Observation, Planning and Assessment
Our highly-skilled practitioners are observing children all the time. As they watch and play with your child, they are learning about their interests, how they approach tasks, the development of certain skills and how they are making sense of the world. These observations, some of which will be evidenced and recorded on Tapestry, support your child's Key Person, to plan next steps and reflect on the progress they are making.
Planning is one of the key tools we use to enable our teacher-led approach to be consistently implemented across the learning environments. Effective planning is dependent upon all practitioners contributing through a range of approaches.
Planning starts with the enabling environment. These are carefully structured, both indoors and outside to be inspiring learning spaces. We work to encourage children’s autonomy, independence, decision making and the ability to self-regulate. This means that the resources are well organised and readily available for children to access the things they need.
Alongside this enabling environment, planning is used to draw together our curriculum priorities, which are referred to as core learning experiences. These are underpinned by an understanding of children’s needs within the learning and development strand of the Early Years Foundation Stage, and knowledge of the family.
Across the year, the core provision is enhanced through a range of enrichment activities to broaden children’s learning experience e.g. going on local walks, participating in Forest School and welcoming special visitors in to nursery, such as students from the BRIT school.
Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support.
Our Federation practice includes both ‘formative’ and ‘summative’ assessments. Formative assessments are the day-to-day observations which guide our practice and inform daily planning. The primary tool used to record these assessments is an online learning journal, accessible through Tapestry.
Summative assessments are more detailed and are made when practitioners step back to review and reflect on children’s learning and progress over time.
As each child starts Nursery, they are a focus child for their first two weeks. During this time, staff build relationships, get to know your child, and make observations. After the two week period, information about the child is shared at a ‘Focus Children’s Meeting’, where all Key People contribute, from this any initial barriers to learning are identified and plans are made for support (if not already in place). The Key Person completes the initial assessment and shares this with parents. They then (in conjunction with one of the Class Teachers), complete an initial baseline assessment looking at the child’s attainment across all seven areas of learning of the EYFS.
Tracking is then updated termly, after they have been a focus child. Following all practitioners input and the information gathered during the focus children’s meeting, the key worker and a teacher update the tracking information for both attainment and progress against the seven areas of the EYFS.
Tracking is reviewed at the end of each term and plans put in place to support children, where needed (if not already in place).
Children with additional needs are tracked termly using Croydon’s Assessment Tool, which captures their progress in smaller steps.