Back in June I created a blog post on EYFS Assessment under the revised framework and my approach. It was hugely popular and I’m happy to say that the range of assessment check point trackers goes from 2 year olds through to ELG, with an optional add on for 5 term preschoolers. I am also proud to say that the checkpoint documents have supported practitioners and teachers with assessment in their settings and lightened an ever increasing workload.
After much uncertainty around assessment from all corners of the education world it seems we are now back to worrying about the terminology we use. Originally Development Matters 2020 seemed to consider an “on track” and “not on track” approach with no need for trackers or documents, simply formal summative assessment at the statutory points in the EYFS handbook- the 2 year check (completed either by a nursery provider or health visitor in a child’s second year) and the final ELG at the end of reception (where a child would be judged as having “achieved” or “not achieved” the Goals). This seems to be changing in regards to the terminology we use in assessment and not thinking of a child as being “on track”.
Personally, to me the terminology we use is irrelevant and I honestly don’t think it matters what “the label” is. It’s all relative. The expectation is that Reception Teachers (and other practitioners) are still looking for children who are going to be “at the expected standard” or “working towards the expected standard”. It doesn’t really matter how you word it does it? The adults and children will still be judged on GLD and % achieving the ELG. So I am sticking with “on track” or “not on track”. This may not be the terminology I use with parents as I know I will need to talk about specific needs and how we will be supporting children to reach “age related expectations” but for my own assessments this seems like the simplest way of identifying those children who need additional support.
I also know that lots of practitioners are struggling with the removal of tracking individual children. My view is that I am pleased to see the back of trying to pigeon hole children and tie them down to the specifics of age ranges and looking for achievements based on an age bracket. Instead I am now looking for children who are able to access the curriculum, using the continuous provision and making progress. I have opted for the “check point trackers” because it enables me to really focus on what steps there are in learning to achieve the “age related expectations” and how this translates in my curriculum and environment.
The positives of checkpoint trackers as I see it are:
- Takes the pressure off memory- with the best will in the world I can’t remember where 30 children were in March (heavens I can’t remember what I did in March :D)
- Prevents problems if practitioners leave (how do you get all the knowledge about their key children out of their head?)
- Allows for Early Years Leaders/ SLT to see progression and talk confidently about development
- Gives something tangible to base data on- with the best will in the world, with % achieving ELG being a measure of the quality of Reception in schools, data is still going to be requested and this allows for a really simple % calculation of children likely to achieve GLD.
- You can base them on your curriculum- teaching to the White Rose Maths Curriculum- make your checkpoint assessment tracker match and that way children can be “on track” rather than using age bands and feeling unsure if they are “on track” in your setting
Of course, like all other things in education, we need to make EYFS assessment work for us. You need to reflect the needs of your cohort, the demands of your setting and balance your workload to ensure that you are allowing yourself to have a good work:life balance.
Download the Checkpoint Assessment Trackers
If you’d like to see an example of my checkpoint trackers you can download them FOR FREE here…
As always, take care of yourself and “you do you”!