The EYFS Observation and Assessment Process

Observation and assessment process

The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) seeks to provide quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child is left behind (2014, p.5).

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Good parenting and high quality early learning, provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow. (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014)

Quality observations are the best way to capture children's learning and the EYFS requires practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interest and learning styles. This system can then shape the child's learning through reflecting upon individual observations.

Observations should also feed into the knowledge of how children learn through the Characteristics of Effective Learning The Characteristics of Effective Learning [9kb]

'The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment - playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically - underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.'

Observation, Assessment, Planning and Practice cycle - diagram shows the order that the observation and assessment cycle should take place. Observation & assessment planning cycle [29kb]

Observation process - flow chart demonstrates the order that observation and assessment cycle should take place. Observation process [53kb]

Childs Initial Information - It is important that practitioners gather information about the children they are looking after from parents/carers to help providers to recognise children's individual needs, and be able to plan activities and support baseline assessment.  Initial Information [212kb]

Gathering information on entry to the setting (Baseline Assessment)

Formative assessment

Incidental Assessment- complete post its, work samples and incidental observation (incidental observations) Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. Practitioners need to carry out formative assessment to be able to understand the children's level of achievement, interest and learning styles.

Planned observation - should take place every 6 weeks for under 3 year olds and every 12 weeks for over 3 year olds

Summative Assessment

Complete tracker to summarize child's progress- Monitoring ensures that planning and assessment are consistent, precise, and display an accurate understanding of all children's skills, abilities and progress. As a result, individual children or groups of children with identified needs are targeted, their progress rigorously monitored so that appropriate interventions are sought and gaps are closing Individual Progress Tracker [32kb]

Complete two year old progress check - when a child is between two and three practitioners must review their progress and provide parent/carer with a summary of their child's development in the prime areas. This progress check must identify the child's strengths, and any areas where the child's progress is less than expected. All progress checks need to be shared with the child's Health Visitor. 2 Year Progress Check [58kb]

Complete group tracker - Group tracking enables leaders and managers to raise questions about practice and provision and specific children's learning needs. It may help highlight patterns, trends, specific children and vulnerable groups to ensure appropriate interventions are implemented and monitored to support all children to make good progress Group Aspects Tracker [13kb]