How to demonstrate outstanding practice in early years
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2014 sets the standards for all professionals in early years to follow, the guidance in this document states the importance of ensuring children learn and develop well and are kept safe. It contains lots of information on ensuring early years providers are delivering quality teaching and learning which will allow children the opportunity to flourish in their development. The EYFS talks about the process of observing and assessing the progress of children’s development and why this plays a significant role in helping children reach their full potential
Below are some underpinning points to remember when assessing children’s learning and development
- Information should be reliable and accurate and identified through practitioners observations.
- The quality of teaching and practice must be well thought out enabling to child to learn and develop fully
- Practitioners must embed the child’s interest and next steps into the learning environment to enable the child’s learning to be extended further
- The variety of observations completed should show a holistic view of the child’s learning and development.
- Include parents contributions and other adults views of the child’s learning and development as these may help form a bigger picture of the child’s development.
It is always best practice to re-evaluate your early year’s practice and environment to ensure it is consistent with the settings observation and assessment policy. Therefore, what is an observational assessment?. It is easy to forget the purpose of these observations as people forget that these hold key information in helping identify any areas of concerns.
The practitioners role in carrying out observational assessments are crucial as it involves looking, listening and making notes, if practitioners just remember the three core words look, listen and note this will make all the difference when evaluating the observation.From observational assessments you will be able to build up a picture of where the child is at in their learning and development, it will demonstrate their strengths and weakness. Each observation will be different as every child is unique and they display their own ways of learning. Observations can be planned or spontaneous, each of these will capture important moments.
Observational assessments in early years are highly important in establishing key information on what children know and can do, this information is accurate and builds up a picture of the child’s learning and development. Don’t forget to use your observations in your planning this will enable you to incorporate children’s interest which will lay the lay the foundations in helping extend children’s learning.