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Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?

84 replies

sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:33

My 2 years and 1 month old goes to nursery 2 days a week. He's been in his new room since the beginning of January only.

I got his observation through today, and it's all 'working towards' with a couple of 'on tracks'.

He doesn't really speak at nursery, and doesn't like touching wet paint but apart from that I don't know why he wouldn't be 'on track' for everything. He can count to two and he puts two works together often/has around 50/75 words that he uses. His elder brother had slightly delayed speech so we've got some experience with speech therapy etc. I haven't been at all worried about my second until receiving this observation.

Seems a bit harsh to be honest.

Can someone have a read and a sense check?

Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:33

2/3

Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
OP posts:
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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:33

3/3

Nursery observation for a 2 year old 'working towards'. What does that mean? Behind?
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Octavia64 · 27/02/2024 18:34

Working towards is teacher speak.

It means we haven't seen him do that yet.

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feathermucker · 27/02/2024 18:36

Seems a bit harsh, you say? With kindness, he's 2, literally just 2. They've said some lovely things about him. You're overthinking this.

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Mischance · 27/02/2024 18:36

He's 2 - just bin this rubbish and get on with enjoying him .... he's 2 FGS! .......

If you start worrying about this now you will be insane by the time he gets to the end of primary school.

Bin it now for the sake of your sanity!!!!

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DragonGypsyDoris · 27/02/2024 18:36

Your child is 2. You're overthinking it - this is the result of the government's obsession with statistics and targets.

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TeenDivided · 27/02/2024 18:37

Also it may depend which age related expectations they are judging against.

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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:37

feathermucker · 27/02/2024 18:36

Seems a bit harsh, you say? With kindness, he's 2, literally just 2. They've said some lovely things about him. You're overthinking this.

Yes indeed he is two, so why is he being 'marked down' for not liking paint?

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SgtJuneAckland · 27/02/2024 18:37

You've said he doesn't speak much at nursery so goes to you expect them to assess these areas?

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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:37

Mischance · 27/02/2024 18:36

He's 2 - just bin this rubbish and get on with enjoying him .... he's 2 FGS! .......

If you start worrying about this now you will be insane by the time he gets to the end of primary school.

Bin it now for the sake of your sanity!!!!

Honestly, I know! I already went through this with the eldest!

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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:38

DragonGypsyDoris · 27/02/2024 18:36

Your child is 2. You're overthinking it - this is the result of the government's obsession with statistics and targets.

I know! I'm here for a sense check!

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YesThatsATurdOnTheRug · 27/02/2024 18:38

My DS had solid 'working towards' when he finished nursery, after a term in reception he was mostly on track. It can just be that they're shy, really wouldn't worry. He sounds like he's very happy and settled and doing great!

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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:38

YesThatsATurdOnTheRug · 27/02/2024 18:38

My DS had solid 'working towards' when he finished nursery, after a term in reception he was mostly on track. It can just be that they're shy, really wouldn't worry. He sounds like he's very happy and settled and doing great!

Yes he's apparently shy at nursery which makes me and my husband laugh because he's just so not shy at home

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feathermucker · 27/02/2024 18:39

He's not being 'marked down'. All the things are literally observations. He's just 2. Why have you zeroed in on this when there's so many wonderful things that have been said?

You will drive yourself crazy if you go down this rabbit hole.

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AttaThat · 27/02/2024 18:39

Honestly, read the nice stuff, ask them to talk to you if they have any concerns.

Nurseries don’t get a choice about doing this. It’s all Ofsted required stuff. They have to know where their children are and what they’re “working towards”. All kids are working towards stuff, because they’re kids!

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Annime · 27/02/2024 18:39

Mischance · 27/02/2024 18:36

He's 2 - just bin this rubbish and get on with enjoying him .... he's 2 FGS! .......

If you start worrying about this now you will be insane by the time he gets to the end of primary school.

Bin it now for the sake of your sanity!!!!

This! Why would a 2yo be assessed in the first place? Ridiculous!!

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UnhealthyCopingStrategies · 27/02/2024 18:40

Is this as part of his 2 year check? It's a legal requirement to do this and if he's not demonstrating it at nursery, then they can't fill it in. If you are happy with his progress and the tick list sent from the HV doesn't raise any alarms, I'd just not worry about it.

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wafflingworrier · 27/02/2024 18:40

Its just a pointless box ticking exercise to be honest. In a couple of months they will be changed to expected. If he has just entered that age bracket it would be pointless to have him as expected or greater depth for any skills. Just ignore it, basically. It's there to show Ofsted the children are all making sufficient progress. Which they magically will, because of the above.

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Luckyducky123 · 27/02/2024 18:40

What he is on track for and working towards are completely appropriate for his age, DW. They’ll be supporting him in those areas over the months and may advise some ‘next steps’. I never really paid too much attention to it, as all was either on track or working towards. Glad he has settled in well x

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wafflingworrier · 27/02/2024 18:42

sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:38

Yes he's apparently shy at nursery which makes me and my husband laugh because he's just so not shy at home

Well yes, he will be shy at nursery because he is 2 and it is a different setting away from his primary carers. Doesn't mean he will be forever.

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AnnieMay55 · 27/02/2024 18:47

Children often behave quite differently at home which is why nurseries usually value parent's input to get a rounded view of a child. However until they have actually observed a child doing the activity they can't tick them off. It takes staff so much time observing and writing down there obs, maybe your nursery are actually prioritising playing with and caring for your little one. Many don't agree with all this paperwork that is now compulsory. There is also the case of the staff having to show progress for each child so although this shouldn't be the case, if he is in a new room with new staff they will want to show on paper that he started lower and they have helped him make all this progress in a few months time. This is what OFSTED has done. If they have any specific worries they should speak to you about them. It doesn't sound like they do and have written positive things so try not to be worried about it.

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NeverDropYourMooncup · 27/02/2024 18:57

It's not harsh at all, it's a very friendly and caring wording for how they have assessed what he is doing and what he will be learning/developing - it appears that the majority of the Working Towards levels are related to his speech.

Whilst he is putting two words together as you say, and that might be earlier than his brother reached, there will be other children who are very talkative DD2 learned early in my opinion specifically so she could argue more effectively with her sister and that way, they can demonstrate that they've reached that goal; it's hard for them to say he is counting if he doesn't say one, two, three, 'more' and 'less', 'big' and 'small', for example. If I look at both my girls, the older was often at the working towards level because she didn't say much and what she did say was hard to understand, but the gobby younger one was at level sooner precisely because there was no way she didn't know whatever it was, because she'd tell you (and a whole load of other stuff you weren't asking about either, on top of that).

Making marks, painting or whatever the official wording is also relates to communication - first through colour and shape, then later through pictures, words and then writing - as well as developing physical/fine motor control.


It sounds a very warm and nurturing nursery, though. They come across as really taking time to know him.

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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 19:04

Agree with every comment, thank you all.

I'm very happy with the nursery and will continue to be.

I have no concerns about his development at all. Just wanted someone else to help me understand as we had a very worrying time with our eldest around this age and my mind was racing.

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Soontobe60 · 27/02/2024 19:07

sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 18:37

Yes indeed he is two, so why is he being 'marked down' for not liking paint?

You’re the one thinking he’s being ‘marked down’. It’s an observation.

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sharingzoe · 27/02/2024 19:08

@Soontobe60

He's marked down from 'on track'. Which in my opinion he is, because he's a very normal 2 year old.

Anyway, I don't want a bun fight

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