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Assessment Writing


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Nothing annoys and frustrates me more than to observe staff writing children's assessments, copying each statement from the EYFS Development matters in each area.

How is this showing children as an individuals ? and shouldn't they be using their observations to support the assessments, as this is based on evidence actually observed. I find it rather lazy for staff just to put the development matters guidance, look at the child's age and copy word for word. I use the development matters purely for guidance ONLY and practical support for practitioners, as well as band current progress.

 

What does everyone think, would like to know your thoughts ?

 

 

Thanks

 

 

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Hi, not sure i understand you exactly, do you mean when staff are writing things like the 2yr check and the one for pre-schoolers before they go to school? If so, then i agree with you. My staff use their observations and the statements from the Early Years Outcomes as guidance and write individual personal assessments of each child, making reference to actual things that the child has done. Sorry if i've got the wrong end of the stick.

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Sorry I was annoyed so I probably didn't make much sense.

 

Staff are copying the statements in each age band of the curriculum guidance when writing the assessments. Like you stated it should be written based on your observations. Not a case of taking word for word out of the Guidance !

 

Hope that makes sense

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yeah, i agree, you need something individual to each child, my staff do make reference to the statements but in a personal way, e.g. "child A has made strong bonds with her peers, she gets excited when she sees them arrive at the setting and shouts their name."

(Sorry, that's probably a rubbish example, just made it up!)

Are you in a position of authority to be able to make changes? if not then maybe make a suggestion to your manager or bring it up at a staff meeting.

I can understand why staff try and keep it simple when they have so much to do and it makes me cross when we have to write so much for our 2 yr checks when the health visitors only write a couple of lines on a piece of paper a quarter of A4 size which they pass on to us. I do feel we are put on more and more by the powers that be!

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Yes it is guidance but years of research has gone into this guidance and it is the best we have got. We use tapestry and in order for staff to add assessments they need to select statements.. but the child didn't have to do that exact activity of course, just something along the same lines or using the same skills.

 

The process should be to look at the statements within the Areas of Learning & Development and then have a think about what activity would cover that skill described within the statement. At the end of the day do staff have enough evidence of seeing a child Making Relationships appropriate for their age? It doesn't matter to much that they actually did what the individual statements explain, but it is a great guidance as mentioned. is this child interested in other children? TICK, Does this child actively seek out others and want to play with them? TICK.. Does this child show care for other children? YEP we see this daily! etc etc they are quite obvious traits and therefor statements most of the time. I would say this child is secure in Making Relationships at 22-36months even if they didn't create a special friend, but has many. i wouldn't have any concerns in this area of learning that's for sure.

 

So yes i feel it is ok to use most of these statements as a guide and even as a tick list in some cases.

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If I have understood correctly, its the assessments that are being made and shared with parents? In which case I do think the development matters isnt that parent friendly, and 'what to expect when' may be a better guide, for practitioners who have difficulty in knowing what to say.

I do agree, I don't like seeing summaries, reports or whatever you call them, just with blanket statements copied out, it doesn't sound very personal.

One thing I have done with a couple of settings I have worked with is to get them to talk to me about a child, and you could do this through eg supervisions if you are manager. Usually when people talk about a child, the child 'comes alive' and then suggest that's what you are aiming for but in writing instead of talking. That seems to help build confidence.

 

If Ive got the wrong end of the stick feel feel to metaphorically file in file 13.

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