Observational Assessment in Early Years
Throughout ‘continuous provision’, observation forms a fundamental aspect of the pedagogy of EYFS at St Francis of Assisi C of E Primary School.
At St Francis of Assisi C of E Primary School, we aim to develop a thirst and love for learning. In both Nursery and Reception, our “teaching” is delivered through ‘in the moment planning’ where teachable moments are discovered through the child’s play. This unique way allows us to develop each child at their own individual pace working with their interests. It is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress.
Observation and responding to children’s thinking inform our planning of experiences and opportunities, how we create our environment for thinking, the strategies the adults use to extend learning (modelling, scaffolding, questioning, discussion, shared sustained thinking) and how we capitalise knowledge of children’s interests to ensure high levels of engagement. All adults record ‘Wow!’ moments – when a child does or says something that demonstrates progress or skill in a particular area.
Alongside the use of observation as an assessment tool we also rely upon the pioneering work of Professor Ferre Laevers (1980s) to understand how focused and comfortable the children are in our setting. The scales of well-being and involvement act as a measure of deep learning and of the effectiveness of the learning environment. This has an empowering impact on our planning and can help to develop the huge potential of the children.
After listening to the story of Noah’s Ark the children had began building their own ark and acted the story out.