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Asked to provide observational evidence for every EY outcomes statement at 30-50 months!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by FabulousPoodle, May 15, 2019.

  1. FabulousPoodle

    FabulousPoodle New commenter

    I teach a nursery class in a primary school. I have done my best to immerse my pupils in interesting, engaging,practical learning experiences; raising chickens, growing vegetables, being aware of all weather types, by being out in them (in suitable clothing of course), to promote understanding the world, experiencing seasonal changes and celebrating festivals through food and music/dance from that culture, exploring lots of stories, and maths and cll in practical contexts. I have taken photographs and recorded the children's responses to every experience.

    In addition, I have recorded the children's own child initiated learning - much of which stems from the experiences they have been exposed to, including child initiated planting and watering of their garden, feeding the chickens and checking their hutches for fresh straw etc; They are a very articulate group, so there are lots of comments about what they observe and think. The majority of the children are secure in having achieved the 30-to 50 outcomes and are working towards the 40-60 months outcomes, to be emerging at the end of the Summer term. However, they are mostly Autumn born, with only a few born in Spring and none in Summer, so they are performing at a developmentally age related, expected outcomes. (In fact, they are developing beyond ARE, but I have been forced to mark them down).

    However, at a recent pupil progress meeting, I was told that I have to provide evidence of attainment for every EY outcomes statement, to ensure that outcome has been met. I explained that as their teacher, I know them very well and can state with confidence the statments they have achieved, but SLT are insisting that I cannot highlight a statement until I have three pieces of evidence to support it.

    I know that this stems from concern that if the children achieve 'emerging' in the 40-60 outcomes, this puts pressure on the Reception class teacher to get the children to exceeding EY goals next year. But surely, the emphasis should be on where each child is at developmentally, and supporting them to achieve the next stage in their learning, even if in reception class, they encounter the Y1 programmes of study. The concepts don't have to be formal, they can still be play based to meet the developmental needs of 4/5 year olds.

    This poses a dilemma for me, because I cannot regard my pupils as walking sets of data. They are three and four years old for God's sake! They are developmentally explorers and investigators, exploring all areas of learning including human relationships and interactions, the world around them, nature, patterns in number, shapes and letters/words.

    Of course, I can backtrack, and make templates to include the statements for each area of learning with columns to record evidence on three different dates, but I feel that this undermines the spontaneity of responding to their next steps in learning at the time of need, because my role seems to have become about gathering evidence, rather than extending learning.

    Please can anyone advise, is this what the expectation has become, with regards to collecting data about achievement in Nursery classes? I would really appreciate any advice you can give.
    nizebaby likes this.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Not exactly what you describe no. But not too far off.

    We use tapestry and our way around this is to create an observation called 'assessment' and simply write a sentence for each area that doesn't have observations somewhere about. Then tick off the statement and we're done.
  3. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    Poodle, you sound like you are doing a lovely job with lots of wonderful experiences for the children in your care! I would strongly resist this as DM statements are NOT designed as a checklist, and should not be used that way.
    Keep dong what you do and recording the evidence however you do. But you may want to consider something like tapestry to alleviate SLT stresses as you can just show them what children have achieved. Tapestry do use a bit of a 'tick list' approach so that should keep them quiet.

    Caterpillar, I like your idea to 'fill the gaps' if needed.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It was suggested to me when I expressed a similar concern to the OP about not having 'evidence' and would someone, somewhere object. (No one in my setting would want 'evidence' for every statement, but I still panicked about not having it!)
  5. Toomuchtooyoung

    Toomuchtooyoung Occasional commenter

    It should be a ‘best fit’ approach but in some childcare, non school based settings, they require 3 pieces of evidence for each statement before they say its met. Consequence is children end up being held back. What you need to do is balance the best fit approach that early years people understand, with the requirement of the data fiends. Lots of observations cover more than one statement, double up, electronic systems do support this and the data people love it. Be interesting if they still require it given supposedly won’t be looking under the new eif.
  6. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Poodle, I like your style. The "three pieces of evidence" thing is a load of tosh. I once spent a whole night without going to bed, cutting up photos and fudging stuff so that I passed the three piece test before an inspection. Bl00dy insulting, I realise that now, because I was an experienced teachers whose judgment should have been trusted. It's late, but I'll write more tomorrow.
  7. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    Agreed. This three pieces of evidence thing is dated( back to the start of the profile which was years ago now) and is utter cobblers. Can you wave the statutory framework p.13 around?
    That's the bit about excessive paperwork. Also although it's not reception, the eyfsp handbook is very clear about teacher knowledge. Some things are best recorded, samples of writing for example, but you don't need written observation that says little Johnny can toilet himself.
    What you should have, though, is some sort of internal moderation system where you look at the judgements together. If you can do this with other schools, even better, and see if your LA does anything. This process done regularly should reassure your SLT that your assessments are accurate.
    Additionally if your children are genuinely showing elements of 40-60, this is typical( although there is no longer statutory or OFSTED guidance on this). If many of them are nearly 5 then 30-50 would actually mean they are behind. So to expect the leap from typical to exceeding may well be realistic for some children but not for most. It just shows what a load of old nonsense it all is.
    It's hard when you are up against an SLT who are making unrealistic and unnecessary demands, and sometimes you have to do something to look as if you are complying( my boss used to call it creative non compliance). Using the electronic systems may be one such way, if you can't persuade them that you really do know what you are talking about.
    Good luck though.
    nizebaby likes this.

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