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Help Needed For On Entry Assessment!


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I have posted about this before but am still unsure of how to develop my on entry assessment.

 

I have been doing lots of visit to the pre-school that feeds into my reception class and they have been making lots of visits to us so I am getting to know the children and am making observations about what they can do. I will be given their learning stories to have a read through - these are not referenced to EYFS but I will get a general feel of where the children are at. What I wondered is if I should use these to mark off which development matters they show they have achieved? Or is this too much?

 

I asked the pre-school leader if I discuss with her or the children's key person's to decide which age band they are working - either 30-50months or 40-60 months and she looked at me blankly and said they don't plan like that and don't use the age bands. I have never taught nursery and I guess there are difference with nursery and pre-school but I am confused about how they do plan - can any pre-school leaders please advise? Is it too much for me to expect them to know about the age bands?

 

I will spend the first half term making lots of observations of the children so is there anything else I should be doing? I felt my on entry assessments were low last year which did not reflect the children due to a lack of evidence - do I need to see them do these things child initiated like the profile?

 

Thanks! K x

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Hi KST

I am a manager of a pre-school and at present, we follow the Surrey County Council Learning Journeys. Observations, pieces of work and photographs are compiled within the six areas of learning and as each bullet point is achieved, it is dated and a reference given to where the evidence can be found. All staff, whether qualified or not, have a clear understanding of the age 'bands' within the EYFS and roughly work to those guidelines, taking into account ability rather than age.

 

At the end of each half term, keyworkers look back on their last half term obs and plan 'next steps' within a six week summary sheet. We have very limited 'planned learning' for the whole group as we understand the EYFS is an individual learning framework and as such, all children work towards their own level.

 

We also complete a Transition Sheet covering all six areas of learning, to inform the Reception Teacher of where each child is at and any recommendations we feel would be their next steps for learning.

 

dottyp

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Guest Spiral

I know it's a difficult one, but please remember these children are also very young and they are likely to forget an awful lot over the holiday periods (I think they say that 70% of what is taught is forgotten)!

 

Also, we are asked to look at age bands and to plan around the child's abilities, examples of achievement, interests and to progress their next steps.

 

Each county council seems to have a different format for transitional data. In some counties it is broadly achievement based with the six areas of learning and development, in other counties I have found it is aimed at a different matter with there even being forms for particular levels of need and requirement as well as the six areas.

 

Maybe it's a good idea to compare what you were given with what your findings were in Sept with a nursery that would be open enough to discuss frankly?

 

Its an area we struggle with too - we have been aware that the teachers are looking at the children reaching 'targets' and that saddens us - we are play based and very aware that some children do go to school without knowing a range of letters/sounds/numerical data - how can we be responsible for this when we may only see the child for 5 hrs a week?

 

Hope that helps,

 

Spiral.

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I personally find it really odd that pre-schools can't reference via the EYFS age bands as these are what we all work through :o

 

I work closely with our local school and I have a devised a transfer form to send to reception from the Early Years Profile Handbook. We have only made judgement on Scale Points 1-3 and added a personal comment where required from key person. This worked well with staff as they needed to just monitor their children and high light where they were at.

 

This was worked through as part of our transition meetings, we at pre-school basically asked 'What they wanted to know?' as because in previous years we have completed forms that both parties feel are a waste of time.

 

My advise is either divise a form and pass it on to your pre-schools or tell them what you need to know. But please take into consideration many pre-schools have limited bugets and something that will take them lots of time will often not be welcomed as staff often do this at home with no wage paid for their time.

 

Good transition meetings are vital so pre-schools feel valued for what they have achieved so far and teachers get the info that is useful to them

 

Sue

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Hi, I'm pre school and due to send information to my feeder schools. I asked two of my main schools what they'd like from us. One said everything, learning journey, observations, next steps, development matters tracking etc and they'd make it part of their 0 - 5 document. Whilst the other said just the tracking sheet and a paragraph on their personality, they wanted to do all their own stuff as if they weren't interested in the history of the child or the progression made. With regards to age bands we don't mention them specifically on paper work but when we have enough evidence or are confident a child can do something we highlight and date development matters statements gaining overall picture of where the child is at.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi all i'm on a roll tonight we have just had a local gathering of practioners at our local children's centre which invited all our feeder schools, pre-schools and nurseries to take part in. A fantastic way to share and to provide for a smooth transition for both children and parent/carers.

Anything we can do to aid this has got to be good for the children.

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In our LA all preschools/nurseries have to send off transitional documents covering the 6 areas of learning with age bands on from EYFS. (age bands are new to our settings but they are getting used to putting them on in readiness for Progress matters :o )

We also do transition evenings where the schools meet up with the settings and look through the L&D stories and have a general chat about the children. All the teaching staff say these evenings are very valuable xD

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Given that the EYFS has been around for nearly 2 years I think I would somehow expect settings to be able to make a summative judgment based on the framework....after all we do need to know where children are in order to judge have they moved from where they were!! How else do we know that we are actually helping children learn and develop?

 

I know some settings get upset that the next place doesn't appear to want their files and post it's and narratives etc but I really believe that we don't do these for someone else, we do them for ourselves, as our memory bank, to remind us of all the things a child has done. 1 teacher, for example, doesn't easily recall all the details of their 30 children. You need to capture what you need to remember so you can accurately assess when needed. Reception teachers often complain that Yr 1 teachers do exactly the same....ignore their hard work, when in fact all the Yr 1 teacher needs is the summative judgements - not the minutiae of details leading to making them!!!

 

It's the accurate summative judgement I would want as a receiving professional as a transition document.....and I would argue that a child isn't going to slip within a developmental age/stage over the holiday.. as each stage is nearly a years worth of development it would be hard to lose ALL that. If the assessment is based on independent outcomes and behaviours then it tells me where they are and enables me to know when new progress is being made. If someone tells me the child is secure in 30 - 50 in writing then I know what that looks like. And I know it looks different to emerging 30 - 50. So my starting point for planning is more secure and children don't risk further slippage whilst I meddle around trying to work it all out when someone else has done it for me!!!!

 

Cx

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Thank you all for your speedy replies! I'm glad I'm not alone in expecting these results and explains why I have felt my on entry assessment is poor - well because I was having to do it all from scratch really!

 

Catma you summed it up perfectly, that is exactly what I was hoping to recieve. So where should I go from here? I am planning on meeting with the pre-school leader to have a discussion but as they don't really know about all this, then I obviously won't get a full detailed picture. I will have to continue with my own observations and assessment.

 

But going forward - who should I contact about this to ensure this pre-school gets some training? Or should I bring it up with them myself. I have built a good relationship with them over the year so could perhaps offer them some support? I just don't want to offend them and I appreciate that they don't get paid enough to do lots of out of hours work. But clearly summarising a child's attainment within a band shouldn't create lots of extra work if they are planning to their next steps based on EYFS!

 

I do have some concerns about them, a parent coming up told me her daughter can read and write, the pre-school have not told me this yet. They do not do anything to support her development in these areas because they don't feel they should be. Whilst I'm not into pushing children at this young age, if she is at this developmental stage should they not be planning to support her?

 

Really appreciate all the support!

 

KST x

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just to say i work with a variety of schools (we send to 11 different ones on a regular basis!)

I always ask them what they want and try to accomodate using the information we have available....all my children have evidence of where they are in the development matters 'age bands'

My biggest moan is that information on sen children is often overlooked or ignored by school settings and yet the've been with me for 2 years....don't you think i might know them quite well by then!! :o i often offer my staff free of charge to do transitions for these children and teachers often refuse xD

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Hi

 

I work in a pre-school and we have an observation booklet with obs, photos input from parents etc (the nice bit!). Then a "record book of progress" which has all the EYFS strands and goals - the age band bit. We cross reference any steps acheived and noted from obs. into the book of progress. When children move to school we give parents the obs. book and school the record book of progress which they hand back to parents when they start at the school. Originally the local schools asked for transition documents which we bgan to fill in. However this was just duplicating info. from the record book and a waste of time for us so we no longer do this but just give them the actual book. Works really well. We get permission from parents to hand over the record books to school and they know they will get them back from the school.

 

I have to say I wouldn`t be able to say which age band my key children were in as I highlight individual steps as they are acheived and children do not acheive in a uniform way from the top to the bottom of the strands. But from looking at the record book as a whole you can see their progress / abilities as individuals.

 

Sally

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KST, Obviously you meet with parents before the children join, as you mentioned a parent saying what their child could do.

 

Do you ask parents to fill out a questionnaire before that meeting? Our local school does this and we have a copy of the questions so we know what they are expecting/would like on entry.

 

I (supervisor) also meet with the reception teacher to share information about all the children we have who are going to school (with parents permission) this year 10 out of 15 children.

 

Rachel

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Your comments and feedback have been so useful thank you. I have spoken with my feeder pre-school and have arrnaged to meet each key person and chat about the child and for them to share their learning journals. x

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