Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share.
Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development. Parents and/or carers should be kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development. Practitioners should address any learning and development needs in partnership with parents and/or carers, and any relevant professionals.
Further information about the teaching and learning requirements, as well as the assessments needed, can be found in pages 1-15 of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. All assessments made should be based on observations using early years outcomes.
For more information about specific assessments, for example, the 2 year old progress check, the Foundation Years website is a useful resource. The government has also produced specific guidance for practitioners in early years settings who are undertaking the EYFS progress check at age two.
Celebrating children's learning
The large majority of early years practitioners use the non-statutory 'Development Matters' as a guide to planning for children's progress in the EYFS. But there has been a longstanding problem: whereas a range of exemplification materials have been produced for the Early Learning Goals, there is nothing equivalent to support 'Development Matters'. That means that there have not been the materials to support training and development in this area, or to support moderation of assessments. As a result, this has had an impact on having accurate and robust information to pass on to providers when a child makes a transition to another pre-school or primary school.
To address this East London Partnership has worked with a group of nursery schools across London on the Celebrating Children's Learning project, to develop materials to support the training and development of practitioners to develop the quality of assessment, and to improve the accuracy and robustness of assessment across the early years.
Waltham Forest Council Teaching and Learning Audit
The Statutory Framework for the EYFS sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well, ensures children are kept healthy and safe and ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school.
The WF Musts Audit helps EYFS Leaders and Managers to evaluate how well their provision is meeting the EYFS Statutory Requirements regarding Learning and Development and Assessment. Logged-in users can download it below.
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