These help notes are to support schools who have registered with the DfE as participating in the EYFS Early Adopter year from September 2020 to August 2021.
The level of development children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by the early learning goals (ELGs).
The ELGs should support teachers to make a holistic, best-fit judgement about a child’s development, and their readiness for year 1. In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child.
Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the early learning goals. Practitioners must indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (emerging). This is the EYFS Profile.
Having consulted with a large number of Early Adopter schools and taken into consideration the principles of the new Development Matters guidance, we have created a new assessment model which we believe meets the requirements of schools whilst acknowledging the need to reduce the amount of unnecessary and unhelpful data that has been historically collected.
"Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children and not require excessive paperwork. Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children's successful learning and development." - Wendy Ratcliff, HMI and Principal Officer for Early Education
Pupil Asset's EYFS 2020 model is a Point in Time Assessment.
Many of our EYFS settings are currently using a linear model whereby pupils are expected to progress through a number of steps along an agreed flight path. Where the Point in Time model differs is that learning is assessed against what has been observed to date and learner's achievements are compared against the expected levels of understanding and competencies relative to that 'point in time'.
Where a child is deemed to be meeting expectations, their attainment should be graded as 'Meeting ARE'. Learners who have achieved more are graded as currently Exceeding expectations and those attaining less will be graded as Below expected to varying degrees.
PITA models give plenty of scope for teachers to make professional judgements about the achievement of their pupils. In order to make robust judgements, teachers should have a good understanding of the curriculum and a clear sense of what they expect of their learners throughout the year.
"Inspectors will NOT be going into schools and asking how many months progress children have made or which group of children were at 30-50/40-60 months etc. Inspectors are simply not interested in that. What inspectors WILL be interest in is what do you expect children to learn whilst they are in Reception and how will you deliver that?" Gill Jones, HMI and Deputy Director of Schools and Early Education
We strongly urge our schools to use this opportunity as a chance to review current assessment practices and consider whether using the statements in the Non-Statutory Development Matters guidance as a 'check-list' is considered absolutely necessary to promote children's successful learning and development.
"The document is not a tick list for generating lots of data. You can use your professional knowledge to help children make progress without needing to record lots of next steps. Settings can help children to make progress without generating unnecessary paperwork." -DfE, Development Matters, 2020.
"Checkpoints - not checklists. Do we need lots of checklists to for all of the children we are working with to make sure they are doing well? NO. The progress model should be through the curriculum and through the way that the staff work with the children." - Dr Julian Grenier, Author of Development Matters.
Many of our Early Adopter schools have used the opportunity to revise their day to day practice and very few are now using formative assessment frameworks to tick off all the objectives. Instead, the frameworks are being used as a tool to support planning and teaching and as a useful point of reference. Feedback has been that it is still very useful to have the frameworks available in the Tracker. Some schools have identified Key Performance Indicators within the frameworks and are assessing against these objectives as opposed to the whole framework.
If you wish to use one of our new Formative Assessment frameworks, the following frameworks can be accessed via Admin > School Options > Frameworks.
Click the link at the bottom of this page for a downloadable version of Pupil Asset's EYFS 2020 (New ELGs) framework which can be used for reference.
Early Years Framework 2020
Webinar: Looking at what’s at the heart of the new Development Matters and busting some data myths - Dr Julian Grenier (author of DM) talks through some of the principles underlying the new DMs and busts myths around assessment. Gill Jones (HMI) and Wendy Ratcliff (HMI) talk about what Ofsted is doing this term and how myth-busting on the use of assessment data continues.