Throughout ‘continuous provision’ observation forms a fundamental aspect of the pedagogy of EYFS at FPS.
Young children demonstrate language, mathematics, science, creativity, physicality – sometimes all within one activity – and the task of the practitioner is to make sense of what is seen, to recognise any significant steps in learning that may have taken place and to identify where help and support are needed to make further progress.
Jan Dubiel, 2014
Observation and responding to children’s thinking inform our planning of experiences and opportunities, how we create our environment for thinking, the strategies the adults use to extend learning (modelling, scaffolding, questioning, discussion, shared sustained thinking) and how we capitalise knowledge of children’s interests to ensure high levels of engagement.
The Leuven scales
Alongside the use of observation as an assessment tool we also rely upon the work of Professor Ferre Laevers (1980s) to understand how focused and comfortable the children are in our setting. The scales of well-being and involvement act as a measure of deep learning and of the effectiveness of the learning environment.
The 5-point scale measures:
Well Being refers to feeling at ease, being spontaneous and free of emotional tensions and is crucial to good mental health. It is linked to self-confidence, a good degree of self-esteem and resilience.
Involvement refers to being intensely engaged in activities and is a necessary condition for deep level learning and development.
In addition to the continuous cycle of observation and formative assessment which informs the next steps for a child’s learning, summative assessments are carried out for phonic development, number and an assessment of each child’s stage of development for each of the 7 areas of learning. These take place termly and informs planning of subsequent teaching and learning.
A continuous cycle of observation, assessment and planning is embedded throughout our EYFS provision.
Tapestry is used to record ‘Wow!’ moments – when a child does or says something that demonstrates progress or skill in a particular area. Parents also use tapestry to upload ‘Wow’ moments, ensuring that we gain a broad and balanced view of the child and their individual needs. Parent also send in WOW petals.