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Emerging, developing, secure. Emerging, Expected, Exceeding...?


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Hi all, first post here.


Sorry if this is a repeat question, I have searched the forums and am still a little confused. I am getting in my own head about this and confusing myself more!


I am an NQT working in a split Reception and Year 1 class. Having recently been to the EYFS conference and coming away thinking that I had it all under control and knew what I was doing. I have gone back to my data for this term and am suddenly met with a sinking feeling that I have been too harsh on my assessments and have not properly understood the terminology!


This is the first year my school has been using Tapestry and it uses the terminology of 'ELG Emerging, developing and secure', previous years, and the rest of my school use the terminology "Emerging, Expected and Exceeding" with aim of course for most children to be at Expected by the end of the year and some Exceeding.


This is where my confusion with terminology comes in to the ELG emerging, developing and secure and ELG+ emerging, developing and secure.


"Definition: Good level of development Children achieving a good level of development are those achieving at least the expected level within the following areas of learning: communication and language; physical development; personal, social and emotional development; literacy; and mathematics. This includes 1–12 in Figure D below." - direct gov website.


So where does the ELG emerging, developing and secure fit into this terminology? Is Secure = Expected? If so, why then is the ELG split into three and the ELG+ (assuming this is exceeding) Split in to a further 3?


I was working on the understanding of:


Emerging= Emerging,

Developing = Expected

Secure = Exceeding


But this makes no sense with the ELG+ or with the direct gov definition?


Maybe I am over thinking this too much but I wondered if anyone could shed some light on.




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Hello and welcome! I'm not sure I can help with all of your question but I'll do my best with bits of it.


At the end of the year you'll have to submit your assessments against the ELGs. If you judge them to be meeting the ELG then that is expected. If they are doing more than this it is exceeding and not yet meeting the ELG then it is emerging. You don't have to worry about any subdivisions within that.


Have you seen the exemplification materials? They will be really helpful judging whether the kind of evidence you have supports an assessment of expected. It's been a while since I've used Tapestry (only because I'm in KS1 lovely Tapestry people!) so I know I'm not up to date with how things are phrased in it. However, I would use Tapestry to support your judgements not to make them for you if that makes sense - I don't imagine you have a concrete piece of evidence for every ELG so use your knowledge of the child to support your judgements.

It sounds like your school has decided to use EYFS terminology to manage their 'Assessment without levels' processes which can overall make things easier in the long run!

I hope that begins to help? I know there will be lots of people who will be far better at explaining it clearly than I am along to help!

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Thanks for the quick reply!


Yes this is helpful thank you. Your explanation is exactly what I thought it should be.



It was just the bloating of terminology that got me confused, along with Sunday morning haze.


Thanks again.

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This is a confusion of on going assessment for progress within the schools own systems, where you use tapestry and the national statutory assessment of attainment at the end of the key stage.


For ongoing tracking we typically use development matters or early years outcomes as a system to track progress (although either are non statutory guidance but are the best we have as a shared language across the sector).

The use of emerging, developing or securing has been created to give schools and settings a way of tracking progress across the developmental stages that cover in most cases over at least a year if not longer. e.g. 22 - 36 months covers 1.8 years to 3 years which is a huge span in actual development! Because of the overlapping nature of the bands this system also gives some wriggle room where a child is moving into a new band as emerging gives that distinction that they are beginning to show greater skills than the previous band. If we use exceeding it makes no sense as how can you exceed until there is nowhere else to go! Exceeding 30- 50 doesn't make clear where the child actually is!


The statutory assessment for your reception children is a single judgement based on the ELGs. You are asking is the child at the goal or not. If not are they still working towards the goal or are they working beyond the goal. There is very clear guidance in the EYFSP handbook which you must read alongside the exemplfications of each ELG https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-profile-handbook


The child will hahve a single judgement for each ELG. There is no subdivision of any EYFSP judgement. Emerging could be a child at 22-36 or just not quite best fitting the ELG. This is a different assessment as is not about progress. Children may have made good progress from their starting point but still be emerging, or they could be expected but have made poor progress.

Your LA will tell you what the moderation and submission timelines are for you and your school if they haven't already.


Hope that helps clarify.


Edited by catma
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