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Formal Testing In Reception!


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Does anyone know the offical line on formal testing?


I have been asked by my head to complete the formal NFER test on my reception children.


This i am not happy about because i have never used formal tests to assess reception children and don't want to start now. I had enough of seeing Y2 children stressed out during SATS to last me a life time last year.

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oh dear! It was bad enough that my GTP trainee had to do the NFER tests at the beginning of year one!


No you should not be doing these tests. The FS profile is the statutory assessment package for reception. There is no need for you to complete anything else (unless you find it useful for your benefit). Does your Head not know this? Sometimes Heads are not up to speed on foundatin stage issues and may need some clarification themselves!

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Margaret Hodge very clear on this: profile is the assessment as Mundia says and has written to CEO's of LEAs and to heads to say so.


Gist of this letter :


child's progress can be recorded in the scale booklet but these are optional


There is no need for


extensive collections of evidence for individual children and no need to complete more than one record



It is not necessary to complete an LEA record AND an optional scale booklet.


The letter asks that FS practitioners are not required to undertake "non-statutory assessments"




the full guidance for assessment is found here in the QCA guidance if you haven't seen it.

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Where can get a copy of this letter as I have to complete PIVATS 3 times each year and this is very time consuming and of course i do stepping stones as well. i would like to draw this to the attention of my HT

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It was addressed to strategy managers/CEO's and heads. I've only seen it through my strategy manager (because I work in the primary team).The message is to the LEA's to make sure they are giving the right message. Thinking about it, the letter to heads may possibly have been for LEA's to send out, I'm not sure. But the guidance for practitioners about the profile on the strategy website contains the same information (although is not so direct about the not doing other asessments on top of the profile bit) copy of that below:


start of content

The Foundation Stage Profile: A briefing for practitioners


Date of issue: Mar. 2005

Audience: Foundation Stage practitioners



We know that there continues to be some uncertainity about what early years practitioners have to do when they use the Foundation Stage Profile. This feature summaries what practitioners are required to do and what is optional.


All good practitioners assess children's progress throughout the year. The Foundation Stage Profile provides a framework for summarising children's progress and learning needs at the end of the foundation stage. It is made up of 13 scales based on early learning goals.


* Practitioners must assess children throughout the final year of the foundation stage in relation to the early learnng goals.

* The end of foundation stage assessment must be completed by 30 June or two weeks before the end of term, whichever is earlier.

* Schools must report a score for each child against each of the 13 scales to their Local Education Authority (LEA). This can be done via the school Management Information System (MIS) or another method agreed with the LEA.


It is for individual practitioners to use their professional judgement as to how much record keeping they want to do and how they keep the records.


Completion of the QCA Profile Scales booklet with the 117 scale points is not obligatory. It is provided as an optional guide for practitioners to use throughout the year to help them come to a view on how a child has progressed.


If their LEA is able to provide technical support, schools may also use the electronic Foundation Stage Profile (eProfile) as a means of recording progress. It provides direct input into the MIS for submitting results to the LEA. A link to the softwate can found on TeacherNet at: www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/tools/schoolsdataportal/eprofile/


* Schools must provide parents with a written account of their child's progress for each of the 13 scales at the end of the foundation stage.

* Schools must also give parents an opportunity to discuss the Profile and its results with the practitioner at a parents evening or equivakent during the summer term or as soon as possible after.

* Where a parent requests a copy of the practitioner's record of their child, the school must provide it. This can be their own Profile document or the QCA Profile Scales booklet.


LEAs moderate the Profile assessments to ensure that there is consistency in judgements between practitioners, schools and settings. It is not expected that practitioners collect extensive portfolios of evidence for each individual child.


Further information can be found in the QCA Foundation stage and key stage 1 assessment and reporting arrangements sent to schools in October each year.


Support for practitioners in carrying out the Profile judgement is provided by LEA Early Years Advisers and Primary National Straetgy Consultants.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After much discussion and quoting of articles with my head. I still have had to complete the NFER tests for reception aged children.


And guess what they haven't told me anything i didn't already no about my children. Its just been a paper filling exercise!!! Even the Y1 teacher has said the profile info and the new Derbyshire progress grids are more useful than the test results.


I think next year if i can manage to get on the e profile course that might impress the head and governors because it prints off pretty graphs and tables. Then the tests might get by passed some how!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

last year we had to do both english and maths NFER tests in reception which I resented uniequivicly (spelling?... I've had a few beers!)


It took us 2 weeks of 'teaching time' to get through the whole class and during the literacy test I had 2 children actually start crying.


All along we had tried to make it like a game, and as fun as possible as you do...... but they know it's a test.... and they knew they couldn't do it... so they got upset and these were some of my more able!


I was so cut up at having to put them through it and told my SMT.


This year we don't have to do the Literacy but we still have to do the numeracy... it is so wrong in every sense... I can't belive we have to test atall... nevermind in reception!!!!!!


~ Paul

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