It's difficult to make accurate assessments of young children’s development and learning.
Why? Here are some thoughts.
First of all, young children can be very different day to day. That’s why it’s so fascinating to work in the early years.
So, even as adults we know we have good days and bad days. We can remember the exam that went wrong because everything seemed to go wrong that day. Young children live life with much more emotional intensity than adults. If they didn’t feel like breakfast, or they had a big row about which socks to wear just as it was time to go out the door, or if they have just fallen out with their best friend, that will hugely affect how they learn and play in an EYFS setting that day.
That means assessment information from one day will be very different to the information from another day’s. Do we decide that the child’s level is their highest one? Or their lowest?
|Photo (c) Tales Toolkit|
Secondly, the non-statutory assessment framework (Development Matters) and the Statutory Early Years Foundation Stage Profile have not been “standardised”. That means that no-one knows for sure if the 30-50 band, for example, really is typical of children aged between 30-50 months. It may be that some Early Learning Goals are set at a higher level of development than others. Many reception teachers would judge that it is much more difficult to achieve the Early Learning Goals in Literacy than in Physical Development.