What is the best way to assess the Early Years Foundation Stage?

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Elizabeth
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What is the best way to assess the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Post by Elizabeth » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:03 am

What should be assessed and how at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage?

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’.
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.
It is not good enough to devise a simple assessment. The handbooks states:
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.
You can find out more if you look up “Early years foundation stage profile 2017 handbook”.

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?
Elizabeth

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: What is the best way to assess the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue May 16, 2017 5:59 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

There are two ‘bloggers’ who have very interesting/important ideas, comments, suggestions regarding assessment for national purposes in the early years (amongst other very interesting posts).

Please see these blog posts with reference to early years assessment:

https://heatherfblog.wordpress.com/2017 ... t-helpful/

https://thequirkyteacher.wordpress.com/ ... ont-exist/

I wondered whether these bloggers are on the radar of the Department for Education?

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