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#1 Emily

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 05:40 PM

I work in a school with a 52 place Nursery class (where we take in children in the term after they are 3). We want to complete an initial assessment of the children in both maths and literacy when they start at nursey so we can track their progress and show value added when they leave the foundation stage. Does anyone have any ideas what i can use? I have looked at the stepping stones and could adapt them and the P scales but i would rather used a tried and tested format if one exists. :)

#2 Mimi

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 06:04 PM

Your initial assessments can all be made from observations of the children whilst at play. I would have thought anything formal would be inappropriate and may have a detrimental effect on their confidence. Nothing worse than being asked a lot of questions by someone you don't know very well when you'd rather be making friends in the home corner. Even the Educational Psychologists I work with no longer use formal testing for their assessments with the under 5's.
The P scales are not ment to be used with the foundation stage, they are for special needs working in Key stage one. If you investigate this site further there has been some previous discussions about this. We are able to show value added through written observations, we also keep a portfolio of drawings and photographic evidence on each child.
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#3 Linda McDowell

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 07:55 PM

I was wondering why you felt you had to make such formal assessments at this stage? Will you be doing the same for PSED?
Like Mimi I think you need to make observations of what the children are doing whilst they are playing, you will learn a lot from that and then you can look at where they are on the stepping stones.
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#4 Susan

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 11:21 AM

Hi Emily, welcome in & glad you've found us!

I' m not sure that I can give you any specific pointers but as a teacher in Reception being asked to use the profile inappropriately for similar reasons, to show value added, I understand your dilemma.

As Mimi says though the P scales are not really a tool for Foundation, so try and avoid those. Someone in a special needs pre school/ nursery may be able to help as presumably you want them for referencing children who are having problems? Although saying that the profile has a box for alternative assessment and you can access something online with reference to that from QCA.

Our Lea nurseries were using a nursery entry and exit baselin(?) but not sure that they still do or where it was from, published etc.
We used NFER Baseline in our LEA prior to Profile and I believe the PIPS scheme published by Durham may have a preschool level.
Is that the sort of thing you were thinking of?

Good luck. :D

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#5 JacquieL

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 07:41 PM

Try your LEA Early Years team. Many LEA's have come up with thier own way of recording progress through the Stepping Stones from Nursery entry. These will rely on observations of children engaged in their activities. If you are tracking progress through the Foundation Stage then using the Pupil Profile in Reception with back up observations, pictures and perhaps some photo's of childrens activites/learning etc. is the way to go. The P levels are for SEN children beyond FS.
Try a search online of some LEAs and see what you can find.
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#6 Emily

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 08:22 PM

Thanks for all your advise. I do not want to assess the children in a formal way as I agree this is not an appropriate of effective way of finding out what young children understan or can do. I do however, need to provide my Head teacher and Govenors with a record of what the children understand and can do when they arrive at Nursery, that does not involve them (the Head and Govenors) wading through lots of obsevation sheets.

#7 JacquieL

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 07:01 PM

Have a look at Val Hutchen's books 'Right form the Start' and also 'Assessing for the Foundation Stage Profile'. I love some of the ideas, and you might find a way of recording you initial obsevations in a way that the Head and Govs. can access. This is also an opportunity for them to begin to understand what early learning is about so rather than fitting in with thier expectations challenge them with yours.
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#8 Helen

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 08:29 PM

I'm not being picky, Jacquie, but the author is Vicky Hutchin! :o




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