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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. The revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) signposts practitioners to the national Development Matters guidance.pdf, which gives all the background and ages and stages of development.

Observation of learning

Observing children as they act and interact in their play, everyday activities and planned activities will give the information needed for assessment. Practitioners should only record significant learning and development and we have produced samples of observation forms that you may find useful.


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Progress check at age 2

When a child is aged between 2 and 3, early years practitioners must review their progress and provide parents and/or carers with a short written summary of their child's development in the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This progress check must identify the child's strengths and any areas where the child's progress is less than expected.

If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child's future learning and development, involving other professionals (for example the setting's Special Educational Needs Coordinator or 'SENCo') as appropriate. Practitioners must discuss with parents and/or carers how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home. The Department for Education has a know how guide to the EYFS progress check at age 2.pdf.

The Council's Early Years Service has produced some resources for you to use when carrying out your assessment:


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If a child moves from one setting to another or between different groups in the same setting, a further assessment is usually carried out.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)

The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is completed in the final term of the year in which children reach the age of five, usually at the end of Reception.

Throughout the year Reception teachers and practitioners will observe the development of children and track their progress in the age/stage bands, in order to understand the needs of individuals. Progress can be shown on the individual tracker, or on the school's Management Information System. Although Early Learning Goals are assessed at the end of the year, teachers need to be aware of the content of each goal in order to be aware of the implications for planning.

In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. Outcomes must be shared with parents / carers, together with a short commentary on each child's skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning.  The Early Years Service has produced some resources to help you.

Further resources


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