EYFS Assessments 2020-2021
At Southfields, assessment plays an important part in helping teachers, parents, and carers recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. In line with the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage Assessment- EYFS reforms Early Adopter July 2020’, we use ongoing assessment as an integral part of the learning and development process. We use range of observations to assess children’s level of achievement and interests, and use these to shape the teaching and learning experiences for each child. In our interactions with children, we respond to the day-to-day observations about children’s progress and use observations from parents to help inform our judgments about pupil progress and attainment.
As stated in the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage Assessment- EYFS reforms Early Adopter July 2020 2.2’, Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, we draw on our knowledge of the child and our own expert professional judgement. We use Tapestry- an online observation and assessment tool to help us record and reflect upon the observations we make.
Alongside the Statutory Framework we use Development Matters (Reform Early Adopters September 2020) which sets out the pathways of children’s development in broad ages and stages. The main purpose of these pathways is to help you assess each child’s level of development using a best fit judgment.
The 7 areas of Learning outlined within Development Matters are:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Understanding the world
- Physical development
- Expressive Arts & Design
Teachers also make observations and judgements about whether children are exhibiting the characteristics of effective learning, these are the ways in which children learn.
Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Within the Development Matters, the ‘observation checkpoints’ can help use to notice whether a child is at risk of falling behind in their development. By monitoring the child’s progress more closely, we can make the right decisions about what sort of extra help is needed. Through sensitive dialogue with parents we can begin to understand the child better and also offer helpful suggestions to support the home learning environment.
Baseline assessment at the start of Reception Year
In 2020, EYFS are taking part in the NFER Baseline Pilot. This Baseline is intended to ‘allow schools to receive credit for the progress their pupils make throughout their time in primary school.’ (www.nfer.ac.uk). ‘It is intended that this will be introduced in Autumn 2021’.
Assessment at the end of the EYFS – the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)
In the final term of the year, we complete the EYFS for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for year 1. The Profile reflects teachers’ own knowledge and professional judgement of a child to inform discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution. Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (see Section 1 in the EYFS Statutory framework). Teachers will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’). Year 1 teachers will be given a copy of the Profile report and reception teachers will discuss each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These help inform a dialogue between reception and year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning