Characteristics of Effective Learning, According to EYFS

Early Years Foundation Stage is a governmentally authorised tracking system that monitors children from birth to five years old, and is employed by anyone who is registered as a provider of childcare to that age range. It monitors seven different factors, to make sure that children are developing well, within the known ranges of growth and development, and offers, by the time the child is two, and then again at five, just before their introduction into the mainstream education system, a comprehensive chart of their progress towards the various milestones and where each child falls against the national average, which may be considered the norm. This file of information is used to help the child settled into mainstream education, with support in place if it is needed.

Tests, Examinations, Monitoring!
Parents, upon hearing about the EYFS system, might worry that their child is going to be forced to sit examinations and tests that can affect their confidence and mental health, but the system is designed with the huge variety in development of children at that very young age. The extreme youth of the children is perhaps the most important consideration for practitioners, who often try to assess the child without the child being made aware of it.

Conversational Assessment
Linguistic ability and an understanding of the world around them – two of the criteria monitored by the tracking system, which is often performed using software, such as – can be assessed by the teachers in casual conversation with each child. It is possible to make time for a short conversation with each child over the monitoring assessment period, in which they are asked about their views on their community and their family, and asked about favourite colours, numbers and letters of the alphabet – obviously graded for age appropriateness – and their answer noted shortly afterwards and added to the online record

Learning Through Play
Children learn an awful lot through play: problem solving, good communication, how to share and compromise, and even more abstract notions like fair play and justice can be extrapolated from youthful play. EYFS monitors can watch children playing in groups or by themselves and see examples of numeracy and literacy, cooperative play, fairness and so on, drawing from their observations the data they need to fill in the online record.

Very often, computer software can draw conclusions that human error might overlook or make allowances for, which is another reason why using software is a good idea. While no one likes the idea of their child being transformed into yet another number, doing so is a good way to see how they measure up against their peers and allows teachers to put support mechanisms into place without delay. The sooner a child's issues are tackled and remedial lessons put into place, the better chance that child has of keeping up in mainstream school, once they begin at the age of five. Effective play, perhaps, is play which enlightens and educates not only the child, but their teachers and carers too.

*Collaborative Post