Thursday, February 27, 2014

Assessment on a post-it

EYFS is built upon a bedrock of continuous assessment. Every child's needs is catered for, for at this early age every child is recognised and valued as an individual. Assessment informs everything we do and with 5 adults in my EYFS team we need to be consistent in our approach to ensure every child's needs are met. 

In term 1 I did this by having daily conversations and exchanging notes each of us built up throughout the day. Unfortunately, a daily conversation can sometimes be cancelled, late or forgotten. This led to '10 minutes before the start of the day quick recaps of the learning that happened the day before' which once again fell victim to other pressures of daily school life. We needed a system that would be simple to use, provide instant assessment opportunities and be as failsafe as possible. So I've devised this Assessment Wall.

I focused on Writing, Number and Phonics as the main 3 assessment opportunities that would lead to most impact. During Adult focused and Adult initiated activities, all EYFS staff would use a post-it pad to jot down quick assessments on those children in their group. The note would contain the child's name, concern and adult's initials. This post-it would then be placed into the corresponding day/assessment focus box and during the same day, or later in the week, assessment post-its would be picked up by any member of staff to follow up the assessment with a repeat activity or enhanced activity depending on learning needs noted. This post-it would then be stuck into the child's work book (or Learning Portfolio) alongside the additional learning activity giving us a highly effective way of demonstrating assessment for learning; one that's not based on smiley faces, traffic lights, lollipop sticks or any other manner of mumbo jumbo voodoo assessment nonsense.

After one week, we have found this system to be a simple yet highly effective way of ensuring assessment throughout our EYFS class is acted upon quickly, that it not only informs our planning but ensures each and every child's learning needs are met. 

And one more thing - we don't use pink pens nor green pens in our EYFS team because we firmly believe that the use of such a marking scheme is nonsense in EYFS. It's also a nonsense throughout KS1 and KS2 but that debate's for another day.