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Target Setting In Reception And Beyond


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We have been discussing target setting as a whole school issue, mainly thinking in terms of the children's predicted national curriculum levels etc. It has been suggested that in order to give Year One something meaningful to work with, we should use the p-scales in Reception, since the FSP doesn't give an easily quantifiable 'result'. I'm very dubious about this idea, as the p-scales are supposed to be for special needs children, not pre-national curriculum aged children. Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? :o

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HI Sara

Thanks for starting our first discussion here.

Like you, I would be dubious about the use of the Pscales as target setting indicators in Reception/Foundation. They are, as you you indicate for use with children with Special needs. My own experience of them is limited as I do not have access to them in school although I did download something to support the profile from the QCA site last summer. I believe they are also for Nat Curriculum so not necessarily relevant from that point of view either. Are they age appropriate?

 

Surely your targets should be to acheive or exceed ELGs ie acheive 8 or 9 on profile scales?

Your work is surely cut out planning and delivering, observing and moving forward the FS curriculum without introducing something else.

 

Wonder what everyone else is doing?

 

Susan

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I think most schools are facing this issue in one guise or another. I have fought hard (and won this round) NOT to use the p scales as they are for national curriculum specila needs- whats the point of having our own curriculum and profile if we are then still matching children agaianst NC levels?? The profile guidance is quite clear on this too. Our targets, as Susan has suggested are based on the profile. As people become more familiar with the scoring in the profile, I think Heads will see it at less of a problem.

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Hi,

 

I run an assessment nursery in a special school. We use the P scales, because we are working with children significantly below the level of national curriculum and the foundation stage profiles.

 

The foundation stage of the National Curriculum, is a very important stage in it's own right. It has its own assessment criteria which is what foundation teachers should be using. I have heard that some schools find it easier in year 1 if they have something to dove-tail into for their planning and assessment, but the P scales are not the answer. They are a very valuable tool for special needs, and we in 'special schools' are very grateful for them. They are not perfect because they are not always in developmental order, but at least they are nationally recognised.

 

If you have a child working at levels P1 to P3, then the P levels need to be used. After that there is the 'birth to three matters' and of course the foundation stage 'footprints' and the 'foundation stage profile.'

The P levels do not reflect the 'foundation' areas of study because they were written for the National Curriculum.

 

We early years practitioners have known for a very long time that Nursery is a very important part of a child's education, even though it's true status has only recently been recognised. It is now called the Foundation stage of the "National Curriculum," and not just seen as something vague that goes on before the children start their real education.

 

Do you have a Foundation Stage Advisory Teacher who could help and support you regarding the use of the profile. It is important that we are seen as a key stage in our own right, and although it may be inconvenient, key stage 1 teachers need to become familiar with the foundation profile and learn how to use it effectively to inform their planning and assessment criteria.

 

I hope this is helpful,

 

Rosie Jackson

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Guest oldgirlclarke

Hello

I agree with what has been said. In my school we have used the profile statements to set targets for each child in our classes. Our management team have been quite supportive in this as they see the profile as having an important role in informing Y1 teachers and others further on through the school. I know that it means more reading and 'work' for the Y1 teachers as they get to know the profile like we do but where's the harm in that? :o

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Hallo oldgirlclarke,

thanks for joining us and on this one. I think you've a very valid point there, of course the year one teachers should be aware of the profiles- I'm fed up with the assumption that the children don't know x because when they assessed them, they didn't respond! At least thats one good thing about Baselines disappearance.

 

Susan

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Hello all,

We use the PIPs baseline assessments to set overall class targets for literacy and numeracy ie how many of the children will achieve the ELG/Lit/Num targets at the end of the year, this is part of my performance management. We focus on one aspect ie what percentage will be able to write a simple sentence and be able to recognise number 0 - 9. The children each have a target card for Lit eg I want to write my own name, and Num eg I want to count 10 objects. I try to review these targets each half term with the children.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very interested to read this topic. I am Foundation Stage Co-ordinator and along with my other reception colleague we find the Foundation Stage Profile useful in many ways. However I was under pressure from my Head at the start of the year to continue with the baseline assessment as she wanted a quantifiable and measureable figure by which to set targets for this cohort of children. I am happy to report that I won the battle, if not the war, and we did not do a baseline assessment. However, the head has now challenged me to come up with some measureable data about the children's attainment of entry. Can anyone help with suggestions about what they do in their setting? Also is there any information about which details what the end of Foundation Stage Profile scores acutally mean in terms of future attainment - another challenge thrown my way - does a child scoring 114 become a potential Level 3? What score means we should start pressing alarm buttons etc.......... I think I know the answers but would like to know if I can base them on anything more concrete!

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Hi

 

Susieb, think I must have missed your post or I'd have responded to it.

I really find it quite worrying that the children's attainment is going to be used for your performance management.

 

Our cohorts of children vary so greatly and especially at this young age sometimes they children do not attain the targets you set or would want for them no matter how hard you as the teacher work. So far I've not been given this stick to beat myself with!

 

 

If the children don't attain, does that mean you've failed to perform well enough and likewise your performance management. On the same line, if they attain perhaps you did not expect enough?

 

Angela, you also raise some interesting points. We also are trying to work some way to demonstrate value added. I thought that the profile statistics were going to give some data like the old Baseline but in my LEA they have only been used to show one schools performance against another. That opens yet another can of worms.

 

Anyone else out there on this one?

 

Susan

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Difficult one this one isnt it? I think eventually there will be some relationship between the 'score' in the PSP and KS1 targets. But then of course if the SATS go (she says hopefully) it will be all change again.

 

Angela, I dont envy your position there, Ive not been asked to do this one yet. Our Head is well aware that every school is in the same boat and is therfore happy to wait until something 'official' comes along.

I do rememebr reading somewhere but I can't remember where, that only between 30-50%of children are expected to reach 8 or 9 on every scale inthe FSP, so I dont know how that compares to a level 3 at KS1. Also that about 2% will reach 9 across the board and 2% wont reach at least 4 across the board. So a score of 114 sounds very high.

That probably doesnt help but it does show that none of us really know on this one.

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Congratulations Mundia! You've made it to 100 too!!

 

Did your LEAs moderate last year?

Mine didn't & statistics that are now revealed are alarming!

I spent hours on my own & with my team analysing the statements and examples (against our children's performance) to determine if we could score. My head encouraged a cautionary approach but others obviously did not. Needless to say our results don't compare favourably although the advisory team have acknowledged verbally that we are probably accurate, the paperwork stands!

Who will beat me with that I wonder, although our school can only go up, hopefully!

 

I tried to make an initial judgement against the profile to establish an entry point, I have worked in my LEA to establish a document that feeds into the Profile to be used in F1. but have found this unbelievably time consuming. We complained last year that we did not have the profiles in time but I can not see now how it is going to a manageable workload as a cummulative document either.

 

Any ideas?

 

susan

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Yes I made the 100 and believe me I feel it today (re post about lunar eclipse).

Can you tell us something about the work you did in your LEA and why it was time consuming?. We have our own profile in nursery (based on stepping stones) which is also quite lengthy but we feel the work is worth it and believe it will get quicker as we become more confident and know the stepping stones inside out. We havent (yet) been asked to justify why we dont use the LEA's baseline. Its the obsession with scores and numbers that get me, fortunately my head isnt like that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Mundia,long time responding to you as I was snowed under when i read your post & forgot!

Now I've another question, but before that on to yours.

 

I worked with our LEA F/S advisor and a group of Nursery practitioners to develop a FS1 lead in to the FSP.

We are hoping that all preschool advisors will adopt it to record children's progress & attainment intheir setiing so that we in FS2 can acknowledge what has gone before.

The FSP statements appear in bold and stepping stones were used to move forwards or back from these statements.

 

At halfterm I tried to match my observations and knowledge of the children to this new profile but couldn't!!

That was the time consuming bit as after 1 hr & 2 profiles I gave up. I was hoping to be able to give a picture of each child to allow us to demonstrate value added.

 

Iam now being asked to target set against the FSP, (Maths & Literacy). but what I find even more diquietening is that I have asked to give details of children for a Gifted & Talented register.

Most of my children are EAL, which at this stage can affect them quite considerably but development is so crucial at this stage that I am reluctant to complete this. Am I being reasonable in this or does everyone do this?

 

Susan

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I'm following this discussion in detail - and thank goodness it is proving my point that there are still a lot of unanswered questions - sometimes it can feel like everyone in the world except me knows what is happening so it's reassuring to hear that other colleagues are in the same boat!! Thank goodness for this forum, that's what I say!! I'm using some of the answers to bolster my one woman stand against baseline, so thanks so much for contributing. Our LEA is also just using figures to compare schools so not much help from them really. This one will run and run I think, but I do feel a little less isolated. Ah well, back to the grindstone - I'm just sorting out our Xmas production so a little light relief there!!!

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Hi Susan. Ive never been asked to complete anything for gifted and talented. My children are like yours, 99% EAL, with a huge majority not having especially good language skills in their home language. I think its far too early to be thinking about gifted and talented at that age. Perhaps my experiences are unusual, but I have only ever once taught a child I would honestly put into this category and his special ability was art. Can you object? Or simply say that there isnt anyone?

 

Angela, I know what you mean about sometimes feeling that you are the only person with a particular problem. Only to find out when you come along here, that everyone else is asking the same questions. Im lucky that my Head lets me and my partner get on with it and trust us totally- but we do always make sure that we can justify every decision we make.

I dont envy you with the Christmas production -thats something else that I dont have to do. Although ther is an Eid party to preapre for next week....

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Gosh, isnt this a debate that will be with us for a while1 we have not completed any form of baseline this year as I feel there was enough to do with the initial parents meeting for the profile. The new E.profile is on the web now and should come too from your LEA. This gives all sorts of information and might help with value added. I just think it is a shame that the information coming from the FS1 settings cannot be used as some sort of baseline.

What about the idea that the Foundation Stage shoul be extended to the end of year one?

Chris

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Thanks Mundia,

I'll fight this corner, we were talking in school about it today. My other 2 Reception techers were happily filling in their forms but I don't agree. One of my brighter children is also one of the oldest so of course he's performimng at a higher level.

The form is also quite ridiculous- G&T at sports, fair enough --I have had a child who was particularly accurate at hitting the food out of the home corner with the base of a saucepan, throwing the food into yhe air & hitting it across the room as it descended. Strangely, it wasn't a behaviour that I encouraged except with a bat and ball outside!! But the child who can ride the 2 wheeler bike just proves he has had access to one and perfected the skill doesn't it?

 

I agree with you entirely Angela. Its great to come on here & find we all have the same issues!

The profile has to continue to be a big issue at least for this school year.

 

Susan

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This is a hot potato!!! I use Foundation Stage Target Tracker to record the Stepping stones achieved and Profile statements. This was disastorus last year as I had trouble with the software! Eventually I managed to sort it out and transferred the data to the Primary Target Tracker but my profile scores when fed in gave predictions for Y6 that were just very average and yet the class I had were very able and achieving well particularly in literacy. This was a bit of a shock for my Head teacher!

Now I am going for Threshold it has raised new problems for evidence for the last years pupil progress.

I agree about the FS Profile flowing into Y1 otherwise what happens with those children who haven't achieved points 8 or 9 as they move into KS1??? :o

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Yes I agree with you HeyJude. We have just had our annual 'teaching and learning' observations, (which were great in Foundation), and the Head has been very clear that people should not feel pressured by what the children 'should' be able to do. Obvious really but it does mean that children in year 1 who haven't made the 8 or 9 in the FSP need to work on that. In our case, thats a lot of children. But the hard thing is persuading the year 1 staff of that .

I shouldnt worry about the Threshold, when I did mine, it was all so much easier than I was expecting, and my Head was well supportive. Is your Head questioning your pupil's progress? Isnt that evident from the FSP. We went round this loop with the Baseline in reception which was making silly predictions for SATS but then I discovered that it was statistically flawed (my background is part in statistics) and they accepted that the predictions didnt matter, it was the progress made during the time with you that was important. So do challenge this if it is causing a problem.

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Makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for your input. The Head isn't questioning the pupil progress at all and has been very encouraging about it. It's just the evidence bit in terms of data and numbers. I've only been back in teaching for 2 years, having had a break for 12 years, and my first year was with Y2. So last year was my first Reception experience and this was quite tough with Profile being introduced and a new way of thinking about FS. It should be easier this year(???) especially as I now have my Target Tracker programme running as it should.

I think all we need as teachers is heaps of reassurance and encouragement (which my Head gives lots of to us in Early Years!). :o

Thanks again,

heyjude

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Hiya, It's a computer package for tracking children's progress. In KS1 & 2 thay use it to input data and levels etc. and set next step targets. However, they have just "invented" one for Foundation Stage which has on it all the Stepping stones, profile statements and Essex phases (can do statements). It can be used to plan for the children and record progress - print out a report and produce useful graphs to show how children are progressing and where the gaps are. I think it's an Essex thing and currently running in over 700 schools.

It is a very useful tool (when you eventually get it going properly because it's still in its infancy - still being developed).

Just shout for more details,

heyjude

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Hi

I'd be really interested in knowing more about this.

Is it available to all or only in Essex?

If so where can I find out more & price etc?

 

We are contemplating getting Early years complete by Skills Factory as we have Curriculum complete for KS1 but the Reception bit on there is abit naf.

 

Susan

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Heyjude. I would be interested too in the tracking system. Tried to find it on the web but think it might have to be taken on board by an LEA. I hope not! The E.Profile is on the web but is only for recording FS profile information and therefore not useful for FS1. I developed one in line with our school tracking but, now that we have the profile, it is no use :o

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Heyjude, it does sound interesting, and there isnt anything like you tracker up here as far as I know. But is it any good? Im very cynical about any kind of number crunching (as I said, my statistical background makes me appreciate that we can make statistics say whatever we want). But I wouldnt mind looking at it if its downloadable form somewhere. Do keep us posted, and good luck with the Threshold

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Susan, I dont know about the QCA but I know its downloadable form my LEA, Brimingham, www.bgfl.org/aspects.

I strongly suggest you download both the eprofile and the instructions- we had a real game getting it onto our system at school, but once its working, its really easy to use.

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