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A request from local school


Thumper
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Hi

I'm hoping this is in the right section.... Sorry if not.

 

Our local school head came to see me to request we only mark children off upto and including 30-50 months as in 40-60 they expect a higher level and would like to judge this for themselves.

 

I have a few issues with this:

 

1 how would we prove to OFSTED that we have moved children from the start point and excelled at helping them?

 

2 other children going in to the same sch from other settings would not be expected to do this (we are the main feeder setting)

 

3 are we not implying we are holding them back?

 

So would you mind telling me what you all think pls.

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I think you must make the judgements in the way you think is right for how the child performs in your setting regardless of where they are moving on to. It is reasonable to expect them to fall behind a little after the transition so the school's assessment may well be different but that's appropriate.

I would be wondering if they are trying to set things up so they can show greater value added at your expense.

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I too would not be comfortable doing this for reasons Upsy had mentioned..

I wonder if the head realises that you too have to show progress and that it effects your setting by not showing it fully as he is asking... I would politely decline and state the reasons..

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Ahem - think I can only say.......'No way Jose' :o

Your judgments must be accurate for each and every child - do you use the 'emerging, developing, secure' refinements?

I wouldn't really be expecting many 'secures' in 40-60 months - but quite a lot of either emerging or developing.

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I agree with everyone above, i too would not be comfortable with assessing children in line with schools expectations rather than their individual progression.

If the school want to judge how well a child is progressing within the 40 - 60 band then they can still do this, regardless of the judgements you have made. I was under the impression they would always do this anyway as a way of moderating the previous assessments made.

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I agree with all of the previous comments!

 

I have just been updating my profiles for end of spring term and after Easter I need to take this data in to show my boss. He will have to show the progress the children make in nursery alongside the progress of the reception children.

 

I have a few hitting emerging 40-60 months already but some of the children have been with us for 4 and 5 terms.

 

If I had to cap where our children could hit how could I show progress for some??

 

When the children hit reception the teacher will do her own baselines anyway which might not be in total agreement with mine but I can only comment about what the children were able to do when in nursery!

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oh dear i'm afraid i agree ...the head needs to show progress but instead of thinking upwards she is trying to manipulate the baseline. I have just seen an assessment from one of my feeders for last year and the children were assessed as being 22-36 months on entry! (no where near in the right ballpark !) i have a completely mixed bag of children going this year but 2 of them are well into the 40-60 months bracket (they will both be 5 just after entry!) when one of them is writing his own stories and the other picks up maths concepts easily what am i supposed to do say they can name the sounds of some letters and count to 10!

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Why don't you suggest that you get together to actually moderate the judgements? Then you will have agreement whatever they are.

Having just read some of the recent reportage from Ofsted etc this would be seen as excellent practice - win-win I would have thought. You get to demonstrate how you are ensuring children are ready for the rigours of the reception class whilst also demonstrating your partnership working. School gets to see what you are saying about outcomes and you can see what they are seeing as outcomes and children's application within the higher end of 40 - 60. You ever know, you might find you all get to learn something from each other.

Once the baseline in reception comes in the accountability for feeder settings will become a focus of interest for Ofsted et al - why not get ahead of the game??

I think partnership working around this is the way forward.

Cx

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I've had an issue with this for many years, it's all about 'value added' at the end of reception year, 'broadly average' seems to be the norm on entry, but to me undermines the work our staff do regarding planning 'next steps' for the children as individuals, and the time taken to prepare transitions sheets, many of children are also already working within 40-60m across some areas.

 

 

Catma, was wondering why when school foundation stages get inspected don't inspectors pull up a few random transition sheets from previous settings to compare with where they have been assessed later on in relation to them ?

Edited by mouse63
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From a school nursery point of you, a couple of points to think about

We often receive no records from previous settings stating current ages and stages, despite it being LA policy

Some children are assessed by previous settings as working within the early learning goal, on entry in to our nursery. Well, whilst I wouldn't for one moment imply a lack of hard work and next steps planning from feeder settings, it makes it hard for a school nursery when we are told that secure 22-36 months on entry to nursery is age related expectations. We would NOT be assessing in the early learning goal, or even in 40-60 on entry in to nursery, given that secure 30-50 with elements of 40-60 is age related on entry in to reception.

It is the LA responsibility to ensure all settings understand the whole range of assessments and the implications for all early years settings and the impact on each other. In the possible absence of this, the incoming setting has a responsibility to assess on the ages and stages in line with the schools assessment procedures, which are very highly scrutinised by all and sundry.

I personally think the current systems can make difficult for schools AND feeder settings.

With the introduction of the baseline in 2015, will these issues no longer apply?

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I've had an issue with this for many years, it's all about 'value added' at the end of reception year, 'broadly average' seems to be the norm on entry, but to me undermines the work our staff do regarding planning 'next steps' for the children as individuals, and the time taken to prepare transitions sheets, many of children are also already working within 40-60m across some areas.

 

 

Catma, was wondering why when school foundation stages get inspected don't inspectors pull up a few random transition sheets from previous settings to compare with where they have been assessed later on in relation to them ?

To be honest it isn't value added at the end of reception that schools get bothered by - it's the floor standard and progress measures at Yr 6 based on the EYFSP - level 4b+ which can sink a school and force it to be an academy for example.

School Inspectors don't as a routine look in detail at individual files for children in EYFS. In a school inspection the focus is on what is seen happening. If teaching is not matching children's observed skills in lesson observations they would be questioning the accuracy of judgements made by the staff being inspected and how this impacts on progress moving forward.

Cx

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Catma you have me singing and dancing!!! :DxD :jump:

 

It's rare to find someone not working in a school EYFS setting that gets that we can be all singing and dancing (like me at this moment!) but if Y6 isn't what it should be our success means nothing!! At best a line in a report as a 'by the way'!

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I think Catma's suggestion for moderating together sounds good if you feel confident that the school staff will acknowledge your knowledge and expertise in your field. It could help inform your transition process too which is even more win/win.

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I think moderation between settings really is useful to establish an agreed understanding of what is expected at each level. The vast majority of practitioners will assess honestly and with conviction in both pre school settings and in Reception, but expectations, and what this looks like in practice, do not always match. Both will be keen to demonstrate progress but pressures regarding data is almost unbearable in schools at the moment - still a bit cheeky for a Head to be that blatant though!

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It's rare to find someone not working in a school EYFS setting that gets that we can be all singing and dancing (like me at this moment!) but if Y6 isn't what it should be our success means nothing!! At best a line in a report as a 'by the way'!

I know what you mean having been there myself but the difficulty is that it would suggest uneven practice through the key stages - what use for a child to journey through their Primary school life from good to bad to indifferent for example.

At best that scenario would suggest requires improvement for leadership and management and attainment of pupils. In a school community everyone shares the responsibility to ensure T+L is good or better and you can only be judged as an organisation by your weakest key stage. The same could be said of a nursery - it won't matter if the baby room is fabulous if the pre-school room isn't!

Cx

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Thank you all got your comments - very interesting reading ?

 

I think approaching the reception teacher and offering joint obs maybe my way forward..... or after reading all the comments this is what I thought i'd try!

 

I have asked reception to join us in hatching ducklings for this next 1/2 term, the eggs arrive i

on Wednesday, so this could be my opportunity to suggest what I feel the children are learning against what she thinks...then compare and go from there!

 

?

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We had this too, they said we were sending children too advanced!! But we had documented evidence and justification! We also pointed out that most children had been with us for 3-4 years so were secure and confident here, when they start school they need time to adjust and adapt so are bound to show different behaviours and skills. A lot of them had also had 6 weeks off prior to starting school so some regression may well have taken place! We stood by what we had done and they couldn't argue with all the evidence we had, if a child is keen and ready then keeping them back would be a crime!!

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We had this too, they said we were sending children too advanced!! But we had documented evidence and justification! We also pointed out that most children had been with us for 3-4 years so were secure and confident here, when they start school they need time to adjust and adapt so are bound to show different behaviours and skills. A lot of them had also had 6 weeks off prior to starting school so some regression may well have taken place! We stood by what we had done and they couldn't argue with all the evidence we had, if a child is keen and ready then keeping them back would be a crime!!

I fully agree ?

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It's a bit unfair to mark them at a lower age than they are just because the school expectations are there. If you feel confident that the child is achieving that level and have the evidence to prove it, mark them at the higher level. It'll show through when they get to school anyway, once they're settled.

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Surely it is up to school to decide how they want to measure their on entry data, in the same way tha we measure our own on entry data. If a child comes to me from another setting, I use their transfer information just as a starting point, and then start to assess myself for our tracking forms. I do not take the data provided and assume it is gospel.

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I think the problem can be one of perspective. In your own preschool setting you might assess the child as secure in being confident at trying new activities. You might see that regularly. That is a statement from the early learning goal. So do some practitioners feel then that they are beginning the. ELG in preschool? You might see lots of evidence that a child initiates conversations and that child is 30 months old. That is a statement from 40-60 so are people assessing them as that age and stage, ie a bit exceeding??? You assess in the world you know, with your own perimeters and in the absence of anyonev helping you to understand the whole key stage, right from the beginning to the very end of reception, then I can see how some confusion can arise. If you don't know how reception teachers assess on the DMs in their world, then it's hard to see the impact of your own preschool assessment that seems so accurate in your world. This was one of the things I had to address when I went into our school nursery as the eyfs lead. They sometimes put children on the old green stepping stone, because those statements applied, even though they had just started nursery. Now we have a whole key stage joint assessment process so it all dovetails together.

Anyway, one more year to go and it won't apply!

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Surely it is up to school to decide how they want to measure their on entry data, in the same way tha we measure our own on entry data. If a child comes to me from another setting, I use their transfer information just as a starting point, and then start to assess myself for our tracking forms. I do not take the data provided and assume it is gospel.

I completely agree - however this school (in my humble) should not ask this pre-school to limit their 'judgements to 30-50 months if their records show that the children are working within 40-60 months.......

I know that my 'judgements' are accurate for the time that children leave me........I can imagine that they might not appear accurate to the receiving school - 6 weeks off + new environment .......

Edited by sunnyday
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I know that my 'judgements' are accurate for the time that children leave me........I can imagine that they might not appear accurate to the receiving school - 6 weeks off + new environment .......

We had this "argument" with some of our reception teachers some time ago - the six and sometimes 8 weeks "slippage" that happens during the summer break can be quite dramatic, especially when you add into the mix that the children are also going through a time of transition into a new school, class, peer group. Given the way some of mine have come back after just two weeks off for Easter - well need I say more! :blink:

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We had this "argument" with some of our reception teachers some time ago - the six and sometimes 8 weeks "slippage" that happens during the summer break can be quite dramatic, especially when you add into the mix that the children are also going through a time of transition into a new school, class, peer group. Given the way some of mine have come back after just two weeks off for Easter - well need I say more! :blink:

These children will also probably regain those skills more quickly than children who haven't achieved this level before so it's perfectly appropriate to judge them on their performance before the transition and acknowledge that there will be a set back. The only problem I can see is if the judgements would be made differently by the school based on the same evidence and that's why the idea of moderating them together could be a good idea.

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