“Children’s earliest experiences have a profound influence on their learning and development, and later achievement. Effective implementation of the EYFS encourages practitioners in the Early Years settings to understand and support children’s learning and development on a moment-to-moment and day-by-day basis. Through observing each child’s achievements and interests, as well as observing groups of children, practitioners can respond, through their interactions, with new activities or changes to the environment, in ways which help the children to learn”. – The National Strategies, Progress Matters, 2009.
Assessment is used to inform us of the progress made from the time the child has joined Linwood School and when they leave the early years. We create a one page baseline profile in the first half term of when the pupil starts their reception year documenting the child’s abilities, preferences and how they engage with the world around them. We also highlight the areas the child has demonstrated within the prime areas using the development matters document. During their time in the early years we create an in depth learning journey, which is full of the experiences and achievements they have made. In the summer term all pupils receive a school report along with a ‘snap shot’ poster of where they are now. This highlights all the holistic achievements they have made and changes that are hard to document using the Early Learning Goals and Development Matters which are templates created for typically developing children.
Assessment is based on observations of daily activities and events. All members of staff note in particular the learning which a pupil demonstrates spontaneously, independently and consistently in a range of contexts. Accurate assessment takes account of a range of perspectives including those of parents and other professionals working with the student, these observations are then documented within the child’s learning journey on Tapestry.
Ongoing observation and 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. These observations and assessments are then used to identify next steps and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child. Within the early years this is referred to the observe-assess-plan cycle, these cycles are often done moment-by moment, responding to a pupils achievements, requests and learning opportunities as they occur and not planning days or weeks ahead, where motivation and engagement of very young children can be lost.
Early years teachers make judgements in the summer term against the Early Learning Goals for all pupils in their reception year.