The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a framework that sets out how children’s developing needs are met through play, care and learning. EYFS covers children from their birth up to 5 years of age. The EYFS defines how these areas should be assessed in order for the child to grow as they should. This blog post will discuss how assessments are carried out throughout the EYFS framework and how this helps children develop into well-rounded individuals!
An assessment may be formative or summative: Formative assessments provide us with insight into how current teaching strategies can help our learners improve, whereas summative assessments indicate whether a learner has achieved what it was set out to do at the beginning of the learning journey.
EYFS Formative Assessments
Formative assessments are carried out to monitor how well a child progresses and how they respond to teaching strategies or interventions.
This type of assessment is carried out in various ways, such as asking how the child is feeling or what they want to learn.
Formative assessments can also be done by observing how well a learner concentrates and responds in different situations. This involves noting how often the learner engages with various materials or how long it takes to complete tasks/activities.
Another formative assessment technique would be assessing how active a child is during activities; an example is counting how many times they move from one place on their mat to another while playing.
Formative assessments are used throughout EYFS because we need insight into how children are developing to know when something needs changing or if interventions should stop altogether.
EYFS Summative Assessments
Summative assessment can be used to know if learners have achieved what was set out for them at the beginning of their education.
For example, how many times a child can read the alphabet in one minute or how well they know their number facts.
This type of assessment is usually done at pre-determined time points to see how much progress has been made and how different teaching strategies have helped learners along the way. It’s also used as evidence for parents that their children are on track with what they should be learning.”
Assessments should always include observation, discussion (including conversations with parents), checklists, records and portfolios. The purpose of these various tools is two-fold: firstly, they help ensure that children’s progress can be tracked appropriately, so teachers can make adjustments as needed based on observations; secondly, an accumulation of evidence helps support pupils’ claims about how they learn best by showing how diverse individual needs can be met.
Observation is referenced in several places in the revised Early Years Foundation Stage. Observation, put simply, is the practice of looking at and listening to children to find out how they are developing, what they like doing and what they’re learning through their play and the experiences offered by early education facilities.
Both parents and practitioners must develop shared knowledge about the three things before evaluating a child’s development. This will result in the child either reaching expected developmental stages, having an appropriate amount of resources for their age, or needing surplus resources for growth going forward.
Observing children is vital because they each have unique sets of abilities and talents that may be seen in different situations. Observation can take place wherever the child spends time: at home, school, playgroups.
Try to observe how your child responds when challenged in a new way or with something new whenever possible. This will give you an idea of their strengths and weaknesses and help you tailor the program according to their needs.
Looking at what children choose to do, what their interests are and who and what resources they enjoy playing with provides adults with reliable information about children as individuals. Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage recommends using the Observing What a Child is Learning approach to help develop systematic observations. Observation plays an integral role in providing information about the children’s ability to learn and the plan for their education.
Observations are undertaken regularly as part of daily routines. Talking to the child, the parents, and team members about a plan will give you a starting point for what is best for the child.
The EYFS framework is a clear, concise guide for assessment. It sets out the process and provides a blueprint to help children develop as they should! If you are looking for an approachable way of understanding how your child’s development can be assessed to support them.
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