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Tracking Children's progress


GRACELAND
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I think many folks on here use Tapestry.

 

Our school and nursery use Optimum Tracker which produces data that can be looked at as a whole or just looking at certain "groups"

 

Currently I am trying out our county's tracker too!

It was originally introduced to track 2 year old progress but many setting are now using it.

This system splits the age bands up and allocates a points system which is dependant on age. When you then input date of birth and date of assessment it works out the child's "score" ie 14.

Then as you add in your data it works out for each strand the child's score. The scores get coloured too so if the child's score should be 14 but he gets 13 or 12 it would be green as he is pretty much on course. Then the next three scores down would be orange and the next moves to red. Red shows someone is way off track!

I used this to look at on entry and end of Autumn term data.

 

I have also used on entry data and end of Autumn term to see how many percent of children are at what levels.

 

None of this is a precise measurement but for my Head who is facing a LA inspection and an OFSTED it us data he can use!

Edited by Scarlettangel
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How often do people track their children? And do you do it on certain months or do you do it so many months after they start with you? I'm a private day nursery and looking to change our tracking process!!

 

Many thanks x

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We use tapestry for learning journals etc

 

However we use a Tracker for recording their overall progress. I can take a pic of it if you want. We complete this on entry, autumn term, spring term and summer term for each year they are with us. Each is a different colour so can visually see where they are at and all on one A4 sheet making it visually easy on the eye.

 

Down the left is areas of learning across the top is age brackets. Each age bracket is separated into 3 and has E, D, S and we just colour in the box appropriate to development and term xx

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How often do people track their children? And do you do it on certain months or do you do it so many months after they start with you? I'm a private day nursery and looking to change our tracking process!!

 

Many thanks x

How often to track.....there's the billion dollar question! I think perhaps the most effective way is every 6-8 weeks, but that is only my opinion!

I wouldn't leave it months after they start with you- Ofsted are really looking to see you record children's starting points and that you track from there. I would suggest carrying out some form of baseline assessment within the first 3 or 4 weeks.

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We do a baseline assessment within first 2 - 4 weeks but this does depend on how often the child comes. This is updated at the end of each two terms, this ensures we know where children are as they are tracked 3 times a year.

 

Carol

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have been getting to know the children and noting their starting points during the first 6 weeks of starting preschool ideally. However, had a visit from the Area Advisor who told me that Ofsted are looking for starting points to be in place ON ENTRY! She suggested I look at ways to get the information from parents prior to them starting (home visits etc - impossible!). Anyone else doing this? If so, how do you go about getting the starting points so quickly?

I'm due for Ofsted and would be very disappointed to be judged Requiring Improvement for this!

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Well, I think that's not realistic at all! Of course you need to observe the child in the setting, settling in, what he/she likes doing, how he plays with others (or not), communication skills, etc. You can't possibly do it all prior to them starting. You can of course get lots of information from parents that feed straight into your baseline assessment (ie the 'on entry' part, and you can then update this over the first few weeks to create a thorough initial assessment.

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We do baseline ....which I hate doing as not sure of its value.... do because I feel Ofsted want it

 

We track end of term 2, 4 and 6 which is what we put on our transition document s .

 

I use PRAMS which I love.

 

We do have an LEA one but prefer Prams less hassle and wonderful support when you have queries.

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We have decided to add another form into the registration form pack which we send to parents prior to start (poor parents, more paperwork!) with baseline list to give us a start and then we all feel we will be able to continue as usual and just hope that this is enough. Advisor said to put it in the development plan to evidence that we are looking to improve this - seems the answer to everything, if it's in the development plan then fine! hahaha


We do have an LEA one but prefer Prams less hassle and wonderful support when you have queries.

I like the sound of Prams but not sure how we could track electronically unless we can do so from home as none of us get time in the office and one member of staff is computer-averse so would this mean more work for me? Do all your staff input for their key children or do you do an overview?

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my staff do a paper tracker, I input this onto PRAMS, It is time consuming but worth it.

It gives me a chance to oversee where the children are, how my staff are making judgements and if there are any gaps

so that might mean some CPD.

For me this inputting is vital as I don't key work, although I am in the main hall always, it keeps me a little hands on with development.

 

Also PRAMS can be added whilst offline, vital when some settings don't have internet (need to go online occ. to manage updates)

Edited by Suer
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my staff do a paper tracker, I input this onto PRAMS, It is time consuming but worth it.

It gives me a chance to oversee where the children are, how my staff are making judgements and if there are any gaps

so that might mean some CPD.

For me this inputting is vital as I don't key work, although I am in the main hall always, it keeps me a little hands on with development.

 

Also PRAMS can be added whilst offline, vital when some settings don't have internet (need to go online occ. to manage updates)

Thanks Suer, thinking about considering this further after reading your reply as that could cover the issue of how I monitor the staff's judgements (Area Advisor mentioned) so .... I'll add it to my development plan! :D

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We have been getting to know the children and noting their starting points during the first 6 weeks of starting preschool ideally. However, had a visit from the Area Advisor who told me that Ofsted are looking for starting points to be in place ON ENTRY! She suggested I look at ways to get the information from parents prior to them starting (home visits etc - impossible!). Anyone else doing this? If so, how do you go about getting the starting points so quickly?

I'm due for Ofsted and would be very disappointed to be judged Requiring Improvement for this!

Ofsted have to the best of my knowledge not given any advice on this - giving advice isn't really their thing (as per the chief inspectors recent pronouncements).

Of course you need to get the information collated as soon as possible because how can you demonstrate your teaching is precise if your assessments are not there, but you need a reasonable time to gather this. We give a ball park guide of 4 weeks after a child starts. If a child started who had had no prior EYFS experience you would have nothing to go on immediately!

Cx

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Ball park is fine if you are seeing a child on a regular basis but not possible when they only attend twice a week and take a while to settle, then an accurate conclusion is as good as nothing , I think a judgement needs to be made when a child is well and truly settled and comfortable , that could be after term 1 or longer

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This is an email we received in December and to which the Advisor referred to when she spoke to me last week:

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

Attached please find the guidance provided by Rachael Flesher, HMI Ofsted for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber areas, with regard to the term ‘starting points’.

We received this information in the middle of the Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF) run and were unable to share it with our colleagues that attended the SLFs at the Pavilions and Coniston Hotel. We felt that it was important that it is shared with everyone.

 

Best wishes,

 

 

 

 

‘Evaluation schedule for inspections of registered early years provision.

Guidance and grade descriptors for inspecting registered early year’s provision from 4 November 2013’.

 

 

Clarification with regard to the term ‘Starting Points’ – page 6

 

‘A good and better setting is expected to make assessments of children on entry, to establish what children enjoy, know and can do at home through discussions with/contributions from parents (and any other setting the child attends) as part of the 'All About Me' starting point assessments.

 

Practitioners in a good and better setting should be sharing their observations and assessments of children's on-going progress with parents and successfully encourage parents to contribute to these as an on-going process. Providers need to demonstrate the impact of what they and their staff do on children's learning and development in relation to their starting points and capabilities and how they are closing any gaps where children's starting points are below those of their peers. They therefore need the starting points to be measurable so they can show impact and progress.

 

Therefore, starting points need to be established in relation to development matters taken from all the information available to them when a child first starts and even prior to starting. Next they would need to demonstrate how they have planned for individual children based on this information to support them to settle and get off to a flying start.

 

They need to demonstrate how well they work with parents and engage them in their child's learning and development both at the setting and at home, how they help parents share what they know about their child and keep parents informed about their child's achievements and progress. Not all parents would have the ability to understand the Development Matters so these discussions would need to be shared with individual parents accordingly’.

 

Inspectors are signposted to the Early Years Outcomes document when conducting inspections.

It is important to ensure that all staff are aware of it.

Conducting Inspections – page 10.

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'Therefore, starting points need to be established in relation to development matters taken from all the information available to them when a child first starts and even prior to starting.'

This is definitely not written anywhere else, is it? DM is non-statutory, and settings can use any method of tracking, can't they? Of course, in practice, it's nearly always DM, but inspectors cannot tell anyone to use it. :huh:

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Helen,

 

'Therefore, starting points need to be established in relation to development matters taken from all the information available to them when a child first starts and even prior to starting.'

This is definitely not written anywhere else, is it? DM is non-statutory, and settings can use any method of tracking, can't they? Of course, in practice, it's nearly always DM, but inspectors cannot tell anyone to use it. :huh:

I'm fairly certain I've not seen this in any guidance from Ofsted/Tribal/DfE...and I did note the reference to Dev Matters which has been removed from all Nov 2013 Ofsted inspection documents anyway.

I would still argue that this does not in essence identify any requirement to do anything different. There is nothing in the statutory EYFS framework re recording starting points immediately, or in any Ofsted required docs for inspection and until there is the rest is guidance only! It still only talks about good practice and what any setting would be doing, e.g. to establish a babies needs re sleeping patterns and feeding before they start or discussing a child's interests and strengths at a home visit. These would be "assessment" before they start and would help you establish a starting point for a new child but you would still need some time to establish precisely the learning needs across the 7 areas though observation.

This HMI may be pre-empting the baselines in reception agenda for all we know.

Cx

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For young children it wouldn't be across 7 areas but the prime areas ?

 

I too haven't seen this but have had some things sent to me that I haven't read yet, perhaps that is in there somewhere!!!

Edited by Suer
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For young children it wouldn't be across 7 areas but the prime areas ?

 

I too haven't seen this but have had some things sent to me that I haven't read yet, perhaps that is in there somewhere!!

Was thinking across the requirements on the whole phase so possibly it might be. It is usual in school nursery and reception aged EYFS children to identify starting points in all areas of learning because they will be teaching across the 7 areas.

There's another definition to note - a young child is up to the sept after their 5th birthday.

 

Cx

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surely we should all be asking parents/carers about their children..after all they are still their primary educators. We need to gain insight in to what those children are doing at home and how well (or not) ...i think the issue is sometimes the word 'assessment' is applied when information gathering would be more applicable. Assessment comes in the first few weeks where we assess the information we have been given and apply it to our setting and the child's starting point on our curriculum

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Not up to the term after their 5th birthday?

That would be statutory school age. Reception children, whilst needing to be in education (school or home educated) in the term after their 5th birthday are young children until they are officially Primary school age ie in Yr 1.

Cx

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  • 11 months later...

I would suggest carrying out some form of baseline assessment within the first 3 or 4 weeks.

Helen, can you suggest a form of baseline assessment? I just can't see that, in 2-4 weeks, we can assess against all the DM statements - it just doesn't seem manageable, especially when at 3 years some children attend only 1 or 2 sessions per week!

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I think Finleysmaid is right when she says 'assessment' should really be 'information gathering'

I cannot believe that anyone is expected to gather that much information on such young children. We sometimes see parents in March/April for a September start. Any 'assessments' made then would be so out of date. We do give out 'all about me' booklets to be completed by parents but usually only just before they start and with the bulk of the intake in sept this can be difficult.

I also think that surely any one with just 1/2 ounce of common sense would realise that you are going to be able to asses a child that has attended 5 mornings a week, with no gaps, happily stays without a carer a lot more thoroughly and accurately than a child that only attends 2 mornings per week, has had some of those off sick, wont leave their carer and maybe doesn't understand a word you are saying to them,

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