what is a learning journey or learning journal

The term learning journey or learning journal is a term used in early years in relation to a record of a child’s learning and development, throughout their time at nursery.  Based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), this record will be built up over the years and will show many achievements.

A child’s Key Person will tailor activities and experiences to the child’s individual needs, and a record of observations and photos from these activities will be recorded in the child’s learning journey.

A child’s learning journey might contain the following;

  • Observations made by the key worker and other nursery practitioners
  • Annotated photographs
  • Snapshots of significant achievements
  • Quotes from the child
  • Art work
  • Mark makings
  • Comments from parents/carers

The aim is to build a unique picture of what each child knows, feels and can do as well as his/her particular interests and learning style.

childs learning journey mark making at childrens house nursery in southwell nottinghamshire

This picture can then be used to pinpoint learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences to attain a child’s next steps in development in all areas of learning.

Evidence of a child’s achievement should ideally be of the things the children do always and naturally without prompting.

Observations should be analysed against the EYFS development matters and development milestones for all areas of learning and next steps identified. If appropriate talking to children about what they are learning and what they need to learn next will help involve them in their own assessment.  Also, parents and practitioners working together will secure this learning further.

Learning journeys are a great way to celebrate children’s achievements. A learning journey is about documenting children’s learning in a visual way. Click To Tweet

It isn’t about ticking boxes but a reflection of a child’s wow moments that are new to that child.

As parents, hopefully your child’s learning journey will be something to treasure, reflect on and share with your child for many years.