In a previous blog, we have examined the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which offers guidelines for childminders, teachers and other providers of Early Years learning.
In subsequent blogs, we have covered areas such as: Learning and developing requirements, The prime areas of the Early Learning Goals and The specific areas.
In today’s blog we are looking in more detail at Early Learning Goals – How to Assess Progress.
Why is assessment important?
There is little point in having guidelines if there is no assessment of their effectiveness. Assessment helps practitioners, carers and parents to gauge the progress that has been made by a child, in order to plan the best approach and support moving forward.
What does assessment involve?
Practitioners will observe the child and assess the level of achievement they have reached. They will also note the child’s particular interests and the way they learn, in order to form learning experiences that will benefit them.
The guidelines also say that:
- Assessment should be ongoing, with daily observations
- Paperwork should be limited
- Parents and carers should be kept informed about progress and development
- Any learning and development needs should be addressed
Does assessment vary depending on the child’s age?
Yes, specific progress checks are made at different stages.
Practitioners should review the progress of each child when they are between the age of two and three, and provide a short written summary of strengths and weaknesses with reference to the Prime Areas. Major concerns or special educational needs identified should be shared with professionals such as teachers and health visitors (integrated with the government’s Healthy Child Programme).
When a child reaches five and comes to the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP), the practitioner should complete an EYFS Profile before 30 June of that year. This report should cover a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, as well as whether their progress matches the levels expected of them and whether they are fully prepared to move to Year 1. The Profile will be based on observation, records and discussions with relevant parties and development should be assessed against the Early Learning Goals. It should be created for all children, including those with special educational needs.
What about when the child leaves Reception for Year 1?
The EYFS Profile should be passed on to the child’s Year 1 teacher, along with some basic detail on the child’s skills and abilities as they relate to the three key characteristics of effective learning.
The school should share this Profile with parents/carers and offer the opportunity to discuss the report with the teacher who created it.
How are local authorities involved?
All local authorities have a duty to send the data to the appropriate government department. If a local authority asks to examine or take copies of the EYFS Profile and supporting documents, providers must allow this.