Policy: Observations & Assessments

In this article we review what outputs our teachers need to provide parents with as part of our duty of care to their children and to ensure that we're monitoring their developmental progression and sharing our assessments...

Formative Assessment

The Birth to 5 Matters Framework outlines the cyclical relationship between observations, assessment and planning for a child’s successful development and are the primary responsibility of the key person on a daily basis and is typically done through the nursery management software employed by the school. It is how we ensure that the child is moving along the developmental milestones set out in the framework and having his / her educational needs met at all times through continuous provision

Key Workers must ensure that complete an observation and assessment on each key child once a month that is linked to his / her next steps, and covers all 7 areas of learning - this can either be one comprehensive observation to cover each of the 7 areas with multiple photos and video attached, or 1 for each of the 7 areas. Spelling and punctuation are important to proofread what you write before you publish it to your manager to review / send to parents. Look at your Nursery Management System’s help sections on observations, planning and assessment for further information.

Making a group observation - EY Log also allows staff to undertake group observations of their children if they are involved in an adult led activity. Such occasions may allow the practitioners to make a broader observation of the children’s outputs from the activity e.g. cooking or story time, or music. Please see here for more guidance

Making a Spontaneous Observation - the option of taking a quick snapshot of a child doing something interesting but that does not need a full detailed analysis

Adding an Observation from Home - sometimes during handover, Room Leaders may learn that the parent has observed the child undertaking a development at home. Practitioners can then add those observations as a home observation to prove greater parental partnerships

Key Person Responsibilities

As part of our promise to parents and to ensure that your children receive optimal care and education, each child will be assigned two key workers: a primary, who has principal responsibility for the education and care of the key child, and a secondary who will be the second language speaker. See our Key Person policy for more information

By way of educational assessments, the primary key person will be responsible for:

  • Defining the planned next steps / developmental milestones for the child each term in the planning sheets. See our policy on planning here; and our procedures on how to fill out planning each term
  • Monitoring the child's development across the term by observing the child and tracking their progress in achieving those developmental milestones through the assessments that come with those observations. See here for guidance
  • Providing progress updates at the end of each term in the form of a termly summative assessment report that speaks to that progress observed and assessed over the entire term. See here for the training on how to develop a report and below for the assessment reports we're obligated to provide parents.

Required Observational Outputs

Key workers are required to provide 1 high quality observation for each of the 7 areas of learning / key child / month. Our key persons should have, ideally, no more than 7-10 key children at any one time, which means that the required observational outputs will be 28-49 (i.e. 1 observation X 7 areas of learning X 7 key children or 4 comprehensive observations x 7 key children) or 70 (i.e. 1 observation X 7 areas of learning X 10 key children). 

Daily Diaries: Group Observations

Practitioners / educators will be using the group observation function to share with parents a photo and description of the day's activities - these need to be tagged as a DAILY DIARY observation in the observational tags so that managers can filter out observations that do not carry any formative assessment.

Observation Format

The observation needs to be of sufficient analytical quality to be of value, educationally speaking to the parent. Statements of fact (e.g. "we went to the playground today") are not valuable. Observations should a) observe what the child is / was doing in the context of his / her developmental milestones b) provide evidence (photo / video / audio); c) provide assessment that tracks his / her progress against the milestones highlighted in termly planning

This should not be confused with Daily Diaries, which are a daily posting the key worker team will issue via EY Log to parents based on the Children's day. This will contain a photo of the class activity of the day, a brief, generic description for the class as a whole, and personalised updates on nappies / naps / meals as taken and recorded on EY Log throughout the course of the day. See our Parent Communications Policy for more information.

Adding an Assessment

Key persons MUST add an assessment to their observations so that they can monitor and progress a child's development (see help pages here). Managers will be reviewing the progress trackers that will monitor your children's progress. as will parents so really important to do. You have guaranteed time to do this during your non-contact time (see policy)

Summative Reports: Assessments 

Baseline Assessments:

Baseline assessments are our opportunity to provide a starting point of assessment of the child’s level of development when he / she joins the setting. Room Leaders and Deputy Room Leaders are responsible for ensuring that each child gets a baseline assessment done by their key worker within the first 6-8 weeks of their time in the nursery. Please see here for guidance as to how to undertake a baseline assessment

Termly Progress Checks

Are the termly reports that the managers will issue to the parents that track the child’s developmental progress across the 7 areas of learning. It is the combination of all of the observations made over the course of the term, to identify any learning needs or areas for intervention. 

Managers will review all and submit via the Nursery Management system each term, along with Language Assessment Records (see below) for the terms progress tracker, which can be found on EY Log's reporting function. These will appear in the parent app when submitted and approved

2 year old progress check

Is the summative assessment we undertake as a statutory report that we undertake in the term the child turns two, to assess progress and strategies for intervention.

Language Assessment

And we deliver all through a team that is equally weighted between our primary and second language teachers, alternating in taking lead (linguistic and educational) practice in the following curricula areas to ensure children receive equal exposure to both languages and maximise creative and critical faculties. See our Bilingual Model for more information.