Early Years Foundation Stage
At the end of Reception the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. It provides parents a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. Assessment for the EYFS profile is largely drawn from skilled observation of the child but will also include parental contributions and those of other adults working with the child. The EYFS profile indicates whether children are beginning to meeting expected levels of development (emerging), working at the expected levels or exceeding them. It is important to remember that all children develop at different rates and at this young age a few months can make a huge difference.
Children in the EYFS are assessed according early learning goals.
The prime areas are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas are:
- Literacy: reading and writing
- Mathematics: numbers; shape, space and measures
- Understanding the world People and communities; the world and technology
- Expressive arts and design Exploring and using media and materials and Being imaginative
Towards the end of Year 1 children are assessed on their phonic knowledge.
All children need to be able to identify sounds associated with different letters and letter combinations (called graphemes and phonemes) and then blend these sounds together to correctly say the word on the page. The same skill is needed to help children with both reading and writing. This assessment identifies children who are not using sounds to the expected level and, in that case, the child will take the screening check again when they are in Year 2 following additional support from school.
The Phonics Screening Check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half non-words, which Year 1 children read to their class teacher. Administering the assessment usually takes between four and nine minutes per child.
Non-words (made up words) are included because they will be new to all children. Children who can read non-words should have the skills to decode almost any unfamiliar word. The non-words are presented alongside a picture of an imaginary creature, and children are told the non-word is the name of that type of creature. This helps children to understand the non-word should not be matched to their existing vocabulary.