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NQT Struggling with Assessments

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by MissMistoffelees, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    I need to fill in assessment information for the nursery children during half term and next week so I thought I'd make a start on it today. We have to fill in two different assessment forms; both electronic, one based on the EYFSP and the other based on the Development Matters from the EYFS. I'm finding it difficult to know where to even start and when I thought I'd made a good judgement on one child's achievement (linked to the EYFSP) it seemed much higher than when the last assessments were done (with the previous teacher) I'm worried that I'm interpreting the statements incorrectly and am unsure whether it would be easier to start by doing the assessments based on the DMs then transfer that to the EYFSP or the other way round. Any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. teacherof30

    teacherof30 New commenter

    I'm not Nursery but I would say to start by doing DMs and then transfer. Remember that most children entering reception will have between 1 and 3 points on the EYFSP and so your judgements should reflect that for the EYFSP depending on the age and stage of your children (there will obviously be exceptions!)

    You have to be absolutely sure that the child is meeting each point also. If in doubt don't award it until you have sufficient evidence and have seen the child attain that point over a period of time.

    Does this help at all? What electronic system are you using?

    I would use the previous teacher's assessments as a guide as they are likely to have been moderated across the team.
  3. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Yes thank you! TargSATs and the LA one; would be much easier if it was just one or the other! Also; lots of things I know children can do but I don't have evidence for it; for example 'Separates from care giver with support' do I really need to collect the evidence for this or is it just enough that I know all of the children are able to do it?
  4. Hiya,
    I am also an NQT in Nursey and am also doing assessments this week, however I have yet to start, you are much more organised than me! Like the previous poster said, I use DM and then the Scale Points. I am very careful to ensure I have good evidence ie: obs over several areas, over time which clearly show it has been met. For some I have printed then photocopied 'I can' statements as most of the class is able to do this, 'separates from main carer' is one of them. I have also used obs of children during self reg and free flow to support this as this is when my children are left. As I said, I am an NQT, so I have no idea if this is right, but for now its working for me!!!
  5. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Ok; I will try to do that then; some of them don't seem to match very well; it is rather annoying! And when I say I've started I looked and thought 'Arrrghhh!' and quickly closed the observations folder! Part of the problem I have is that with the previous teacher all the evidence was from ticklists so I have been trying to get the other staff used to doing post-it note obs but it's been slow going so now for some children I have very few obs but I do know most of them pretty well so am confident that they have met some things which I just happen to have no evidence for!
  6. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Have a look at the EYFSP handbook for exemplifications. I am unsure why you are required to assess against the EYFSP in Nursery as this is a document for Reception class teachers to use at the end of Reception for transition to year 1 (this is explained in the EYFSP handbook).
    I'm thinking you might need to discuss this with your EY leader. I never used the EYFSP in Nursery for assessments (I am teaching in Reception now) only the Development Matters statements. The ELGs from the DMs are in the EYFSP, but it is really the Reception class teacher's job to input these onto the EYFSP during the Reception year.
    However, if you have to assess using the EYFSP it would be beneficial for you to attend LEA training (if available) on making judgements, or asking your EY leader to give you training. If this isn't possible a thorough read of the EYFSP guidance would be a good starting point.
    With regards to 'separating from carer', there are quite a few PSE goals where practitioner knowledge will suffice. I wouldn't write down evidence for it.

  7. It sounds like your doing a good job to me! I use a post it note system, I have each childs name on a piece of card on a display board next to the planning board, when post its are filled in they are stuck up here that way over a week we can see who we are missing. I will put bright pink post its on these children which identifies them cleary for staff to watch out for, sometimes on these I will write a DM or an area of learning to target evidence needed for assessment purposes. This has worked well as it means I get worthwhile evidence rather than a lot of lovely information which, as you say, doesnt actually match anything (still lovely though!). Good luck!
  8. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Thanks hurny, that's what I thought too! I didn't even realise that until I saw someone else on here ask for advice on what to assess against and forgot to mention it at school. Also, when I discussed evidencing judgements with the EYs leader she mentioned having 3 pieces of evidence for each point you say a child can do but I've heard this was incorrect too?
    I did try to get on some training but the centre who run it are useless to get hold of so couldn't find out if it was suitable so missed out this time (they are running it again in May so might try and get on it that time)
    I'll concern myself with assessing against the DMs primarily then have a look at the profile guidance; need to get something done at least!
  9. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Sorry Laura; your reply wasn't there when I started typing! That sounds like a brilliant system because I'm finding it quite time consuming sorting through all the post-its which we are now starting to get more and more of! Will see if we have got some board space left to start doing something like that!
  10. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I think your EY leader is a bit out of date with her EYFS training [​IMG] The '3 pieces of evidence' is not a requirement and never has been. My goodness, in a class of 30 Reception children that would equate to over 3000 observations just to evidence up to scale point 6 in all areas! We'd be forever observing and never teaching!
    I do feel for you, being an NQT in what seems to be a school with muddled up ideas about good EYFS practice. It is hard to put your opinions across when you are new. Perhaps you could take a copy of the handbook to your mentor and ask them to read the first few pages, then discuss whether you should be inputting into the EYFSP.
    Anyway, definitely keep on with the DMs, use the EYFS curriculum guidance as the 'Look, Listen and Note' sections will help you with what you are looking for.
    As for evidence keeping, I do observations on stickers (Avery type) rather than post its, these go directly into an envelope with each child's name on it along with photos we have taken.
    I will then focus on 3 children per week. During this week we will do a long observation (10 minute narrative) and focus on observing the areas where there is not much evidence. At the end of the week, I collate all the evidence (observations, photos and mark-making) and put it into the child's Learning Journal then mark off the DMs/ ELGs that I feel the child has achieved. This keeps it more manageable.
    I did this in Nursery as well. It ensures each child is focussed on once per term and that by the end of the term all children have been assessed and there is no assessment 'en mass' to carry out.
    I hope you manage to work out a system that works for you. Good luck with it all.[​IMG]

  11. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Thank you so much for all the advice; it is brilliant! Definitely need to get some more efficient systems up and running, am feeling just a tad overwhelmed at the moment!
    Do you file everything in LJs? I've been putting post-its in separate folders because our LJs seem to be more to look nice than to serve a specific purpose but the NNs are so used to taking endless photos and not jotting down what was actually going on it's difficult to use them for assessment.
    I'll probably get it all sorted then the EYFS will have it's overhaul and I'll have to start again!
  12. I completely agree. As long as regular monitoring takes place you can note the areas that are 'missing'. I think the 'gaps' are informative in themselves ie curriculumI content and how individual children are developing ie very creative ? active learners ? etc. I fill in the EYFSP sheet to pass on to The Reception Team in the summer only because it is school policy.
  13. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    'Regular' is definitely the key thing that's making sense to me here; haven't been doing regular assessments; regular observations yes but not actually assessing them.
    Just need to work out what to do for this time so that my assessments are accurate :eek:/
  14. When I knew I was returning to Reception from Y1 after the EYFS was introduced I wanted to do the best I could and asked the advice of the EY advisor. She said that the FSP folder built up a picture of that child. I was not slightly organised. I bunged all my post it observations in a drawer and several times a year (usually in the holidays) had days that were sheer pergatory as I sorted out piles of observations ,plus the ones I'd scribbled on class lists when I was focusing and something 'special' had occurred. I would be horrified by the gaps that revealed themselves. How could this happen???. When the EY Adv returned to moderate my judgements in the summer, all was well, however she did pick out the children who I was praying she wouldnt. She was looking for the 'invisible ones' and found them unerringly. She did not want to give me quotas for observations although she new that the 'magic 3' was being bandied about. She asked for evidence that wasn't obvious in the folders ie Linking Sounds and letters, but I had class records that were able to indicate a level. Over time I have got a little better at organising observations.Several years on I have one of those shoe tidy things hanging on the inside of a door with ch pictures on front (2 to a pocket) I sort them or ask someone else to so they get a little closer to the folder. When you look at your assessments ask yourself what is it telling you about that child? If its not saying much bin it. What Im trying to say is ... don't be too hard on yourself. You are obviously reflecting on your practice and, like most teachers, focusing on what you havn't done, but there is probably so much that you have. Remember we are halfway through the year -it aint over yet. Eve
  15. I file everything in the LJ's, the previous system had two files per child, one for obs/post its and a big LJ book where everything was typed! I felt this was asking a bit too much, and the LJ's should be a working document, so I now just use them for everything. I dont like using the scale points to assess in nursery, this is something the school promotes, however I intend to change this when the new EYFS comes out, it is tricky been an NQT as you do inherit systems that are not necessarily what you would choose. With regard to endless photos, I only print ones that tell me something and use the rest on our digital photo frame for the kids to see - I know we are pretty lucky to have one! but it does mean that I'm not left with a huge pile of photos which dont tell me much!
  16. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Thanks all; I decided just to go for it and for most children I found I could remember things they had said/done that hadn't necessarily been recorded but proved pretty well where they are. I'm actually finding that rather than not knowing anything about specific children there are certain gaps across AoL&D for all children. Will plan some activities and observations to address these for the first week back then for next time I'll try and make sure these gaps don't appear in the first place! Am hoping it wll be easier in September when it will be my first full year and I can start as I mean to go on!

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