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variation in assessment grade


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Hi all

 

we had a last day yesterday :D (yay summer hols are here) however I do still have one question on my mind. We had are parent open morning and one of the parents were not so happy as we had graded their child lower than the other nursery that she attends.

 

Now obviously we feel the other nursery has either graded too high, or that the child reacts differently in the other setting. We have looked at the grades again and still feel that they are more than fair. We have stuck to our guns, the other setting has even said they can see why we have graded as we have, but parents a little unhappy.

 

So what do others do in this situation stick to your guns? grade to high as well so you are in line with the other setting? obviously parents are going to think that as the setting grading lower we are the ones 'in the wrong' rather than taking issue with the higher grading setting. Was just curious as others must have come across this situation and wondered what you all did.

 

have a wonderful summer everyone xxx

 

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When you say 'grades' do you mean DM agebands?

I agree with Catma and think the best way is to moderate with the other setting but is the child going to school or will she be with you next year? If she is going to school, it may be a bit late to moderate unless you get together with the other setting at the beginning of next term and make a decision. In our area we have to pass on all records directly to the school before the end of term (so there would be no going back for us). If children attend more than one setting, we try to keep in touch through the year and pass progress reports back and forth so if there are discrepancies we would see these. Having said that, other nurseries and pre-schools are happy to do this, but we struggle to get schools to take part.

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Hi

 

we did chat with the other setting before this and thought we had agreed what level the little one was working at, but was still different. She is staying on with us so we do have time to work more on this relationship but I did think it seemed to highlight that one best fit judgement isn't always the same as another person idea of best fit. As I said we did swap paperwork throughout this term (the child only joined us this term) but for some reason the end of term assessments differed.

 

When I said assessment I meant the age band development so 30-50 months (emerging/secure) or 40-60 months (emerging /secure)

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When you say 'grades' do you mean DM agebands?

I agree with Catma and think the best way is to moderate with the other setting but is the child going to school or will she be with you next year? If she is going to school, it may be a bit late to moderate unless you get together with the other setting at the beginning of next term and make a decision. In our area we have to pass on all records directly to the school before the end of term (so there would be no going back for us). If children attend more than one setting, we try to keep in touch through the year and pass progress reports back and forth so if there are discrepancies we would see these. Having said that, other nurseries and pre-schools are happy to do this, but we struggle to get schools to take part.

This is really interesting! We're a school nursery and work fabulously with childminders but have had massive issues getting responses from pre schools and other nurseries. I even suspect some are using the information we send them as evidence of partnership working, when in fact there is no interaction on their part!!

Regarding your 'grading' point, we don't 'grade' the children at all on their final nursery report. The records we pass onto their Reception class clearly show the DM level, but we don't include that in their report. Obviously reception do show the level they are working at. I would be interested to now if other nurseries routinely share the DM level with parents.

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Could it just be that the child has been in the other setting longer and only a term with you, so they have gained more evidence to be more confident about recording higher band,......but having said that ours vary from key person to key person as to which bands they feel children are working at.

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I have a great relationship with 2 of my 7 feeder schools and they both tell me they know our grading are more often than not spot on.

However a couple of years ago we had 2 children who went to two different settings one left to go into Reception and one to school nursery - one day nursery had a child at 40-60 and achieving most ELG we had 30-50 across the board

 

The other was our Children's centre who marked 40-60 across the board we had emerging 30-50 but for PD only emerging 22-36 (he was going into school nursery and was only 3 and a couple of months!) the boy had an op on his foot and had problems with gross motor skills, was still in nappies and was just a very young 3yr old - the mum refused to let us send the report to school!! It did cause a lot of bad feeling with the parents who almost completely took him out of Pre-school.

Because of my relationship with school I did find out when they'd done their baseline line we were spot on - but the confidence for us had been knocked by the parents attitude.

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This is exactly like us thumperrabbit I would genuinely say we were wrong if I felt we were. This little one is staying with us not going to school and we do share records with parents at open mornings every term, (I thought this was expected) but because the parents had seen the report from the other nursery that is when the difference was highlighted.

 

Our school also tell us we are spot on as far as they are concerned with regard to the leavers and their baseline assessments, so although this little one is not going to school I feel that our 'judgement' overall would be the same for the children staying or going. I do feel the other nursery inflated the grade and to be fair can see then why the parent has a problem with our grade rather than the possibly inflated one, lots of parents want to 'see' how clever their children are. The joke of it is this little one is one of twins, done by same key person so same criteria and standards and they are very happy with the other one!! :huh: so judgement is fine with one but called into question with the other!!!

 

This is the reason why I don't really like the assessment grades, we should be looking, in my opinion at the journey the children take not just a destination that is open to interpretation depending on person, setting or experience. Just my opinion though :ph34r:

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I struggle with having to make 'judgements' about children and 'measuring' progress by using things like the Development matters statements, I know we have to show in some way how the children we are working with are progressing but the DM statements are guidance - it states this on the Foundation years website

 

" The age/stage bands are the same as they were previously. They overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development. When you use Development Matters it is however important to remember that babies and young children develop at their own rates and in their own ways. The development statements and their order are not necessary steps for every child and should not be used as checklists. "

 

So as a setting you have based your judgements on what you have observed - the other setting will have done the same based on their observations, and a best fit judgement made - and as others have said it's the child's journey that is the important stuff, not just tickable 'achievements'.

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How I see it, the whole of the EYFS is the child's journey and some children will reach the 'are we nearly there yet' stage far quicker than others. I think grading them in nursery will only worry parents of the children who mature later and will get there by the end of reception. I also know our reception have, up to now, base lined without any regard for our end of nursery assessment and tracking! However, I believe that in September this year there will be some comparison between the 2 although possibly not until baseline has been done and they should be continuing to use the grids we've started.. We have the evidence etc to support our judgements, so any attempt to see 'how low can you go' should be interesting!

 

Clearly if a child is a considerable way away from age related expectation in DM you will have picked this up, spoken to the parent and perhaps put an IEP and some intervention in place to support them.

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Johanna1 - We have discussed this as a team and I have now decided that next summer we will only give the grades for any children leaving for Reception (as we currently do)

 

For those who are leaving to go to school nursery (which for us can be anytime between 2-3yrs) we aren't going to do an extra report with grades, as a lot of these children will not long have had a 2yr progress check which does give a grade.

With both age ranges there are the highlighted Dev Matters sheets in every childs folder, so the teachers will be able to tell where they are from that.

For me the 30-50mth band is too broad and children can be within there for a long time, which for some parents seems like their little one isn't progressing when they are!

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Hi all

 

we had a last day yesterday :D (yay summer hols are here) however I do still have one question on my mind. We had are parent open morning and one of the parents were not so happy as we had graded their child lower than the other nursery that she attends.

 

Now obviously we feel the other nursery has either graded too high, or that the child reacts differently in the other setting. We have looked at the grades again and still feel that they are more than fair. We have stuck to our guns, the other setting has even said they can see why we have graded as we have, but parents a little unhappy.

 

So what do others do in this situation stick to your guns? grade to high as well so you are in line with the other setting? obviously parents are going to think that as the setting grading lower we are the ones 'in the wrong' rather than taking issue with the higher grading setting. Was just curious as others must have come across this situation and wondered what you all did.

 

have a wonderful summer everyone xxx

This is very interesting isnt it.....I work in more than one setting and in my primary setting we are quite "low markers" that is unless we know 100% that that child is there we dont tick. I always explain to parents that this isnt anything to worry about...if I was being observed during the week you wouldnt be able to tick the "can drive a car" box as I only drive at weekends...also I didnt learn to drive until I was almost 30 so if I was being graded by tables I probably wouldnt have a tick in the 18-25 year old box which is when most people do this! Another point though is that in some settings I have visited keyworkers seem t think that they need to be ticking boxes for development and havent grasped the "Prime areas" as the major focus for very small children....I have argued when working in such settings that it is not appropriate to plan in the baby room for maths etc...that the main focus should be on pse/phy/cll....if someone in a baby room has ticked a box saying child can do a mathematical level way above their age band then when they move to the next room and that ability doesnt appear to be there....it is very very hard for the new keyworker to explain why this is. Whenever we make a judgement statement we are subject to outside pressures.....government pressure to show progression/ parental pressures/ heirarchy pressures from our employers/ our own discourse on education...and then of course there are the children......who seem to exert the leas pressure on the process....when actually it should be all about them!

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we did take the 'grade' bit or link to EYFS off our obs thinking that the important part was what children did what the experience was, not grading it where essentially there is still an aspect of pass or fail which I do not agree with. We did put the age band links on the summary sheets as we thought this was expected.

 

However we will have to put the 'grading' back on the observations as this is something Ofsted picked us up on and demands we put back on!!!! :( each observation no matter how big or small has to have an analysis (despite we felt this being in the actual observation) and the EYFS age band link!!! :angry:

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Feel free to jump in and correct me if I am wrong here, but I have always laboured away under the impression that it isn't within Ofsted's remit to have an opinion on how you record observations etc, especially since the revised EYFS came into force which states that assessment should be based on observations of children, 'some of which may be recorded'. Conflicting indeed :(

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we did take the 'grade' bit or link to EYFS off our obs thinking that the important part was what children did what the experience was, not grading it where essentially there is still an aspect of pass or fail which I do not agree with. We did put the age band links on the summary sheets as we thought this was expected.

 

However we will have to put the 'grading' back on the observations as this is something Ofsted picked us up on and demands we put back on!!!! :( each observation no matter how big or small has to have an analysis (despite we felt this being in the actual observation) and the EYFS age band link!!! :angry:

We were inspected last week and our inspector told us that they are no longer to refer to development matters (which is where the development bands are) so I don't see what difference it makes now. We were told as of two weeks back inspectors are not to ask for, refer to or mention in their reports deveolpment matters. Hence whilst I showed our planning/obs/learning journeys all linking into dev.matters....it won't be written in the report nor did the inspector look see whether our obs linked to the right areas or bands!

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We were inspected last week and our inspector told us that they are no longer to refer to development matters (which is where the development bands are) so I don't see what difference it makes now. We were told as of two weeks back inspectors are not to ask for, refer to or mention in their reports deveolpment matters. Hence whilst I showed our planning/obs/learning journeys all linking into dev.matters....it won't be written in the report nor did the inspector look see whether our obs linked to the right areas or bands!

 

Thanks for that enuffsenuf :1b

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So are we not supposed to link our obs to the EYFS development matters then?

 

Who knows! :ph34r: :blink: xD

 

I intend to carry on doing so - this for my own and my staffs 'benefit' and for my parents 'interest'.........apart from following Statutory Requirements (obviously!) little of what I choose to do has anything thing to do with 'pleasing' the big O :ph34r: :rolleyes: :1b

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I am very confused too. When the Ofsted lady came to us she really did look at observations and age band assessments. She claimed that despite what the observation itself 'showed'/'proved' that without the links/grades she couldn't tell if the children were progressing. I showed her our summary sheets and cohort tracking which was what we use and have always used really, but she said without the links/grades on the bottom of the observations she couldn't tell where our assessments had come from!!! so she really did do a lot of looking and said she was going to put this in the report (although we are still waiting for the report)

 

So it seems as normal the inspection is down again to who you get and how the interpret what they have been told I suppose! but what to do in the future??? :ph34r:

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So are we not supposed to link our obs to the EYFS development matters then?

Well I'm not changing anything yet...but I suspect there will be something new heading our way :blink: at some point from the delightful Mr Gove etc al...no doubt involving conjugating Latin Verbs, Quadratic Equations and nano particle theory! ;) I must say I'm not in love with the dev matters as for me somethings are not there which I would like to see...for example for me recognising colours is most definitely a cognitive development not just an expressive activity. However I am a realist and it oesnt matter what we do...it won't suit everyone as we all have different discourse etc on what children should learn/how/and when. It would however be nice to have something for a little while to give it long enough to see if it works as at the moment to deconstruct how I see it....I can picture myself sitting in a room watching the screen with someone else holding the zapper and just as I think "aha....I know what I'm doing here" and start to settle into the sofa......the person in the other chair switches channels! :ph34r: but that's enough thinking for one day.........

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I have a new child who started after the May half term and therefore I did not need to do her data. I would have put her as emerging in many categories especially for Maths. Her report arrived and she was expected in all areas. My data looks quite low as I have been very honest and my GLD is low. The whole assessment and monitoring is open to so much interpretation. I thought assessing maths would be easy as it is obvious if they are not confident with numbers up to 20. This child can't order, recognise and count above 10. In my book that is emerging????

 

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