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Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In my interactions with children I plan in respond to my own day-to-day observations about children’s progress.

Assessment does not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor excessive paperwork. Paperwork is limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development. Parents are kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development. I will address any learning and development needs in partnership with parents and any relevant professionals.

Ongoing assessments: I will make one assessment six weeks after each child starts, then, one assessment every 3 months. The assessments will be supported by weekly observations. 

Progress check at age two

When a child is aged between two and three, I will review their progress, and provide parents with a short written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas. This progress check will identify the child’s strengths, and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, I will develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving other professionals (for example with NYCC Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) as appropriate.

Beyond the prime areas, I may decide what the written summary should include, reflecting the development level and needs of the individual child. The summary highlight: areas in which a child is progressing well; areas in which some additional support might be needed; and focus particularly on any areas where there is a concern that a child may have a developmental delay (which may indicate a special educational need or disability). It describes the activities and strategies I intend to adopt to address any issues or concerns. If a child moves settings between the ages of two and three it is expected that the progress check would usually be undertaken by the setting where the child has spent most time.


I will discuss with parents how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home. I encourage parents to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals, including their health visitor, and/or a teacher (if a child moves to school-based provision at age three). I will agree with parents when will be the most useful point to provide a summary. It should be provided in time to inform the Healthy Child Programme health and development review at age two whenever possible (when health visitors gather information on a child’s health and development, allowing them to identify any developmental delay and any particular support from which they think the child/family might benefit). Taking account of information from the progress check (which reflects ongoing, regular observation of children’s development) should help ensure that health visitors can identify children’s needs accurately and fully at the health review. I will ask the consent of parents to share information directly with other relevant professionals, if I consider this would be helpful.

Marie Parker,
23 Mar 2013, 15:35
Marie Parker,
23 Mar 2013, 15:33