Tag Archives: EYFS

Effective Assessment to Support Progress in Reception

Recently, Miss Johnson and Mrs Aldridge attended the ‘Effective Assessment to Support Progress in Reception’ conference in Birmingham.

Here are Miss Johnson’s highlights from the day:

Mrs Aldridge and I recently attended a one-day national conference in Birmingham. The conference focused on effective assessment in Reception, but also covered a wide range of other topics such as: transition, working with parents, tracking progress and interaction.

Throughout the day we were lucky enough to have a wide range of experienced Early Years speakers, Vicky Hutchin (Independent Early Years Consultant) and Linda Tallent (Learning and Training Consultancy) to name a few. Each speaker offered their expertise on a range of topics and shared a variety of resources that could be used to help improve current early years practise.

I chose to attend the ‘Transition’, ‘Observation’ and ‘Tracking Progress’ workshops. Each workshop provided me with the opportunity to extend and enhance my current knowledge, magpie a range of new ideas and converse with other early years professionals. I especially found the ‘Tracking Progress’ workshop useful. It was highlighted during this workshop that in-house moderation was essential in order to ensure that all members of staff were assessing children’s progress accurately and fairly. We were all provided with an in-house moderation template which could be used to record the discussions and judgements made. The Early Years Team has now implemented this moderation process and has to date moderated reading, writing and mathematics. We have found the template an extremely useful and easy to use tool to document that in-house moderation is actively taking place at our school. It has also provided staff with the opportunity to share evidence, discuss next steps and assess individual childrens learning.

In conclusion, Mrs Aldridge and I found the conference extremely useful as it provided us with the opportunity to develop our own professional development as Early Years teachers.

EYFS In-House Moderation Record

Conversation Station

We first came across the idea of a ‘Conversation Station’ when several of us attended  Communication and Language training delivered by Eileen Swan. In this post, Sarah Johnson (our Nursery teacher) shares how she has implemented a conversation station in her classroom.Conversation Station

In Nursery, we have developed our very own Conversation Station. We implemented the Conversation Station in order to ensure that high quality, meaningful, consistent conversations would occur within Nursery. The Conversation Station ensures that the children have the opportunity to talk, get feedback on their language, and have appropriate language modelled for them by an adult.

Our conversation consists of a tent, with two comfortable beanbags and key vocabulary from current and previous topics. The vocabulary cards are regularly used to stimulate discussion when children find it difficult to think of a topic to talk about.

The conversation station provides a ‘private’ space within the classroom, in which a child and adult can have a conversation without any interruptions. The Nursery environment doesn’t always provide the opportunity for children to have time talking one on one with adults about a topic of their choice, something that the Conversation Station now provides. It is also beneficial for those children that lack confidence when speaking in front of small groups as they are provided with this much needed one on one contact time.

When in the conversation station with an adult, the children are encouraged to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills. It also provides the platform for adults to model effective conversation skills. The adult can also take this opportunity to introduce new vocabulary and ask questions to extend responses. The language rich environment, achieved from the key vocabulary cards, also provides the children with the chance to demonstrate their knowledge of letters and sounds. Once the conversation has finished, the adult records a quick note of who they were talking with, the topic and any other relevant information e.g. the child used a range of vocabulary relating to the farm. This record is then used to inform planning and assessment.

In Nursery we have noticed a significant improvement in the children’s conversation skills since implementing the Conversation Station. We have also noticed that the children are very keen and eager to visit the Conversation Station, and often ask adults to spend time in there with them. It is a fantastic addition to our classroom that encourages progress in the areas of: communication and language; literacy; and personal, social and emotional development. 

By Sarah Johnson, Nursery Teacher

The following ‘Conversation Record’  has been adapted from a resource created by Eileen Swan.

Eileen shared the following background reading.