No one wants to subject their child to endless tests, examinations and studies, and yet a child’s progress must be endlessly tracked to ensure that they are happy and confident in their learning, and easily able to cope with the challenges and growth that comes with each advance in learning. This is especially important in the first few years of a child’s life, from birth until the time they are deemed ready for fulltime formal education, which is just after their fifth birthday.
What is EYFS?
For this reason, the UK government introduced Early Years Foundation Stage tracking, which follows a child’s growth and development in a number of significant fields during that time. Anyone who is a child minder or teacher for children aged from birth to five years old must fully maintain a child’s EYFS record, and the results of this must be shared with the parents when the child is around two years old – when any serious issues would have begin to present themselves – and at the age of five, as the child ‘ages out’ of EYFS and enters full-time schooling. This allows parents and teachers to share concerns and worries about the child’s development, draw up and implement remedial plans, and otherwise track areas of concern.
Because children all change so rapidly during this phase of their lives, and because EYFS is so very comprehensive, trying to maintain and track records manually would be almost impossible. Instead software, such as the EYFS Tracker by Tiny Tracker, is used. Care-givers input the data on a regular basis, including marking milestones, improvements and points of concern, and the tracking software can flag potential issues, often before a teacher or teaching aide does.
How Does It Work?
While this monitoring and recording might sound alarming, it is not. Children are not subjected to examinations or berated if they do not get a task ‘right.’ Instead, children factors like their ability to play well with others, to communicate well, whether distressed or simply informative, to perform basic maths – such as equally sharing out a basket of toys, for example – and to recognise and say the letters of the alphabet and spell out simple words are observed while the children are enjoying playing games and interacting normally with teachers, teaching aides, and other children.
How Often Is My Child Assessed?
Even the work of gathering and collating the data is not as tricky as it might seem. While many child-care providers might want to gather data on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, others only gather their data once a term. Whichever time-frame is used, it is a simple enough process once the child reaches the outer limits of one of the (fairly widely overlapping) time frames, to fill in their latest developments. Using a process of small regular updates means that any teacher could instantly call up a child’s file and track their progress over the last few months or years, usually presented in an easy to read and asses summary form.
Not bad at all for monitoring and assessment that your child will be entirely oblivious to, as they get on with the business of playing and learning!