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About Frithmanor

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  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education
  1. Yes.. moderation...we do moderate internally and externally. But I think there is a wide variety of interpretation amongst people when you are making judgments within 30-50 and 40-60 months. For example the 30-50 month statement for writing: • Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint. • Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places. This is very open and we are asking people to make a judgement as to whether a child is 30-50 Emerging, Developing or Secure. The interpretation of this is very inconsistent. This year we are going to create our own exemplification materials for 30-50 and 40-60 age bands for writing to show how we make our judgement within school. But that is writing. But, maybe this is just me, I think with 17 areas of learning, overlapping age bands and refinements means this is not straight forward. We have a large staff and 150 children. So much of what we assess is not tangible and is down to practitioners knowledge and whilst I have absolute confidence that, on the ground, staff know their children and are able to support and extend them, when it comes to making a judgement with a number then it can be like making a stab in the dark. I love development matters as a guide for teaching but I think what is happening now, with the pressure for data to show that our children are making progress, we are being forced to put it into boxes to create numbers. I would like to stop assessing using age bands and having to give them a number at each assessment point to prove they are on track. To help children make progress by identifying if children are in need of support, working at expected levels or need extending and plan for that. You do not need numbers to do that. If you have an effective way to moderate, please let me know.
  2. I completely agree with you and hate the way we are having to assess. Development matters works as a teaching document and guide as to where children are, but it all goes a bit wrong when we are using it for data purposes. The reason we are setting an 'expected level' is to guide staff so there is consistency. Because the statements are subjective and open to interpretation we have had people saying children are operating at all different levels from 30-50 to 40-60. We are expected to collect this information periodically at data drops and this year, because people have worked purely from their interpretations of statements and age bands, we have had what looks like a very mixed up picture because of our numbers/data. Then when someone external comes in and wants us to talk to this 'data'...it have proved a difficult job. Despite them being happy with what they saw in the classrooms, the numbers didn't show enough progress so here we are trying to make sense of it. The only way forward (apart from mounting a protest about the state of EYFS assessment) is to give people these expected levels. Basically, if someone comes in to look at your progress they want it represented in numbers so we are trying to make this work. Does that make sense? If anyone can show me another way then please, please, please let me know!
  3. To get a consensus amongst staff about what is expected on entry we are saying they should be: Nursery at baseline in September are 30-50 E Reception at baseline are 40-60 E We are then thinking about how many steps of progress is typical progress. However where should children who start in January and stay for 5 terms be when they start?
  4. Hi We are just beginning to use the snap shot and analysis sections and are trying to understand them. ​We are finding the colour coding on the snap shot screen a bit tricky with the default colour coding as it is measuring whether children are below, at or above their actual age. As a school we have determined an emerging/expected/exceeding level for the whole cohort at each assessment point ,and use this as a guide and we would like to be able to reflect this on the snapshot screen by being able to link the colours to the age bands and refinements ourselves. For example, on entry to reception we say children who are 30-50S/40-60 E are at the expected level. If they are above or below this then we look at intervention for them. So I would like to set this screen to show 'green' if they are assessed at this level, to show 'pink' if below, and 'blue' if they are above. Obviously the 'expected' level moves at each of our assessment point, so I would like the option to control the colour coding for each snapshot we do. ​I know the age band tracker purely reflects age bands and refinements (not taking account age) and we use this screen to show SLT. We used to do a paper version very like this. However as the data that populates it can only be modified in the snapshot area, we have to use this and it is off putting seeing children being 'green' because they are summer born and within age band, when by our judgment they are children we need to flag up. ​I hope this makes some kind of sense. ​The other option is to have more control in the age band tracker screen- so you can move children about there rather than having to go back into snapshots to do it. ​Anyway, that's my wish for future development! ​