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Assessment On Entry


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I am the phase leader of a foundation stage unit which includes the Y1s. I am looking for an assessment which can be used on entry in F1 and tracked through F2 and Y1. We have many EAL children so we have a 60 word test which we carry out. I have seen the flying start stuff but I feel it leaves too much to personal interpretation. i want something that states the progress the children have made. I understand that maybe this is not the best thing to use with younger children but if I do not have evidence of progress my team look like they are not effective when they are.

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I know that a lot of people aren't advocates - From the top of my head, I wondered if the PIPs on entry assessment might be the sort of thing you are looking for as I know that runs from aspects (in nursery) - pips year R and so on. Its relatively cheap to register. Sure others will come up with ideas

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I have to agree with Apple on this. Tower Hamlets have an On Entry assessment sheet which we use but all it actually does is expand slightly on the Stepping Stones.

 

The problem for on entry assessment to FS1 is this: Within the first six weeks the children are still really settling in and often are not going make meaningful responses especially if operating in L2. After six weeks it's no longer an On Entry assessment since your team has already had a massive influence on the children.

 

I know it's hard but those sad terms like 'value added' are not relevant to the youngest children. Your management team need to understand this. There can be no 'objective' on entry assessment for young children. You see they can't read or write and lots of them aren't very used to holding a pencil. Its more about making them feel emotionally safe and secure. How do you measure 'objectively' the level of a child's distress/joy at coming to school for the first time?

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Manchester have Records of Achievement based on the stepping stones (roughly). We use a selection as our baseline, but the crucial thing is that as much as possible is done through observing play, or through games with the key worker once the child is settled. The only one where the child picks up a pencil is when we find out if they can hold a pencil... We don't say 'Can you hold a pencil?' More like, 'Let's draw a picture together'. It isn't an exact science, but it helps to plan for children if we know what they can do as they start with us.

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Reading all this with interest as my head is being asked to show what achievement is like on entry by the schools inspector. I have said there is no national benchmark for Three year olds!!! and do the inspectors mean the profile baseline. I think some of them are not as clear as you might think. I have explained this and shown how If children are achieving or matching the descriptors of the yellow stepping stones then they are coming in as broadly ' average'as the curriculum is planned for 3-5 year olds. I thought that this was explanation enough but I'm not so sure now.

Am I just being too simplistic?

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I understand everything that is being said but the need to show progress is becoming more and more paramount. I know our children are coming into F1 way below average and the progress they are making is sometimes way above expected. I need to prove it with data and however sad that may seem I would rather take control of the situation than have something imposed on the unit. The steppings stones allow people to make mistakes and this has proved true too often up the school when children do not reach expected targets. I do not agree personally with what is happening but would rather get up off my bum and make sure the assessment we do are as meaningful as possible.

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Hi Marion and any other Durham people,

 

Where do your Nursery (F1) children appear on your FS2 Baselines on entry? The majority of our children are on Profile H and sometimes heading onto G. Is this where your children are and would you consider this below average or average? The majority of our children enter as soon after their 3rd birhtday as possible so are quite young.

 

Caroline

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