfer and no data is removed.
Tapestry is a very flexible and feature rich product. The features shown here are only a small part of its functionality. We feel the best way to see what Tapestry is capable of is to take out your own trial. After your own personal
trial has been set up, you can start creating your own online learning journals complete with photos, videos and the results of your assessments that you have made using the EYFS, Characteristics Of Effective Learning, Leuven, P Scales, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assessment frameworks, the Welsh Foundation Phase, Aistear and Northern Ireland frameworks and the Australian EYLF.
Teachers and parents up and down the country (and beyond!) use Tapestry daily. Join the Tapestry Weavers today!