Early Years / Foundation

How are pupils assessed at the end of the Reception Year?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile is a report of your child’s development and achievement at the end of the Reception year. There are three main objectives:

  • to inform parents about their children’s development,
  • to ease the transition to Key Stage 1,
  • and to help Year 1 teachers plan for the year ahead to meet the needs of the entire class.

The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven specific areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development (PSE)
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and designWithin each of these areas, there are specific Early Learning Goals – for example, in the case of Communication and language, these are Listening and attention, Understanding, and Speaking. Your child will be given an achievement level for each area of learning.For each age band, and each area of learning, there is a series of statements relating to a child’s development: for example, ‘notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures’. Teachers will tick off these developmental statements as they see your child demonstrating them.There are three separate achievement levels within each Development Matters age band:
  • Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS, but the official EYFS Profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. The Government doesn’t specify what form the assessment should take, but generally, it takes place through teacher observation of children’s learning and development as they take part in everyday activities, and planned observations, where teachers spend time on a specific task with an individual child or small group. Parents and other carers (such as childminders) can also contribute to the Profile, for example by adding comments to the child’s Learning Journal – a record of achievement compiled by the school, comprising photos, pieces of work, observations about the child’s development, and so on.
  • The EYFS is broken down into four age bands, called Development Matters bands: 16-26 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months.
  • Expected: your child is working at the level expected for his age
  • Emerging: your child is working below the expected level
  • Exceeding: your child is working above the expected level

Your child’s teacher will award him one of these levels for each of the seven EYFS areas of learning. On leaving the Foundation Stage at the end of Reception, a child is considered to have a ‘good level of development’ if they have achieved at least the expected level in the Early Learning Goals in all aspects of PSE, Physical development, Communication and language, Literacy and Mathematics.

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