Observing and Assessing Children’s Development

At the Fields, children are observed regularly. We do this for a number of reasons:

  • To get an understanding of the child’s likes and interests
  • To assess if the child is progressing and developing at the same rate as most other children
  • To enable us to provide enriching learning opportunities that will accelerate each child’s development
  • To assess if we need outside professional guidance and help (such as a Speech and Language Therapist)

At the age of 2, all children are assessed using our Foundation Stage Tracker (summative assessment). At this stage, we will make a judgement to ascertain if children are at their expected level of development. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage as our criteria and will assess if children are emerging, developing or secure in the following areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development.

In addition, we also observe children in the following specific areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Children are assessed in these areas when they move to Willow Nursery School, usually around the age of 3 (also called summative assessment).

Sharing our observations with parent/carers

Observations are collated in the children’s Learning Journeys. These are folders where the child’s key person assembles observations, photographs and drawings. The written observations help the key person form a picture of a child’s progress. These folders are accessible to parents/carers at all times.

From the age of 2, we also meet parents/carers formally to make sure that they have had an opportunity to look at their child’s Learning Journey. Our parent meetings usually happen in November and February.

Transitions to other rooms or settings

When a child is ready to move to the next room within the Centre, key persons will take the children for visits and will have a hand over conversation with the new key person.
Parents/carers are more than welcome to visit the next room to have a look for themselves and to be introduced to the new key person.

If a child moves from us to another setting, we send over their assessment summary and give their Learning Journey to their parents/carers.
When a child is ready to move onto Primary School, we liaise with their new school and meet with staff to have a handover regarding their development. The child’s assessment summary is also passed on to them.