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EYFS profile - a question about exceeding the early learning goals for teachers and parents.

(99 Posts)
tiredbutnotweary Sun 19-May-13 22:21:15

An EYFS teacher explained to me that following her moderation training she now thinks it is very hard to award the exceeding category for an ELG, even if, for example, a child is working at a secure 1a NC level. If I've understood correctly a 1b is the expected level for a child at the end of year 1. So a child working at 1a is working beyond the level expected at the end of year 1.

Is this right? Do parents have any expectations that their child is exceeding some of the ELGs? Are any teachers willing to talk about their own moderation training or what they think exceeding looks like?

I'm really interested in ELG "the world" where the expected exemplification materials include these 2 examples - a child using categorisation terms like mammal and stating that mammals have to have warm blood and a spine, the same child showing where her spine, heart, lungs and brain are. Another child stating the reason we do experiments is to see if what we think happens.

Is this level of understanding really "expected" for the majority of reception children?

tiredbutnotweary Mon 20-May-13 19:04:14

Thank you all so much for your responses thanks

I understand why some people are saying that it doesn't really matter too much, but I do think that children assessed under the EYFS should all be assessed in the same way.

Abby thank you so much for your candid reply - this was exactly what I was looking for.

I feel relieved knowing that in another school the level you describe is seen as exceeding. I remain concerned that there is disparity between schools and perhaps LAs. I also remain concerned that only 40% of children were assessed as reaching a good level of progress as this seems unlikely to reflect accurately the great progress most children make in school. So I'm thinking that either many children were assessed incorrectly (unlikely) or the bar has been set too high (more likely).

Tiggles Mon 20-May-13 19:20:02

smile I think they should be assessed in the same way - that to me is why there is a framework, otherwise there wouldn't need to be one.

"I also remain concerned that only 40% of children were assessed as reaching a good level of progress as this seems unlikely to reflect accurately the great progress most children make in school"
But by your own definition then, if MOST children make great progress, then that 'great' progress has to be 'average' progress, and so only those who make more than great progress can make more than average progress.

RosemaryandThyme Mon 20-May-13 19:20:19


I have an interest here and have been through the new EYFS guidelines with a fine tooth comb !

The guidance on exceeding goals is sparse and examples available are very specific.

In my view it is likely that goals in some areas are far easier for a teacher to observe because a) - it is quick and easy to plan, observe and execute a maths session where all children reveal say their knowledge of division than it is to extract the same knowledge or determine if it's even in a childs head for say the people and communities topics, and b) the skill base needed for the now broader catagories mean that a child who previously had a strength in say RE knowledge, but average in literacy, would be hard pressed to produce evidence of exceptional level of attainment.

So in brief I agree with your teachers comments - many less "exceeds" to be handed out in the near future.

Periwinkle007 Mon 20-May-13 20:11:20

I have very little understanding of the EYFS and with my daughter's report am actually hoping they just write in English and hoping they tell me she is doing well (which I know she is) and that she is well behaved and happy. I do understand the NC levels so would like to see them on her reports further up the school but I know she is achieving well and I know it is subjective in the EYFS so am not too worried about actual levels there.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 20-May-13 20:11:50

I don't know what new guidance said but reception teachervtold me in jan they were assessing ds on nc levels and would use them in end of yr report. I nodded politely then asked if he was playing nicely with other kids as that's what i think is more important at 5!

tiredbutnotweary Tue 21-May-13 12:01:32

In an earlier post I used the term "a good level of progress" - I got this wrong, it's a "good level of development". I wonder if teachers would be happier with a measure of progress instead of development?

So using the current profile in the pilot only 41% of children achieved a good level of development. Even for Autumn born children only 52% acheived a good level of development!

In the pilot children were assessed against both profiles and compared. On the old profile the percentage of children achieving a good level of development was 64%.

The new EYFS good level of development does measure development differently, with an emphasis on maths and literacy, including writing. However even when they accounted for this the same amount of children (64%) achieved a good level of development against the old profile and only 42% against the new profile.

To me this indicates that the old profile was a more accurate assessment tool for children's development because unless our nation's children's are dunces, surely you'd expect most of them to have an average level of development? To put it another way, why would a good level of development mean that most children couldn't achieve it. Has the measure been set above the normal level of development?

This might be explained because last year teachers were teaching to the previous curriculum linked to the old EYFS and an improvement would be expected this year because teachers know what the expectations are. This explains why in my DDs school there's lots of counting up to and down from 20 as well as looking at 3d shapes, 1 more, 1 less, as well as phonics and writing.

So far so good, but if there is an expectation that the level of children achieving a good level of development will rise due to the tailored teaching, surely the level of children receiving exceeding would go up as well?

If you're interested (and I appreciate many are not), here's the link to the pilot report:

Elibean Tue 21-May-13 12:28:17

Very interesting, tired, thank you for posting. It explains it all beautifully.

I repeat, grrrr!

Tiggles Tue 21-May-13 15:20:05

smile Now I see - they are saying good development is only meeting the expected in all areas, not that they are exceeding it. In my head that would be 'satisfactory development' (and good would be exceeding).
So yes I would be hmm

learnandsay Tue 21-May-13 16:02:19

I've got a problem with chart 2.5 which is girls were more likely than boys to score the expected level. But if a girl is already performing at the expected level and the teacher stops teaching her does the fact that she met the expected level (rather than exceeded it) say more about the girl or the teacher?

mrz Tue 21-May-13 17:06:14

It isn't about the teacher it is about the child hmm

mrz Tue 21-May-13 17:12:25

It's really interesting to compare parents opinions about the KS1 assessments and those about EYFS assessments

MrsMelons Tue 21-May-13 17:15:12

why would a teacher stop teaching a girl reaching the expected level Learnandsay?

mrz Tue 21-May-13 17:26:51

The new EYFS doesn't emphasise Maths & literacy the Prime Areas of Learning are
communication and language
physical development
personal, social and emotional development

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 17:35:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Tue 21-May-13 17:41:30

Under the old profile (which IMHO was less demanding) only 5% of children exceeded the ELGs

learnandsay Tue 21-May-13 18:23:14

Because the resources required for subsequent levels or the pupils who attend sessions at subsequent levels are in another part of the school or are under the direction of a different teacher.

MrsMelons Tue 21-May-13 18:24:32

That is a poor excuse IMO

learnandsay Tue 21-May-13 18:28:22

Part of it might be thought of as an excuse, but it has a physical manifestation which still needs to be overcome (or not) as the case may be, if the pupil is unlucky.

mrz Tue 21-May-13 18:40:45

It's an excuse pure and simple and not a very believable one at that!

MrsMelons Tue 21-May-13 19:39:31

I don't understand the physical manifestation comment, some higher level books, slightly harder tasks to be set for individual children. It doesn't necessarily have to be specially work set for children who are levelled at 1c/b/a/2 etc but just enough to be challenging them.

I remember in the 1st couple of week of YR the teacher said one of the things the children do very early on is sorting things, to ensure DS was challenged they used some large pieces of card so DS could write labels on them and the other children could sort the objects as he could already do this. Its a very basic example but differenciation all the same, a good teacher should be able to do this.

Don't get me wrong, things have not always been perfect and there have been times when I think he could have been challenged differently but on the whole I have been impressed. It is a stand alone infant school so no way of him joining classes of the same level but they have still managed to allow him to progress at the right level for him.

tiredbutnotweary Tue 21-May-13 21:49:17

Thank you again for all the views being shared smile

Hello Mrz glad you dropped by! The good level of development measure includes the prime areas of learning along with Maths and Literacy (i.e. 12 of the 17 goals) doesn't it? Is it fairer to say the GLD de-emphasises certain early learning areas that were previously included in the old profile GLD measure?

I'm less concerned about the focus of the good level of development than whether the bar has been set too high for expected and is now being set too high for exceeding (well at least in one LA).

You mention that you think the old profile was less demanding (so this one is more demanding) but do you think the level of demand was set about right for the majority of children on the previous profile & therefore is the new one set too high?

I'm very interested that you say only 5% of children exceeded the previous ELGs (is that achieved 9s or achieved a total score above a certain point?) because despite all the evidence I've seen so far indicating that the new profile does have a higher bar, between 7% to 17% of children exceeded the various ELGs with up to nearly a quarter of Autumn borns exceeding some goals (well if I've read the report correctly!).

I can't help wonder if this is due to the other issue referred to in the pilot report, which was teachers raising concerns that it might be more difficult to ensure consistency when determining whether a child's level of development is emerging, expected or exceeding under the new profile.

mrz Wed 22-May-13 06:47:13

Nationally the majority of children achieved (only) 6 of the 8 ELGs under the old profile... the 9th profile point indicating a child working beyond expectations (nationally below 10% of pupils).

Using the old profile as rough guidance all those children who achieved a score of 6 or less would be emerging under the new profile and those who scored 7 or 8 would be expected and 9s would be exceeding. In addition the bar has been raised ...

I'm not working in EYFS at the moment so I'm not an expert but I know that when I taught reception there were huge variations in expectations from one LEA to another using the old profile and with the new profile things appear even more blurred so I can't see the situation improving.

One teacher may well award exceeding for an ELG whereas another would consider the same evidence to indicate expected levels or even emerging levels of development.

mrz Wed 22-May-13 06:55:14

For the record teachers had to use the new EYFS from Sept 2012 but the profile wasn't released until the end of November.

learnandsay Wed 22-May-13 16:09:28

The teacher has written in the diary "I'm encouraging expression"

The reading book is a level 4 Boff, Chopper & Kropper story

How can we do expression if every page of dialogue simply says

come in, said Kipper
come in, said Dad
come in said, Chip
-you get the picture-

Or does lying on the floor in a dead pose, having died of boredom, count as expression?

I'm thinking of simply asking the teacher either not to encourage expression, or to use books with proper dialogue in them. Because you can't do expression with the dialogue given.

TolliverGroat Wed 22-May-13 17:20:34

There's more scope for expression once they find the magic key. Then at least there are giants and dragons and Vikings and so forth to get excited about.

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