Understanding Your Child’s Nursery Assessments

Understanding Your Child’s Nursery Assessments

It can seem odd to assess young children, particularly children under 5. However, assessments are completed informally in nurseries and other early years settings rather than testing. 

They’re also critical. Assessments allow practitioners to understand your child’s needs to plan activities to help your child develop. This is particularly important if your child needs additional support in some areas of their learning. In addition, parents can view the assessments so that they have an understanding of how their child is developing in line with the 7 areas of learning (EYFS) as outlined below:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Assessments at our nurseries are ongoing because practitioners are always observing children. The relationships practitioners develop with children allow them to understand their interests and tailor their teaching accordingly.

Expectations of Assessments

Baseline Assessments

Between 6-8 weeks after your child has started at nursery, your child’s Key Worker will complete what is called a Baseline Assessment on your child.

What will be assessed will depend on the age of your child. Children under 2 will only be assessed on the Prime Areas of the EYFS. This is because the Prime Areas are the foundation of learning, allowing children to excel in the Specific Areas of the EYFS. Children over 2 will be assessed on both the Prime and Specific Areas. Your child will receive a ‘grading’, which we will discuss in more detail further on.

Quarterly Assessments

Every 3 months (once a Baseline Assessment has been completed), you will receive an updated assessment of your child’s progress. This means that over 12 months, your child should have 4 written assessments. 3 of these assessments will be gradings only, and 1 will be a detailed/written assessment.

Each assessment will identify areas that may require further development and be supported at the nursery. Practitioners will set targets, and parents will be given suggestions on how to support their children at home.

2- Year Progress Check

Between the ages of 2 and 3 years, children must be assessed in line with the Early Years Statutory Framework requirements. These assessments have to include a written review of children’s progress of the Prime Areas only; however, here at Tommies Childcare, we provide an assessment of both the Prime and Specific Areas. 

[Learn more: 2-Year Progress Check]

Understanding the Assessment Gradings

Before September 2021, the following gradings were used when assessing children in our nursery settings:

  • Emerging: Not yet reaching this level
  • Expected: Meeting the level of development expected
  • Exceeding: Exceeding the level of development expected

From September 2021, the ‘Exceeding’ grading was removed from the statutory guidance. For that reason, we have also decided to remove the ‘Exceeding’ grading from our assessments and will now only use ‘Emerging’ and ‘Expected’:

  • Emerging: Not yet reaching this level (colour coded in orange)
  • Expected: Meeting the level of development expected (colour coded in green)

Raising Concerns Following an Assessment

If the nursery has any concerns about your child’s development, these will be discussed with you ahead of your child’s assessment.

If, however, you ever feel that an assessment may be inaccurate, please speak to either your child’s Key Worker and/or the Nursery Manager.

Communication with Parents

All assessments are completed through our online learning journey software called iConnect (although the app you’ll use to view the assessments is called ParentZone). All parents are given access to ParentZone when they register at one of our nurseries. Please speak to your Nursery Manager if you do not have access to your ParentZone account.

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