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Summative Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early Years

Foundation Stage Profile.

The aim of this study is to review the data collection of the Early Years Foundation
Stage Profile in accordance with the Department for Educations (DfE) specifications.

The DfE (2014) suggests that Early Years Foundation Stage practitioners should
have their data collection system approved by the local authority (LA) however, may
use any secure system to collect and submit EYFS profile data as long as each child
in their care is accounted for.

However, different practitioners will assess their pupils in different ways. Some will
take a basic approach, using websites such as earlylearninghq (2013) to access
tick-sheets that the website deems are ideal to use as a checklist when making
observations and assessments and adhere to the DFEs different programmes and
requirements. Whereas others will use a series of formative assessments,
supporting their end of year summative assessment with evidence, including dated
photographs, recordings and pieces of work that show the childs development
through the EYFS.

On the contrary to this, some practitioners believe that the collection of this evidence
and discarding of any evidence that does not effectively show the pupils progression
takes time and focus. When completing the EYFSP, the practitioner may have to

Olivia Milner


take time away from initially more important tasks, such as organising lesson plans
and reflecting on the whole class development in order to improve their own
teaching strategies for the rest of the year. Margret Heritage, Assistant Director for
Professional Development at CRESST (The National Centre for Research on
Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing) believes that the evaluation of progress
between schools, teachers and pupils has become overly competitive and that
teachers now identify assessment as something external to their everyday practice
(2007, pp. 1-7).

Glazzard et al. have opposed this claim, suggesting that both parents and children
should be active agents in contributing to the [EYFS] profile (2010, p 124). This
would not only give the EYFS practitioner more space to focus on reflection and
adaptation of their own lessons, but would also give them an insight to what the child
knows they have learnt as well as how they learn at home. Through inviting the
parent to become actively involved in creating their childs profile, the way in which
the teacher and parent communicates is broadened and can be continued when the
child moves into Key Stage 1. In addition to this, the parent may also be motivated to
take a more substantial role in their childs education. Education Scotland believes
that parents who take on a supportive role in their childs learning make a difference
in improving achievement and behaviour (Education Scotland. 2014) and that
through the Scottish Parliament passing the Scottish Schools Parental Involvement
Act in 2006, both schools and pupils have benefited from the engagement of
parental involvement.

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Taking all opinions into account, the collection of the EYFSP is a positive aspect, as
it gives the practitioner an insight into how the child learns as an individual and as
part of a group. Despite the fact that collecting the evidence through formative
assessments takes time for the practitioner, it gives a more detailed example of how
the pupil learns. Also, including the input of both pupils and parents would create a
well-developed portfolio that shows how the pupil has advanced themselves
throughout the first stage of their education.

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Olivia Milner


Reference List:

Department for Education. (2014) Early years foundation stage profile:

handbook. Available at: . (Accessed 28 October 2014).

Early Learning HQ. (2013) Assessment template for letters and sounds.
Available at: . (Accessed 10 October 2014).

Education Scotland. (2014) Why get parents involved? . Available at:
ships/engagingparents/whygetparentsinvolved/index.asp . (Accessed 11
October 2014)

Glazzard, J. Chadwick, D. Webster, A. and Percival, J. (2010) Summarising

learning and development at the end of the early years foundation stage
Assessment for learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. London: SAGE
Publications Ltd.

Heritige, M. (2007) Formative assessment: what do teachers need to know

and do?, Phi Delta Kappan, 39 (2), pp. 1-7.

Olivia Milner