OP&L assessment system

As your child learns and makes progress during their time with us, we will record their achievements in an online learning journal, using an assessment system called OPAL. This stands for Observation of Play and Learning.

Using OP&L, every 6 months, your child will undergo a Spotlight Assessment. This will be carried out by your child’s key person who will assess their development against milestones for their age. The key person will note their strengths, interests and next steps for learning. An important part of this process will be a consultation with you the child’s family, to create a full picture at school and at home. A review will take place two months later, to see what progress your child has made. For example, if the Spotlight showed your child was not yet meeting some of the milestones for their age, with the key person and family working together, the child could now be meeting those milestones.

You can find out more about OP&L here.

Learning Journals

The Spotlight observations are recorded through a piece of educational software called “Learning Journals”. Nursery Staff will use school iPads to record the Spotlight observations by taking photos, video and making written observations of your child’s learning. In addition to the Spotlights, staff will upload other moments of learning the children are involved in.

By logging on with a secure username and password, you will be able to view all of your child’s observations, photographs and even video from their time in Nursery. Then you can look at the observation together with your child and talk about their learning together. You can add comments so that we as a staff find out about which activities your child has really enjoyed and the learning they get up to at home. You can even add your own observations, photos and video of what children have been doing with you at home, or if you’ve been somewhere exciting.


Learning Journals is a system, which is hosted in the UK on secure servers. These servers conform to very high security standards and are proactively managed 24 hours a day. Each account has its own database and the code itself is developed using hack-resistant techniques. Filenames are encoded for uploaded, videos and images, making this a safe and secure on-line Learning Journey tool. You can access Learning Journals with an iPhone or iPad, any Android device, laptop or a desktop computer.

We just need your email address so we can set you up with an account. If anyone is not able to access Learning Journals, we will be able to provide time for you to look at your child’s learning journal on one of our school computers; please just ask your child’s Key Person who will set it up ready for when you collect/drop-off your child.

E-safety is extremely important to us at Abercromby, therefore we will ask you to sign an agreement, to show that you understand and will agree with our guidelines e.g. that photos are not shared on Social Media.

At the end of the year you will receive a memory stick with a PDF version of your child’s learning journal on, a wonderful souvenir of their time with us.

We are sure that you will love this way of viewing your child’s achievements as much as we do! Our aim is for them to become a true dialogue about your child’s learning. If you have any queries, please do speak to your child’s Key Person.

You can find out more here, on the parent guide for Learning Journals.