In England and Wales, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is from birth to the year children are five on 31st August and they are assessed by the middle of July that year. For most children, this means they have had a school year of some systematic teaching before the EYFS assessment.
At one time, this involved nearly a hundred points that children had to be assessed on, with evidence. It has been cut back to seven areas of learning with altogether seventeen early learning goals (ELG). Children are assessed as ‘emerging’, ‘expected’ or ‘exceeding’.
One of the areas of learning is Literacy, with two learning goals, one for reading and one for writing. These lack detail. There is only the following, and it is labelled for ‘exceeding’.
It is not good enough to devise a simple assessment. The handbooks states:Reading: Children can read phonically regular words of more than 1 syllable as well as many irregular but high frequency words. They use phonic, semantic and syntactic knowledge to understand unfamiliar vocabulary. They can describe the main events in the simple stories they have read.
Writing: Children can spell phonically regular words of more than 1 syllable as well as many irregular but high frequency words. They use key features of narrative in their own writing.
You can find out more if you look up “Early years foundation stage profile 2017 handbook”.To accurately assess these characteristics, practitioners need to observe learning which children have initiated rather than only focusing on what children do when prompted. Children need rich opportunities to initiate ideas and activities so that they can develop the learning characteristics which are assessed by the EYFS profile. These characteristics also support lifelong learning.
There is an example of how one educator thinks you should assess a four year old at: http://eyfs.info/articles/_/teaching-an ... rough-r222 . Although it is not for literacy, it gives an idea of what some people in education expect assessment to look like. What do you think of it?
If we could have the ideal assessment at this stage, what would it look like? How would it be administered? In particular, how would literacy be assessed?