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Explain the observation, assessment and planning cycle.
The EYFS requires practitioners to plan activities and play opportunities that will support children’s learning while supporting the areas of learning within the EYFS. Practitioners must plan carefully so that individual children’s needs are met and that the activities and play opportunities help children progress towards their early learning goals. Planning, observation and assessment contribute to supporting the learning and development requirements of children. Observing individual children carefully can help to identify what their needs and interests are. To ensure that practitioners meet the needs of individual children it is important that the follow the observation, assessment and planning cycle. Observation is when practitioners observe/watch children to understand their interests, needs and learning styles. Observing children is a useful process as it provides information which the practitioners can use to support the children when planning and preparing activities for them. Observations should be made in a range of contexts, for example they should be done during independent play, during everyday routines and also when the child is engaged in play with others.
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EYFS MAY 2008 “planning should be flexible enough to adapt to circumstances”. Observing children will also enable practitioners to understand what their current stage of development is. Without the process of observation practitioners will not be able to fully support the children as they will not have a clear idea on what the child’s needs and interests are. Practitioners must ensure that they gain parent’s permission before they carry out any observations on the children because some parents may not want their child to be observed. During observation practitioners need to look, listen and record what they see in the observation, they must not involve themselves in the observation as it may affect what the child is doing. An assessment is when practitioners analyse observations to see what they tell them about a child. Accurate assessments enable practitioners to make judgements which lead to action to support individual children. They help each child to develop and learn by ensuring that the practitioners provide children with appropriate experiences and opportunities. Practitioners gather the information in their observations to identify aspects of the child’s learning and development. By doing this it will enable them to assess what a child’s needs and requirements are and how well they can be supported. The final part of the cycle is planning, this is when practitioners then use the information that they have gathered to plan for the child. This could include planning experiences and opportunities that the child could benefit from and also ensuring that the environment is suitable and the child has access to appropriate resources. The practitioner will also need to plan what their role will be in supporting children with their learning and development. Practitioners must ensure that they include each area of learning and development through planning, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child initiated activity. Practitioners must ensure that their planning reflects and supports children’s current interests, learning styles and the stage of development of each child. The planning process enables practitioners to contribute and understand the experiences that they have planned for the children. Practitioners can also ensure that parents and children have a voice in the planning process, for example children can share their feelings and activities that they want to take part in. Parents can also share their knowledge of their child and any additional support that they may require. Observation, assessment and planning all feed into one another and contribute to our knowledge about the child enabling the practitioners to fully support the needs, requirements, learning and development of each child.
Describe how to develop planning for individual children.
When working with children practitioners will find that they are required to plan activities and experiences for children which support their learning and development. EYFS MAY 2008 “good planning is the key to making children’s learning effective, exciting varied and progressive”. Practitioners need to ensure that they plan activities which are linked with the different areas of learning within the EYFS. Practitioners must also ensure that they plan and prepare activities which meet the individual needs and requirements of the children. When planning for the children the practitioners need to bear in mind that whatever is planned for the child is age and stage appropriate and suitable for the child to take part in. There are many different sources that an individual can use the help them when planning for the children, for example each child has their own interests and preferences and they may enjoy playing more with some toys that they do with others. A practitioner can use a child’s interest and make an activity more exciting and challenging for the child.
This will also enable the child to learn new things as well as taking part in something that they enjoy doing. Regular observations and assessments support the practitioner when planning for a child because a lot of information can be processed as the practitioner is able to physically see what a child likes/dislikes doing. Observing the children helps the individual indentify a child’s needs, interests and any additional support that they may require to support their learning and development. EYFS MAY 2008 “planning should include all children, including those with additional needs”. Practitioners must ensure that they make full use of the observations gained in order to support the child and ensure that their needs are fully met. Within the setting the practitioners can work in partnership with parents/carer’s as stated in the EYFS in order to ensure that they are also included with their child’s learning and development. Parents/carer’s will be able to share information with the practitioners about what the child is like at home and what interest and needs that they may have. Parents/carer’s can help the practitioners with planning for the children as they will be able to identify what area a child may need support with.
Sharing ideas with colleagues can be useful during planning as an individual may have noticed something about the child which was not noticed by anyone else, this can be useful as a child may be more close to one member of staff than they may be with another staff. There may be times when a practitioner is not always with the children so it is important that information is shared to ensure that all members of staff are aware on the child’s needs and interests. Within the setting some children may also be under the care of other professionals this is useful because the practitioners are then able to work alongside the professionals to share and also learn new ideas on how the child can fully be supported within each setting. The practitioners must ensure that at all times their planning reflects the different needs and interests of the children, the planning must also provide opportunities for the children where they are able to learn and gain new skills.
Differentiate between formative and summative assessment methods.
EYFS MAY 2008 “make informed decision about the childs progress and plan next steps to meet their development and learning needs”. When working with children practitioners will find that settings will carry out progress reviews on children’s development, these can be done every six months or on an annually basis. The practitioners will be required to provide parents with a progress report about the child’s learning and development. This will give the parents an idea on what stage their child is at with their learning and development and whether or not they may require any additional support. Practitioners must ensure that they meet the individual needs of all children through following the requirements of the EYFS and it is important to deliver personalised learning, development and care to help children get the best possible start in life. There are two formal assessments, these are a completion of the progress report at age two and also completing the learning and progress journey of each child during their time at the nursery. To ensure that practitioners assess the children effectively they must analyse and review the information that they have about each child’s learning and development. They then need to plan next steps to meet the individual needs of children. A formative assessment is when a practitioner keeps a record of the child’s learning and development. The practitioner will take daily observations of a child using notes and photo evidence and keep them in an individual record of the child. The record will be available for the parents to view, this will enable them to review their child’s learning and development within the setting. It will also give the parents a chance to see what their child has achieved and what stage of development they are at. Practitioners must ensure that they regularly update children’s records by including the appropriate information. Formative assessment: This is an assessment based on observations, photos, work from children or any information that a practitioner receives from the parents. It is also an ongoing assessment of children and is carried out on a regular basis through observations that practitioners gather from children. Children are also required to have a progress check done when they are aged two, this is a summary of information that has been gained about the child. Practitioners compare children to the learning areas to identify whether or not a child has achieved their learning goal for their age and stage of development. The progress checks will be given to parents as it will be a summary of the development stages a child has achieved. They will also consist of targets/goals a child will have for the future and how they will be achieved. Summative assessment: This assessment is a summary of any evidence that a practitioner gains through carrying out a formative assessment. This type of assessments are used to review children’s developmental progress over a period of time, they are also used to identify if a child has achieved their target/goals for their age and stage of development. This is a summary of all the formative assessments done over a longer period and makes a statement about a child’s achievements. The EYFS Profile is the summative assessment used to review children’s progress along the early learning goals.
Explain the two statutory assessments that must be carried out on all children.
EYFS MAY 2008 “all effective assessment involves analysing and reviewing what you know about each child’s development and learning”. When working with children practitioners need to carry out two main assessments of the children in their care, one is the EYFS progress check which is done at age two. The second assessment is the EYFS profile which summarises and describes a child’s achievements and is a record of their development. This profile is a record of the child up to the age of five up until the child leaves the nursery. These two statutory assessments check the children’s development against the seven areas of learning. The EYFS progress check requires the practitioners to make a summary of the child’s development, achievements and also state any targets or goals that need to be met in order for the child to make further progress with their development. The progress checks show the parents and practitioners any additional support that a child may require. The practitioners are required to review the children’s progress and also ensure that parents receive a written record, this will enable them to see what the child has achieved and what stage they are at with their learning and development. The key workers have the role to complete the progress checks for all of their key children. In some settings the practitioners set up parents evening where they discuss the child’s progress and also hand out the progress checks to the parents. This also gives the parents a chance to discuss their child’s learning and development and also share information or ask and questions. The progress checks are useful as they enable parents to see how they can support their child at home and also identify their needs and interest. In order to complete the progress checks the practitioners should use the findings from their daily assessments and observations that they complete on the child, this will help to give an overview on what a child can and cannot do based on their learning and development. The summary must include the information that the practitioner has gathered about a child over the period of time the child has been at the nursery. The early years profile is an assessment of the child that is done at the end of the foundation stage, practitioners must ensure that they complete a profile for every child at the end of the term. This assessment will normally be completed by the reception class teachers, it will be assessed against the seventeen learning goals which can be found in the EYFS. The early years profile will be completed using observations of the child that have been gathered on a regular basis. The profile will consist of targets that the child has met or need to meet during their time at the nursery. The practitioners must ensure that they share the Early years profile assessment with the parents so support them so that they are able to understand their child’s learning and development. The parents will also be able to see what their child does within the setting and any progress they are making. To ensure that practitioners fully understand on how to complete the early years profile, it is a requirement that appropriate training is given to those working within a childcare setting.
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