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On track/not on track

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I apologise if this has been asked in earlier posts to this forum. In our setting the children enter Nursery and consequently Reception below national levels. We have been discussing the new assessment of children being on track and not on track. Most of our pupils will be in the 'not on track' group. Have any of the Early Adopter schools been in this situation?

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I think one of the great things about the new EYFS Framework is that it gives you the opportunity to move away from thinking about on track/not on track - because what are you comparing those things against? Before, it became the norm to use the Development Matters guidance as a way to decide this, but now, with the new Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters coming out, we have a great opportunity to move away from this. 

The way I see it is that you would have your long term plans already in place - and these show what your children are going to be doing during their time with you. Threaded into this you will most likely have already factored in typical child development for the areas. 

Using your planning (be it weekly or however long you create them for) you can see how your children are accessing the provision that you have put in place for them. This planning can be guided by the new guidance materials if you wish, but also use the knowledge of child development that you and the other staff have to support this. Most children will be accessing your provision well, and in turn, making what you could say is expected developmental progress. Some children though may need extra support to access your provision. For these children, you can adapt your provision for them so that they get the extra support that they need. 

This might be for children with learning differences, but it could also be for those children who are what you could class as 'high ability'. The provision you put in place for these children reflects your expected development for them - it's all very individual. (This is where on Tapestry if you use it, you could use the Areas of Concern screen to highlight those children that do require extra support to access the provision and once they are then accessing their adapted provision, they could be moved onto no concerns again.) 

Doing it this way, means that you are really supporting your children's development, based on their starting points and able to spot those that might need support quickly. It might be that they don't meet the ELGs at the end of Reception, but if their development has been what you expect then that is the main thing. 

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