Introducing Tapestry - an online Learning Journal for your child
During October 2021 we will be implementing the Tapestry online Learning Journal throughout Acorn Nursery. This app (and website) creates a secure online communication channel between home and nursery, where milestones in your child's development can be documented, shared and discussed.
Learning Journal - what is it and why is it useful?
In early years education, Learning Journals have been widely used for many years to record key developmental milestones and "Wow" moments. Traditionally they are in the form of a scrap book, with photos and samples of work glued in and annotated.
Each journal entry ideally includes some evidence (such as a photo or video), paired with brief comments covering areas such as what has been achieved, why it is important, and the next steps. These journal entries can then be linked back to the curriculum goals, so that the child's overall development can be tracked and monitored.
Learning journals are normally shared regularly with parents, encouraging them to add their own thoughts and reflections. This helps create a healthy partnership between home and nursery, to encourage and support the child.
The journal provides a constant record of developmental progress and, at the end of nursery, many parents choose to keep them as a memento of their child's early years of rapid development and change.
An online journal, such as Tapestry, moves the traditional Learning Journal in to the digital age. It builds upon the traditional approach by leveraging the advantages of digital photography, native apps for mobile/tablet, and secure online sharing and feedback.
Follow the link below to learn more from the Tapestry website.
Setting up access
The nursery will send parents their individual login credentials for Tapestry, by email, so you can create your account.
You can use this to install the program on whatever devices, and as many devices, as you choose. Tapestry can be downloaded from the App Stores (Android and Apple), and there is also a website version. You are also welcome to set up other family members, so the journal is shared with relatives.
The final step is to configure how (and how often) you wish to be notified. The software is very flexible, so you can configure this to suit your needs.
Once set-up, parents will receive regular notifications of all activity on Tapestry. They can quickly log-in to:
- View observations. Each observation will record a purposeful moment (a developmentally important goal or "Wow' moment), and include a carefully considered comment on what has been observed and why it is significant.
- Add your own comments and feedback on staff observations
- Send photos and videos back to the nursery, helping them understand your child's development and interests at home
- Review the pictures and video clips in their journal, for discussion with your child. This helps to develop their language skills, build their self-esteem, and demonstrates your interest in their day at nursery
- Review the Personal Care Diary, for information on food consumption, toileting, sleeps, and milk
It is important to realise all observations are only visible through your login credentials and to Acorn Nursery staff - the photos and other information are kept private from the general online public.
As well as keeping you updated on day-to-day progress, the learning journal develops over time in to a comprehensive timeline of their time at Acorn Nursery, and their personal and physical development. When the time comes to leave Acorn, the entire journal can be made available to parents as a PDF document to remember these important years.
What it is not
It is important parents realise each journal entry by the teacher is a carefully considered observation, linked to the EYFS curriculum. They are not random pictures of your child posing for photos at nursery!
The timing and frequency of observations is entirely dictated by events and your child's learning, so is (to some extent) out of our hands. Please do not expect to see an observation every day, or on the same day each week! A realistic expectation is for 2 observations per week.
Our teachers are currently undergoing training and familiarising themselves with the Tapestry software.
Our plan is to send out user information to all existing parents during October 2021, in the expectation all parents will be on the system and any access difficulties resolved by the end of the month. We will then look to phase out our existing systems (the Weekly Report and the Communications Book) and replace them with Tapestry.
We will continue to update this post during the coming weeks, so we can include any feedback and address common issues or concerns, as they arise.
The team at Acorn is excited to be using this online journal and are looking forward to sharing all the lovely learning experiences your child is involved in. Feel free to contact us with any concerns - we are happy to answer any questions you may have about Tapestry.
**Tina and the Acorn Team **