We were promised to feel confident and reassured about everything, and am I?
This was a good course in many ways, but how can I be reassured when the are talking theory at us without backing any of it with exemples! What is the point of doing such a case when the assessement tools are not yet published, when we cannot actually see in practice how this more instinctive ways of assessing is going to look like, and how heads who love clear measurable progress will cope with such a wishy washy system?
I completely agree that teachers need to be freed from all this recording that takes us away from engaging actively and proactively with the children, but surely that guidance could have existed with the previous system…
The whole ‘only seventeen points instead of 117’ is null in my mind when I know that I will have to probably work with 4x 17! (my ability range will include children working at a two years old level, I already know that!!!!), that’s 68 points, most of them covering a whole range of learning goals in their own right!!!!
Well, I am willing, i am willing to see who it will work out, and how long it will take for someone in the power that be to want more consistent and comparable proof of children’s ability.
I am willing, I am able, let’s see how the journey will pan out!
It seems that in the UK, when there is a change of government, there is a change of policies. Sometimes, change is good, sometimes it feels like something that could have been simply tweaked and improve has been scrapped altogether and replaced by something weaker instead… but hey oh, here we go!
There used to be 9 Early Learning goals in six learning areas: Physical Development, Personal, social, Emotional development, Mathematics, Literacy, Creative Development and Understanding of the world. These were numbered by expectations of chronological attainment order. Each ELG was worth a point. The first three had to be completed to be able to count the further 5 points, and the last point could only be given if all the others had be attained. Complicated? Not really? Common sense? In lots of way, yes. Did it need tweaking? Yes. Some of the statements where rather wishy-washy and needed to be more specific, and covering more sensible criteria. At least, it meant that levelling the children and comparing attainment was very simple and easy.
So, what did they change?
In the name of simplicity, the six areas have been replaced by 7, to split literacy and listening and speaking. The 60+ Early Learning Goals, numbered equally through the areas for easy comparison, have been replaced by random number of ELG for each area. Does that sound good? Well, here are my reservations:
– How they will make tracking and comparing stats within the class, within the LEA and nationally, I do not know…
– why is the number knowledge ELG straight away 0-20? It looks like teacher will have to devise another tracking/ assessment device to pin-point more accurately the learning needs within maths… defeating the ‘simplifying’ argument…
– we have been told of these imminent changes, but have been given nothing more, no assessment pro-forma, no leveling guidance, nothing!
This is a big bugbear of mine: lots of changes going on, but next to nothing is published yet as to assessment tools!
But then, it seems that it is this government’s way, to give next to no support in this sector… the previous power-that-be had created lots of sites to support planning and assessment. It was potentially restrictive, but great when direction was needed. All this has been scrapped…. Some of the tag lines that have been published regarding the changes has been ‘don’t throw the baby with the bath water’, well I beg to differ, I am very afraid that a big chunk of the baby has gone, and there is plenty dirty bath waters left!
Anyhow, moan moan moan over, it is not going to make things better.
So, it might be upstaged by something much better and nationally instigated come September, but as discussed above, I am not too hopeful, so here is what I have come up with to satisfy my planning and assessing needs:
This is a simple spreadsheet system in which the new levels descriptor: emerging, expected, exceeding (yes, all with the same initial, probably in the name of ‘simplicity’, well not when wanting to abbreviate!) so I selected e, p, and c as my markers, the third letter… not great, but the best I could think of!
Each child has their own form, in which the teacher inputs the attainment level (e, p or c), in the column for each term.
This is then fed to the whole class sheet.
I wanted to create this to glance quickly at which children need more opportunities to work on each specific ELG, to help my planning. It also will show progression, or lack thereof.
Do download this if you think it will be helpful. If I fail to put a proper link, try the TES website, it is in my resources (lise8)!