With the introduction of the EYFS 2021, one of the biggest issues right now across Early Years seems to be ASSESSMENT and TRACKING
- How will we do it?
- Will we track?
- Do we need supporting evidence?
- What will OFSTED and our LA want to see?
- How do we manage workload and SLT expectations?
It is really important to note that every day formative assessment has not changed ‘It involves practitioners knowing children’s level of achievement and interests, and then shaping teaching and
learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge.’ (Statutory Framework; Pg 18). Practitioners will continue to use their knowledge and skills to observe children in their environment and follow a cycle which informs their “whole picture” of the child and allows for adults to think about how to guide children on their educational journey.
The Key Messages linked to EYFS 2021 assessment seem to be:
- Less evidence gathering to allow for more time for high quality teaching interactions
- Ensuring the move away from “checklist” mentality
- No excessive paperwork
EYFS 2021 Assessment: checking what children have learnt– taken from Development Matters (2020)
• Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data
• Effective assessment requires practitioners to understand child development. Practitioners also need to be clear about what they want children to know and be able to do.
• Accurate assessment can highlight whether a child has a special educational need and needs
• Before assessing children, it’s a good idea to think about whether the assessments will be useful.
• Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time.
With this in mind, we must all think about what assessment is useful to ensure that practitioners can talk confidently about where children are at and the support needed to make the next steps in learning. How you choose to record this is up to you… you may not need any recorded information at all to do this. You may want to continually update a very basic tracker that you share across the setting, just as an aide memoir for discussion at a later date. Alternatively, you may want to reflect and record at set points during children’s learning journey and think about their progress towards the end of year/ stage goals and what this looks like. This is what I plan to do as a Reception Teacher. I know that I can’t hold all of the information in my head at any one time and that having set times to reflect on progress will help me to identify how I will bring learning forward. Those “on the spot” assessments and next steps will continue to happen, as they always have, but I will continue to reflect and record whether children are on track throughout the year.
In light of this, I created an Assessment Tracking Document, which reflected key points in my overall curriculum that would signal if children were “On Track” to meet the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception Year. This is not “set in stone” or expectant of linear progress, but simply provides an overview of some of the steps towards the Goals. It also helped me gain focus on what Year 1 readiness may look like and how to achieve this through the skills and knowledge taught.
The creation of this Reception document, led to me thinking about the Preschool Curriculum and how “Goals” at the end of this stage may help practitioners to make assessment judgements on children’s progress towards the end of Reception Early Learning Goals.
It is worth noting that these are not statutory but instead my own curriculum goals- so edit and tweak to link to your settings.
Remember the non statutory documents provide support for you to create a broad and balanced curriculum based on the needs of the children in your setting and therefore your assessment documents and recording will reflect this.
I hope it helps to hear someone else’s view. I have had a multitude of messages about how to approach the EYFS reforms, I am on this journey too and hope that my ‘ramblings’ help, whether because you think… I’ll have a go at that or that’s not for me!!
Good luck 🙂