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What does Differentiation/Assessment mean?


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Hi there - don't know if I'm posting this query in the right place, but I'll put it here anyway !!!


Have looked at the planning that's recently been posted here - and there's one sample shown - week 5 of the short term planning which is very similar to the format that I use. But I am interested to know what 'Differentiation/Assessment' actually means and what goes in this column !!!!


Sorry for sounding dim, but I just don't know - and I would be so grateful if someone could enlighten me !!!!!!


Many thanks for all the useful info. on this site !




Janice :oxD:(:(

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Hi Janice,


better to ask in the wrong place than not to ask at all! We should probably be in the planning section but boxes don't always fit all do they? Thats one of the difficult things about planning in FS especially Reception where there can be so many overlaps and inadequately represented on a planning sheet where links are sometimes inferrred rather than explicit or your document would be never ending.


I designed this sheet for my Reception classsroom where I needed to be thinking literacy & numeracy strategies but could not work with dedicated strategy planning as for me it destroyed the spontaneity and

play aspects.


I use the differentiation/ assessment column to show what I am going to do withe activity in that respect. Some activities may not have any differentiation ie they remain the same for all children, you may not be able to plan exactly for every response so differentiation may be by outcome.

But if your activity is designed for levels of attainment then that could be indicated here.


Likewise not all activities are designed for assessment although you will use the information from the activity for your next planning step. So at the outset of a block of work you may have an activity specifically designed to asssess the staring point or at the end you may want to know what the children know now ie phonic knowledge.


Sometimes we use the column to indicate the differentiation that took place as it happened in response to the activity so could be thought of as evaluation although more probably these observations would be i my record book.

I find it most useful to keep an A4 notebook with me that I write down the responses of the children in and anything else that I see hapening that is significant. The information is transfered to childrens individual records and the pages filed with activity response sheets that I have also made for my support staff.


Hope that helps a little. Ask away if not!



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Hi Susan,


yes that did help .... alot ! Thanks for such a detailed explanation.


I cannot believe that the new planning syle that I implemented in September is now going to be amended - only 7 weeks later !!!!!


One day I might just get it right !! <_<


Thanks again!



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Why Janice?

Who uses it?

At the moment I've had some autonmy in my planning as my head has said you use it, so you design it! or words to that effect.

So the Planning formats I have devised work for me! although I'm always on the look out for something better, especially if it will cut down the time needed to fill them in!! Myteam have never had any problems either.

We've a new deputy though who seems to be changing everything so I'm waiting & prepared.



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