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 knowing children’s level of achievement and interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge. 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. (EYFS Statutory Framework Section 2, pg18)
Assessment should not take practitioners away from interacting and working directly with children, or require excessive paperwork. Practitioners should use their knowledge of the child and their professional judgement to assess whether a child is working at the expected level of development. Parents and/or carers, and any other relevant professionals should be kept up to date with children’s development and progress.
To support practitioners with assessment we have put together some agreement trialling sessions, which will take place in autumn, spring and summer. These will provide practitioners working with 3-4 year olds, and 4-5 olds, an opportunity to talk about children’s development with their peers, discuss what ‘on-track’ looks like and what support may help those children with Health Needs SLCN assessment and additional support. More information can be found on our training page here
Statutory Assessment in the EYFS
Progress check at two (EYFS Statutory Framework pg. 18)
This should take place when a child is between the ages of two and three. Practitioners must review the child’s progress and development in the prime areas of learning. If a child moves settings between the ages of two and three it is expected that the progress check would usually be undertaken by the setting where the child has spent most time.
The check must:
- Include a short written summary of the child’s development in the prime areas of learning (communication and language, personal, social and emotional development and physical development).
- Identify the child’s strengths and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected
- Describe any activities and strategies the provider intends to adopt to address any issues or concerns.
- Consider if there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, if this is the case, practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving parents and/or carers and other professionals (for example, the provider’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or health professionals) as appropriate.
- Discuss with parents and/or carers how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home.
As an LA we have put together some editable, example two year old progress checks which you may find useful, if you haven’t already got a pro-forma to use. These are designed to be adapted so that they are meaningful and purposeful documents.
Two Year Old Progress Check Example 1
This example uses the headings for the prime areas of learning (communication and language, personal, social and emotional development and physical development) and can be used as a template with any of the non-statutory guidance that has been produced.
Two Year Old Progress Check Example 2
This example uses the headings, and the aspects as they appear in the non statutory guidance, birth to five matters. It also references the ranges, which practitioners may choose to use, or delete if they prefer
Practitioners can choose the format they use to complete the check and there are many examples available to support their decision including advice from the Department for Education: Progress Check at age two
Sharing the check with others
Practitioners should encourage parents and/or carers to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals, including their health visitor and the staff of any new provision the child may transfer to. Practitioners must agree with parents and/or carers when will be the most useful point to provide a summary. Where possible, the progress check and the Healthy Child Programme health and development review at age two (when health visitors gather information on a child’s health and development) should inform each other and support integrated working. This will allow health and education professionals to identify strengths as well as any developmental delay and any particular support from which they think the child/family might benefit. Providers must have the consent of parents and/or carers to share information directly with other relevant professionals. (EYFS Statutory Framework Section 2, pg19)
Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)
This is a short assessment which takes places within the first six weeks in which a child starts reception. More information can be found in the relevant Assessment and Reporting Arrangements (ARA) which can be found here
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
This is completed in the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30th June. Each child is assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals, practitioners must indicate whether children are meeting the expected level of development (expected) or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (emerging). This information must then be shared with parents and/or carers, year one teachers and the Local Authority. More information can be found in relevant Assessment and Reporting arrangements here.
As an LA we offer training to support practitioners with their understanding of the EYFSP, for more information please take a look at our training page here