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Highlightling Development Matters statements


twistedficus1
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Hi Guys

 

New to forum today and very excited to move to FS in September at my new school.

 

When considering assessments I have been told that under no circumstances should we highlight the DM statements to show what children can do but I havent been told why.

 

I know that at my last school the FS team did highlight the statements, colour coding them for different terms. They didnt do this with the ELGs but told me that the unhighlighted statements instantly showed the gaps (which were often due to lack of experiences given).

 

Please help if you can?

 

Many thanks

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One of the main reasons is that dev matters isn't an assessment tool! It's purpose is to give guidance on what a child may be developing at different ages, based on current theory. For example there are well researched "typical" milestones in language development which are reflected through the language aspects. Taken as a whole each band of development gives a range of typical skills a child might be displaying at this particular age. Some skills are more prominent earlier and then seem to disappear in that they are not explicitlly referred to in the next band, but this wouldn't mean they were not being developed still by the child.

The descriptors taken as a whole give you a broad picture to match the broad picture of your knowledge of the child against to consider how they are moving towards the ELGs.

Too narrow a focus on slavishly checking off everything in one band also risks missing what else a child is doing and limiting expectations. It also skews assessments when teachers won't say a child is in 40-60+ because a couple of elements in 30-50 have not been ticked off, yet all the evidence points to a child doing what children of 5 do.

C x

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One of the main reasons is that dev matters isn't an assessment tool! It's purpose is to give guidance on what a child may be developing at different ages, based on current theory. For example there are well researched "typical" milestones in language development which are reflected through the language aspects. Taken as a whole each band of development gives a range of typical skills a child might be displaying at this particular age. Some skills are more prominent earlier and then seem to disappear in that they are not explicitlly referred to in the next band, but this wouldn't mean they were not being developed still by the child.

The descriptors taken as a whole give you a broad picture to match the broad picture of your knowledge of the child against to consider how they are moving towards the ELGs.

Too narrow a focus on slavishly checking off everything in one band also risks missing what else a child is doing and limiting expectations. It also skews assessments when teachers won't say a child is in 40-60+ because a couple of elements in 30-50 have not becked off, yet all the evidence points to a child doing what children of 5 do

 

C x

 

I've got a problem! In PD, with the increased emphasis of handwriting and correct letter formation in PD, and the beginning to use tripod grip in 22-36 months.......if the child is NOT beginning to use tripod grip on entry to nursery, we are assessing them as not in line with age related expectations in moving and handling, even though they are in line in the other aspects of PD. also at the end of 30-50, if they are not secure in copying some letters of their name and using a pencil with good control, as stated in 30-50, then we are assessing them as not at age related on entry into reception. Is this right?

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I,m with you on this not highlighting DM statements as achieved, but at recent training 'what does 30-50m look like and transition' , that's exactly what we were told we should be handing on to the reception teacher, on those ridiculously huge A3 sheets :/

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I'm in a school nursery and, in the past, it has been 'frowned upon' to highlight the DM statements - although they have always done this in F2. However, in my 'wisdom' :ph34r: and to help to input information into the school pupil tracker, I introduced the system of highlighting the DM statements last September. Since then the EYAT has said that there is a change in thinking (i.e. within the LA) in that we SHOULD be highlighting the statements as a tool to help us.

I feel that this HAS helped to give us a broad picture of where a child is at - but the success or otherwise depends very much on how staff use and evaluate the statements; moderation is important here - but something that we never have time to do! :(

x

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We have always had DM statements, but down one side with evidence boxes on other, so not as easy to see gaps immediately as having all age bands for each area on one sheet....a kind person on another thread had condensed onto back to back A4 which we're now going to use, and I can see what the trainer was saying in that the teacher can then look at them and for example see which set of children are already forming recognisable letters from phonic knowledge or which set of children are not yet able to recognise numerals beyond 5, which does make sense .....if that information is given any credence.

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I've got a problem! In PD, with the increased emphasis of handwriting and correct letter formation in PD, and the beginning to use tripod grip in 22-36 months.......if the child is NOT beginning to use tripod grip on entry to nursery, we are assessing them as not in line with age related expectations in moving and handling, even though they are in line in the other aspects of PD. also at the end of 30-50, if they are not secure in copying some letters of their name and using a pencil with good control, as stated in 30-50, then we are assessing them as not at age related on entry into reception. Is this right?

Personally, I'd be looking at the broad age band they best fitted and then identify the skills they still need to develop so they could best fit as broadly in 22-36 on entry to nursery but have a weakness in pencil control. Currently in France sans access to DM so can't look in detail I'm afraid! But I'd always say it's a best fit.

 

Re LAs and guidance, that is their own opinion and not coming from any directive anywhere!

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I am in a school nursery and we do highlight DM but use this to get a broad picture of best fit and to show any significant gaps. My humble opinion is that at least some of the anti highlighting talk is responding to the practice of highlighting statements and not "allowing" children to progress beyond an age band until they have ticked off every statement in the previous one. Our school has an assessment document that follows children from nursery through to year 2 (we are an infant and nursery school) which begins with dev matters and then follows on to the national curriculum levels 1 - 3. We do highlight on a half termly basis and use this to consider a best fit assessment level for each child, to monitor their progress and to identify next steps. I find it useful and our Early Years Advisory Team have not commented unfavourably on either the document or the way we use it.

 

Mel

x

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I can't help thinking that this seems like an awful lot of work, highlighting statements for every child in the class and how much

more productive that time could be. I am in school and am key worker for all my class and I just 'know' where they are, strengths and weaknesses. I would never dream of wasting my time highlighting sheets. I know what each child needs to work on and have differentiated group work to address keys skills, monitoring progress and rearranging groups when needed.

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Thanks for responses. I'm quite like you Rufus and am always very aware of where my children are at any time. However a recent sicness of a colleague who followed a similar vein meant her cover teacher had no clue how to justify where the children were (KS2) and so that raises issues too.

I wasnt thinking of restricting highlighting to one band but rather using it fluidly to identify gaps.

I really do appreciate your comments. X

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I can't help thinking that this seems like an awful lot of work, highlighting statements for every child in the class and how much

more productive that time could be. I am in school and am key worker for all my class and I just 'know' where they are, strengths and weaknesses. I would never dream of wasting my time highlighting sheets. I know what each child needs to work on and have differentiated group work to address keys skills, monitoring progress and rearranging groups when needed.

 

Hi Rufus,

 

There is no denying that the highlighting takes up a chunk of time. It sounds like you are very on the ball and have everything planned to meet the needs of your children, my question is what do you have as paper work evidence for the dreaded Ofsted? My experience has been that although the EYFS advisors have a big emphasis on knowing your children and anti highlighting that when Ofsted pitch up they want hard and fast paperwork showing exactly where each child is, what their next steps are and how you got to that assessment. I would be really interested in what you have to wave at them when they come charging in! For me it has always been the big discrepancy in that we get one message from the EYFS advisors etc... but then when the people with all the power to judge you come in (often with no EYFS background) they seem to want to see a whole different set of practices.... ARGHHHH

 

Mel

x

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Hi melcatfish.....this was questioned at our recent ofsted by the inspector, when looking through a child's lj, she had spoken to 3 of us independently about the same child, thankfully we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, giving the same info regards level of progress, interests, next steps.....saying we clearly knew our children, but without going through evidence, observations in lj she couldn't quickly see next steps, so would also be interested to see how people show this in lj's, do you have a separate sheet where all next steps are recorded for each area ?

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Hi melcatfish.....this was questioned at our recent ofsted by the inspector, when looking through a child's lj, she had spoken to 3 of us independently about the same child, thankfully we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, giving the same info regards level of progress, interests, next steps.....saying we clearly knew our children, but without going through evidence, observations in lj she couldn't quickly see next steps, so would also be interested to see how people show this in lj's, do you have a separate sheet where all next steps are recorded for each area ?

 

My planning has two parts - a weekly sheet which shows enhancements to the continuous provision and has boxes for adult initiated \ adult supported activities linked to specific children's next steps and the children's next steps sheets which generally last half a term to a term.

 

For each child there is a sheet showing their current next steps (starting at the beginning of the year with most of them just have Prime area Next Steps and then one for each area once they are settled in. Next to these we hand write in what we have done to support this whether that is providing specific resourcing for CI play or an AI activity or if an adult (usually the key person) is planning to support and scaffold their CI in order to give them opportunities to develop whatever the next step is.

 

I keep their own individual sheets to aid assessment and to ensure everyone's next steps are covered but to make our lives easier I also copy and paste the next steps into a second set of sheets (one for each area) showing groups of children with the same or similar next steps so that an adult planning an activity for one child's next step can also see any other children who may benefit from the same or similar input. These sheets are kept on the wall (in an area parents don't go) to ensure we can all access them easily. We annotate so you can see what has and has not been covered.

 

Mel

x

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Hi Rufus,

 

There is no denying that the highlighting takes up a chunk of time. It sounds like you are very on the ball and have everything planned to meet the needs of your children, my question is what do you have as paper work evidence for the dreaded Ofsted? My experience has been that although the EYFS advisors have a big emphasis on knowing your children and anti highlighting that when Ofsted pitch up they want hard and fast paperwork showing exactly where each child is, what their next steps are and how you got to that assessment. I would be really interested in what you have to wave at them when they come charging in! For me it has always been the big discrepancy in that we get one message from the EYFS advisors etc... but then when the people with all the power to judge you come in (often with no EYFS background) they seem to want to see a whole different set of practices.... ARGHHHH

 

Mel

x

Hi Mel

I am not a big one for unnecessary paperwork - rightly or wrongly. My LJ's reference the DM statements clearly and any relevant next steps. These next steps are then recorded on a class list which is a working document for all adults, this is updated approximately half termly and filed so that a bank of evidence is kept. Each term we mark down on tracker sheet where each child is in relation to DM months and whether they are, emerging, developing, secure ( OFSTED liked this) We spend more time discussing the children, where they are, what intervention needs to take place etc.

this worked for OFSTED a few months ago, they didn't want to see much paperwork because they were happy that what was in place was comprehensive and all linked in. Each OFSTED team is different but in my experience they only want to dig deeper if you cannot show them that what you do is child and progress driven. All I can say is what we do works for us, makes me feel that time is spent on the things that matter and keeps all adults in the know. We got outstanding with no areas for improvement so something must be going ok. However I know some people's experience of OFSTED is completely different.

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Hi Mel

I am not a big one for unnecessary paperwork - rightly or wrongly. My LJ's reference the DM statements clearly and any relevant next steps. These next steps are then recorded on a class list which is a working document for all adults, this is updated approximately half termly and filed so that a bank of evidence is kept. Each term we mark down on tracker sheet where each child is in relation to DM months and whether they are, emerging, developing, secure ( OFSTED liked this) We spend more time discussing the children, where they are, what intervention needs to take place etc.

this worked for OFSTED a few months ago, they didn't want to see much paperwork because they were happy that what was in place was comprehensive and all linked in. Each OFSTED team is different but in my experience they only want to dig deeper if you cannot show them that what you do is child and progress driven. All I can say is what we do works for us, makes me feel that time is spent on the things that matter and keeps all adults in the know. We got outstanding with no areas for improvement so something must be going ok. However I know some people's experience of OFSTED is completely different.

 

Well done on the Outstanding in a difficult inspection climate. It sounds like you have a system which works well for you and pleased Ofsted. I think there are so many ways people organise their assessment and planning that there many possible "right ways" to do it. Our highlighting feeds into the whole school assessment and planning approach so even if I didn't feel it was helping I probably would have a lot of difficulty getting out of it but I do find that the way we do it is useful for us and works within our system - as I mentioned previously no one is a slave to the highlighter refusing to allow children to progress until every last statement is marked off or anything scary like that but for us we find it a useful tool in helping us build a picture of where each child is at any given time in the year and to provide evidence of that to Ofsted.

 

Thanks for sharing your methods, it is always good to read how everyone else tackles these things, especially when their approach is deemed to be outstanding by Mr O!

 

Mel

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