The importance of Early Years Supervisions
Supervisions are an important part of the EYFS, they are a tool to help look at practitioners practice in a constructive way and make improvements where needed.
Effective and regular supervisions will help practitioners provide the necessary support for both children and families, regular supervisions give practitioners encouragement and help them evaluate their own practice.
Early Years settings should have a supervision policy that outlines the importance of regular supervisions and how they can contribute to a positive working relationship. Effective supervisions allow for open communication and promote best practice. Having time away from the children to reflect on practice is an ideal opportunity to self-evaluate and reflect on your own practice.
For some practitioners supervisions can be seen in the wrong context and they don’t fully appreciate the importance of them. Supervisions are not about being judged and telling someone they are not very good at their job, it’s about looking at their performance and supporting them. Practitioners need to feel valued, appreciated and when a manager demonstrate a positive approach to reviewing their work this can help achieve a clearer and wider perspective.
How do your supervisions work in your setting, who carries them out? For most setting these are done by management. It is important that the person carrying out the supervision has a clear understanding of employees’ job roles and responsibilities, this information is crucial when evaluating their performance.
Using supervisions to identify training needs
After reflecting on own practice and identifying areas for improvement this can easily them filter into practitioners training matrix, identifying training through evaluating your own practice is a good way of continuously enhancing CPD.
Managements role in supervisions
Management should have the role of ensuring regular supervisions are carried out, date and time can be documented in the office diary. A private room should be sourced away from any interruptions and a summary of the meeting should be recorded and kept in practitioners file. The whole purpose of the meeting is to constructively evaluate practitioners practice, therefore constructive feedback should be given and practitioners should leave the meeting feeling positive not deflated. Management have a huge role in portraying a supervision as a way of helping their team, not a way of judging them and criticising their practice. There are many tools that management can use to ensure the meeting is constructive, the term good news sandwich or bugger is a great simple effective tool. The good news sandwich enables management to focus on both the good and the not so good, during a supervision talk about something positive then squeeze in something that needs improving on and then finally finish on a positive. This simple and effective tool again helps practitioners feel valued and appreciated as they see that management have identified their good points.
Practitioners need to appreciate the need for supervisions and they should prepare for these meetings. Depending on the outcome of the meeting practitioners need to take the constructive feedback and act on the points.
When to carry out supervisions
This will depend on your setting and individuals. The purpose of supervisions is to help practitioners in a constructive way improve their practice and address any issues. If it is identified through observation that practitioners practice is weak, this can be an ideal opportunity to have a supervision meeting. Yes supervisions meetings can be calenderised, however always remember that they can also be spontaneous based on points being addressed from an observation.
Many settings use practitioners supervisions to contribute to an appraisal; again it depends on your setting when to do appraisals.