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Look, listen and note: making assessments for learning

Effective assessment involves careful observation, analysis and review by practitioners of each childs knowledge, skills and understanding in order to track their progress and make informed decisions about planning for the next steps of learning. This assessment for learning (Early Years Foundation Stage paras 2.62.10, Ref: 00012-2007PCK-EN) is key to the success of Phase One and for enabling practitioners to make principled, professional judgments about when children should begin a systematic phonics programme. For this reason, examples of what practitioners should focus their observations on are included after each set of the Phase One activities under the subheading Look, listen and note. These examples are designed to help practitioners keep a careful eye on childrens progress and will help to identify those who may need further practice and support before moving on, as well as supporting those who are capable of making rapid progress. By observing children, listening to them and noting their achievements, practitioners will be well placed to judge how well children are doing and plan next steps.

At the end of each aspect, the 'Considerations' section provides some indications of what practitioners need to reflect on to develop their practice and to ensure that the needs of all the children are met. For example, these sections suggest how activities may be extended where appropriate to provide greater challenge and encourage children to apply their developing language knowledge and skills more widely.