I attended a course today entitled 'Implementing and Moderating the Revised EYFS Profile'...
The details of the Revised profile are only just becoming clear, and with deadlines for data submission looming it seemed like a good idea to find out how it's supposed to be done!
My expectations for the course were not too high, but it soon became apparent that the man delivering it, Jan Dubiel, is a key player in the Early Years world. He was in fact responsible for delivering the previous EYFS Framework, and was on the approval panel for the revised version. He is the man responsible for coming up with the 80/20 rule for child initiated/teacher led! We were lucky enough to be hearing it from 'the horse's mouth' as it were, and I took the opportunity to get answers to many of the questions we no doubt all have...to be fair, Jan answered most before there was any need to ask.
I thought it would be useful to share some of Jan's key points (I won't repeat things that are clearly stated in the DfE documentation)...
Evidence & Documentation
Only record what is significant for that child. Record what you will otherwise forget.
Observations should not be carried out on a planned or timetabled basis, we should respond to whatever the children are doing/learning.
There is no need to gather 3 pieces of evidence or similar for every learning step (apparently it's a myth that there ever was...Jan would know, as he is the one who wrote it!)
There are two types of observations...
Instantaneous : Recording the 'wow' moments.
Detached (what we might call extended observations) : No need to do these regularly or for every child. Be careful, as they usually won't tell you anything new about the child. They can be useful for the 'invisible' children that might otherwise go unnoticed (the ones that don't grab us by the arm all the time!)
The majority of evidence should come from child initiated activities, as this demonstrates that they can apply their learning in a different context to that which they were taught in.
It's OK, or even good, to intervene when observing a child in order to extend their learning at a key point where they might otherwise lose interest. It is also OK to move them on and enable them to demonstrate their new skill/knowledge.
It is clear that children should only be assessed against the ELG's as 'Emerging', 'Expected', or 'Exceeding' when completing the profile. However, if a child has moved beyond 40-60months before profile time, then they can be assessed as 'working within' the relevant ELG.
It is a statutory requirement to prepare children for the ELG's (the implication is that ELG's need to be built into planning from an early stage).
The ELG's must not be split up into their constituent sentences. Assessing is about the 'best fit', not ticking off all the parts.
The characteristics of learning assessment should be 5-6 sentences in total.
OFSTED & Demonstrating Progress
Despite the fact that the ELG's are only assessed at the end of Year R, OFSTED require schools to demonstrate the progress that children make. Although Development Matters is non-statutory, OFSTED are largely expecting it to be used as a framework for assessment within schools, particularly to assess children on entry...
On entry to Nursery, 3yr olds should be secure in 22-36 months, and be working within 30-50 months.
On entry to Year R, children should be secure in 30-50 months, and be working within 40-60 months.
Anything less is below age-related expectation.
On-entry assessments should focus on the Prime areas, and be completed by October half-term. Don't judge the first two weeks, as this is assessing the children's response to transition.
Despite plenty of analysis, no correlation has been found between EYFS data and performance at the end of KS1 or KS2. Therefore, no sensible predictions or targets can be made for children at the end of EYFS.
Finally, the pilot for the revised EYFS Profile showed that 41% of children reached a good level of achievement (this low figure is due to raised expectations, particular in literacy and maths). We have been set a target of 75%.......I suspect we'll all be keeping our heads down when the national results are published in October....Gove will no doubt be blaming us for the poor results, but who will the press turn on!?
Jan Dubiel is the National Development Manager for Early Excellence. www.earlyexcellence.com