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Early Excellence Baseline- no 'teaching' for first 6 weeks?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by jollypocket, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. We are using the Reception Early Excellence Baseline in September. On the training I was told that in order to make each child's baseline fair, we cannot teach the children anything new, especially in the way of phonics/maths etc. This would be the case until all assessments are complete, which potentially takes 6 weeks.

    How is everyone planning for these first 6 weeks? Lots of stories and games? I suppose the focus is on getting the children to a stage where they are ready (in terms of the Leuven scale) to begin their Baseline. Usually I begin phonics and maths pretty early on, which short carpet sessions, but I can't do this now!

    Has anyone else been considering this?
  2. chickenpatter1

    chickenpatter1 New commenter

    No but we have been in school discussing this today. Normally we start RWI the first full day they are in and Maths Makes sense too - so we are in a bit of a quandary. We usually have our pedal to the mental and the pressure is on from the start so we are wondering what on earth to do instead. Yes I know we need to focus on other skills, but we have to rate COEF too, so can we not teach turn taking, sharing etc as well? If you have some good ideas let me know!
  3. Aha! We (against my wishes) also do MMS! To be honest, I had actually 'run out' of MMS lessons about a month before the end of term, so I don't think delaying MMS will matter hugely. Phonics... hmm... I like to start early (low key, of course) too. I wonder if we could begin some small group phonics games with those who have completed the Baseline? Or at least introducing it through play. I wondered about sharing/turn taking/listening too- surely if we are playing lots of games and reading lots of stories we are teaching them these skills, so in theory surely that will be effecting the baseline too!! I suppose that this sort of activity, i.e listening to a story, is less 'pressure' in a sense than phonics, which may well be knew to them. If they are scoring low on Leuvan than they won't be ready to engage with phonics/maths either? It's all a bit misleading!
  4. DEAR GOD, *knew (typo!)
  5. I too have been pondering this issue. I know for a fact that my school will not accept no teaching occuring for the first half term, and neither would I! I think I would just feel like a babysitter rather than a teacher! We have a new head starting in September who thinks that Ofsted are most likely to come in that first term, so we definitely need to be teaching and making progress, especially after our last inspection.

    We will be starting RWI straightaway - we have to ensure we make progress. We delayed by 3 weeks last year and that didn't go down well!

    Having looked at the questions for the baseline I don't think it will make too much difference whether you teach them those things or not. E.g. the reading assessments and maths are yes or no questions to things like "Can they count to 20", things that are heading towards the ELG - if I remember correctly! So me teaching them to learn numbers to 10 isn't going to affect the majority of the children's results.

    As for CoEL if you are teaching them to share and take turns then they haven't achieved that and so they wouldn't meet the baseline.

    That's how I'm looking at it...
  6. Yes that's a good point. I think I will try to delay phonics, or just start in small groups for those that are ready and have finished the Baseline, and perhaps just play a few counting games, sing number songs instead of MMS (which I think is too full on at the beginning of Reception anyway). Wouldn't Ofsted want to check the rigorousness of the Baseline?
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Baseline phonics in first week then start to teach?
  8. That's probably what we will be doing. The first week is phased entry anyway for us...
  9. Nope, doesn't work like that with Early Excellence Baseline. You have to wait til children have reached 'high' on Leuven Scales before you can even begin their Baseline. Certainly wouldn't be possible to do them all in the first week. I am going to teach Phase 1 during the first six weeks (as this won't affect Baseline score) and Phase 2 once the Baselines are complete. I might do some small group work with those I have completed the Baseline for. Same goes for Maths.
  10. Narcher

    Narcher New commenter

    Advice from Early Excellence is:

    To stick with best practice - continue to do what you've always done to settle children in and get to know them well.

    Obviously everything practitioners do is teaching and should continue to take place from welcoming children, helping them get to know the routines, use resources, handle books, read stories, sing songs and rhymes, play games and so on ... And all these things should continue as normal.

    Assess children who settle as soon as you know them. These children will be learning from every opportunity. Children who don't settle easily are less likely to be learning much from the many opportunities available, whatever they are - child initiated or adult led - so best to assess these children later in the 6 weeks as they settle in.

    Just keep doing what you know is most effective for the first few weeks of a new experience for children.
  11. dizzymai

    dizzymai New commenter

    I'm doing Early Excellence too. I'm trying to get it done way before the deadline. I am doing lots and lots of observing and trying to focus on a specific measurable objective with a certain group daily- ie today I managed to assess about ten children, through their play, whether they could recognise numerals or count beyond 4. As I scroll through the online assessments, I find I can say yes or no to lots of the others from my observations of their play- ie being able to take turns, showing curiosity etc. All my class have settled really well and I feel by doing this amount of observation and no teaching, I am learning loads. It's just a matter of writing it all down as I move around the room!

    Some of the objectives I am going to have to sit with groups and do a 'session''- for eg the talking objectives and to find out if they can retell a story. It's quite a lot to do.........
  12. Yes, it feels like a lot doesn't it. I'm finding the same: 75% I can complete just through knowing the children/observation. The rest needs a little more adult input to seek the info I need, especially the maths and literacy statements. I've completed BL for 12 children so far...

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