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Don't know if any of you read the Daily Mail but there was a whole page article on assessing/FSP's in Tuesday's edition this week. I found the statistics quite amazing!

It says that the required reports that teachers write for 5yr olds contain more words than many novels. Boxes ticked against 117 headings show children's achievements but teachers must also provide evidence such as photos or tape recordings and summarise it in writing. If they write 30 words under each section they would produce 3,500 words per child which for a class of 30 amounts to more than 105,000 words. By compasirons JRR Tolkeins "The Hobbit" contains 97,470.

 

Education ministers are expecting to release the results of the firs set of assessments for 5yr olds on Thursday - these will be overall scores based on the ticked boxes.

 

What concerns me rather, is the article goes on to say: "Meanwhile, mouldering in the school archives, will be the detailed additional reports known as FSP's. The files on each child must be kept for inspection by local authority officials and OFSTED> But the reams of detailed evidence are unlikely to be of any further use!!!"David Bell condemns the profiles as "beurocratic and time consuming"

 

The article is followed by a commentary from a former maths teacher "It is quality and not quantity that counts.

 

I am sure the whole page would be of interest to many of you. If anyone can tell me how to scan a whole newspaper page and get it on here or provide a link or whatever I am happy to do so.

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Sounds interesting reading and probably confirms what those of us already know who are on the workfront --- that its alot of work.(thats polite!)

I remain convinced that we will be calling for its abolition!

 

Steve how does she do it?

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There was a similar article in the Telegraph which I've just found online. See link below:

Daily Telegraph

It's very reassuring to know that what we've been subjected to this year is finally being recognised!

Jess

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There's also reference to this on TES with a link to the statistics on DFES site, but I couldn't find them when I followed it, so if you have any luck do let me know!

 

Thanks for that liknk, Jessica- off there now!

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yes i read that article in the daily mail ( and I looked at the telegraghs too... talk about plagerism!!!)

I think its just typical sensationalism that grabs the headlines. :o While i agree that the assessment is more long-winded (it would be after replacing the old baseline which only covered 3 areas of learning) it does give a broader picture of the whole child in all areas of development.

And while some people are finding it time consuming, let's not lose track of the fact that it is based on teacher assessment... there are no tasks or tests it uses our prfessional judgement of where we think the child is at a particular stage of the learning.

This is a first for assessment procedure in a long time. I for one are not keeping copious notes on every single point and I feel for those who feel or have been told to xD

Doing the electronic version of the profile is so much easier. There is a flood fill button which saves lots of time... not to say that I am using this willynilly... far from it, but it does allow me to reflect on achievement and to plan appropriate experiences and learning opportunities for the children. I can see at a glance which areas need more imput and which children need stretching or extra support.

 

Like anything new there are always going to be problems and hopefully these will be addressed as the first year of using the profiles comes to an end. Hopefully the moderation meetings will iron out any myths about evidence collection!

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Hi -

I contacted the Daily Mail editorial department today to see if they'd let me re-print or link to the article, but haven't heard back from them yet.

 

But the first results of FSP's came out today - you've probably heard it on tv or radio.

 

Here's a brief summary of the results from the Guardian. :)

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thanks Mundia, why didn't I find that?

 

Liza, lucky you that you can access the eprofile then.

I agree you don't need evidence for every point for every child and that it ensures a broad coverage but the workload for us using paper versions is horrendous.

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susan

don't feel lucky that i'm able to use the eprofile just disappointed and a tad frustrated that the governament, while wanting us all to be singing from the same hym sheet in terms of all doing the same assessment... can't see fit to provide us all with the same materials to do so :o

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Certainly makes for interesting reading. I appreciate the value of the profiles, but having taught reception last year and R/Y1 this year, I just feel like I'm ALWAYS doing something towards the FSP. We've not had the e-profile yet, but I'm very keen for that to be available to us for next year. At least that will save some of the work.

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Copied the following from 'The Guardian' article (whole article can be accessed through resources thingy on left hand side of screen-thanks Steve, I never get time to sit and read a paper these days)

 

Phil Willis, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said that the criteria of the assessments skewed what pre-school learning should be about. "The biggest concern of five-year-olds should be playing and having fun. Now 36,000 of them are being told that they haven't reached the mark when it comes to 'having knowledge and understanding of the world'."

 

He added: "Ministers have become so obsessed with testing that they have forgotten how valuable learning through play is for a child.

 

"Small children will learn much more about their environment from having fun, than from being tested by teachers who are overburdened by pointless bureaucracy."

 

It seems this might be the ONLY politician living in the real world.

 

Sue

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there,

 

What amused me in these articles is that some people seem to be surprised that the Writing and Calculation aspects of the profile lagged behind other areas such as 'Communication' (?) and Counting. Who exactly hadn't worked out that children would not be able to begin doing calculations until they could count? Or that they can't start to write until they have grasped letters & sounds (& yes, I know that's not exactly true, but I'm sure you get my point).

 

Do people really know what on earth we do in YR and before? I have spent around 30 minutes each night on the b***** profiles, updating observations, cross referencing to photo albums and writing books. I'm not going to bother working out how much time that adds up to. The moderators were very pleased with what I'm doing - yes, I should think so!! I'm consciencous and couldn't see a way around it all. But of course, that was time taken away from reflection, prepartion, planning etc. The idea of starting it all again in September is depressing.

 

Sorry, I didn't mean this to turn into a rant, it's just end of term frazzled nerves I expect!!

 

Dianne xxx

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Dianne I am really glad I am in a pre-school not a school. We do observe and record but all paperwork is done at that time. It does help that we have 4-5 helpers each day. It would be an awesome task to do if I had less staff because I wouldn't be able to chat and play and I feel children learn more from this.

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Hi. I've been doing a bit of light reading, namely Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey plus others. Phil Wilis is only echoing long held beliefs which we have worked to and embraced for years. Piaget came under some critisism for testing children, but he still maintained that children sould be free to play. Why have these theories been forgotten by todays pen pushers? If this, and future Governments really want to help our children they would do well to go back to real playtime for children and have a bit more faith in the people teaching them to carry out their job without having to think about testing and marking. The observations we make during the course of a day, week, term are more than enough to use to futher the childrens ability and learning wthout having to use damn tick sheets, which as Dianne and Bubble say, uses up time that could be better spent on the children.

Well..............thats my rant finished :o

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The FS has certainly been a lot of work this year but I agree with Lisa's earlier comments. I think the problems arise because people are begin given different messages abour how much recording etc. Certainly getting the numerical scores ready for our Admin staff took me ages, especially as the sheets provided by the LEA has all the areas in a different order from the booklets. We don't have access to e-profiles so can't comment about them.

I approach it like this: my children are hopefully, learning through play but I need to know if they are learning, what they are learning and how I can help. That is what observation is for. some is planned and some is 'Gosh look at that!' Most of what we observe and act on goes on in our heads, but some needs to be documented, just as any other teacher in school documents their children's learning. So each term I have at least one spontaneous observation on each child in each area , one detailed planned observation which is then briefly, in note form on a pro-forma, documented into what it tells me about that child in each area, and one or two next step comments at the end for planning, and a large book for each child that I put bits in, drawings, collage, a few photos etc. with pertinent handwritten scribbled notes. The latter has taken a bit of time to do at home so.. I am going to do this with the children in school time next year, they will enjoy talking about it as we do it, it will save time at home, and should be valuable. If I need this evidence, if they want to see it then some time spent doing that must be justifiable. I think some people have been asked to do way too much. There is no need to have evidence for every single point for every single child.

My concern is what they are going to do with the FS profile scores. Now we know children are 'behind' in the two basic skills areas, are they going to realise that we have too much too soon, or is someone going to come up with another strategy to try to force children on, so that they can cope with KS1. I really hope not, and hope that all the interest in extending the FS in Y1 isgoing to come to something and let these children develop at their own pace and feel successful!

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