Assessment is the process of analysing and reviewing what is known about a child’s development and learning. The revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework states that 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.

Formative assessment (ongoing assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners knowing children’s level of achievement and interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents and carers share. The revised EYFS framework states that practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all areas of learning and development.

In planning and guiding children’s learning, providers must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect this in their practice.

Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • playing and exploring

  • active learning

  • creating and thinking critically.

Note: This topic refers to information in the new EYFS applicable from 1 September 2021.

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