Observation, Assessment & Planning Policy

Principles

At Ladybird Pre-School Nursery we have adopted the following principles for Observation, Assessment and Planning as recommended in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (2017):

  • Assessment, planning, record keeping, and evaluation are part of a continuing cycle involving the whole staff team’s input.
  • Assessments will take place through continuous observations and discussions with other staff members and, if deemed necessary, other outside professionals.
  • Any assessment will be conducted in a sensitive and supportive manner.
  • All Children have a Learning Journey which holds their individual unique observations, assessments, records of achievements and next steps.
  • Planning is there to support every child in the setting, meeting their individual needs and interests. Through planning we deem to offer every child the ability to engage in meaningful learning experiences to ensure they reach their full potential.
  • Evaluation will take place daily.

Observation

  We aim to:

  • Collect evidence-based observations covering all seven areas of learning.  These may be brief anecdotal or spontaneous observations, longer observations taking a format such as a narrative observation, tracking or event sampling.
  • Observe and comment on the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
  • Take and collect photographs to support the observations.
  • Ensure all employed adults working in the setting make observations on any child they note who is developing a skill working towards their next steps and pass it on to the appropriate key person.
  • Develop and build every member of staff’s professional knowledge on the children across all seven areas of the EYFS.
  • Encourage parents/carers to share observations and photographs of their child to add to their Child’s Learning Journey, ‘At Home’ section.

We acknowledge that much valuable informal discussion takes place between staff members and that sometimes information will be passed on verbally. We endeavour to note any of this information and share it with other employed staff on a need to know basis, to ensure all children’s needs are being addressed and supported.   

We use these observations to:

  • Record an accurate Starting Point.
  • Get to know all the children in the setting as unique individuals, building up an extensive accurate picture of them over time.
  • Collate a meaningful Learning Journey for each child.
  • Inform judgements made against developmental descriptors and the Early Learning Goals, these are then entered into the child’s Learning Journey.
  • Ensure that we provide appropriate ‘next steps’ for children’s learning and development for them to meet their full potential.
  • Share children’s learning journeys, development and achievements with them and their families.
  • Share children’s learning, development and achievements with staff members and other professionals.

Assessment

We aim to:

  • Assess daily, weekly and termly through our observations on the children.
  • Develop and extend all children’s learning opportunities and experiences; ensuring all available resources are appropriately deployed to enable and support this.
  • Carefully monitor progress continuously.
  • Identify any individual needs a child may have.

We use formative assessment to:

  • Identify developmental and learning needs through the analysis of observations.
  • Plan the next steps for all children’s learning.
  • Ensure all children make progress and reach their full potential.
  • Identify any additional learning needs.
  • Ensure children are motivated, engaged and challenged.
  • Ensure appropriate provision and effectiveness of resources and deployment of staff.

We use summative assessment to:

  • Ensure we are offering all children a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum.
  • Through regularly using EYFS trackers we generate reliable data which can identify progress of individuals and groups.
  • Inform parents/carers of the progress their child is making.  Learning Journeys are available for parents and or carers to look at anytime. The child’s keyperson will share them with the parents/carers

Planning

We aim to:

  • Start from the child, recognising that each child is an individual and unique.
  • Focus on their individual needs and interests which are developmentally appropriate.
  • Provide an enabling environment that allows for change and spontaneity.
  • Provide children with meaningful experiences and opportunities so that they can learn, practice and develop their skills and knowledge.
  • Provide exciting, interesting and challenging learning opportunities ensuring they cover all seven areas of learning in the EYFS.
  • Provide home learning for children who for an extended period are unable to attend the nursery in person.
  • Observe and listen to the child’s voice and take into consideration the views of their parents/carers.
  • Involve and value all practitioners working in the setting.

‘When children are playing and selecting what to do themselves, they become deeply engaged.  Whilst this is happening, the adults should be observing and waiting for a moment in which they feel they can make a difference.  They should then interact to teach the next step as appropriate for that unique child at that precise moment.  Each time they interact with a child, they are observing, assessing, planning for and responding to, that individual child.  Such interactions are the most powerful teaching moments’.

Anna Ephgrave – Planning in the moment with young children.

In our planning we ensure that the learning opportunities we offer the children provide a broad and balanced curriculum following the guidelines of the EYFS.  

Provocations

Provocations are child initiated activities planned in response to a child’s interests and that children have provoked themselves. Practitioners in the setting are readily available to scaffold and extend the children’s learning by responding to something previously observed. The learning can be supported and extended by adding extra resources, extending play and by challenging children’s thinking through open ended questions.

Invitations

Invitations are activities inviting the child to come and play and learn. They encourage the child to learn through exploration by providing materials that invite them to play in a creative non-directive way. These activities are open-ended offering elements of imagination and active exploration that will increase the interest and motivation of the children.