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Reception baseline

(25 Posts)
MrsKCastle Sat 20-Jun-15 08:51:20

Any EYFS teachers out there who know about this? I know it isn't compulsory until 2016, but I get the feeling that most schools will be using it this year so they can see how it works. I'm curious abut the fact that there's no adjustment for age, but schools will be held to account for progress from reception to end of KS2. Doesn't this mean that summer-born children (who are likely to score lower at baseline) will end up being given lower targets and lower expectations throughout their education? Presumably (I would hope!) there is something in place to stop this happening? I would love to hear more about it from those in the know!

poppy70 Sat 20-Jun-15 09:03:00

They won't be targeted as a result of the baseline. It is simply to show progress. So in fact targeting outcomes based on the baseline runs against what schools want. They want to show as much progress as possible especially in summer borns.

MrsKCastle Sat 20-Jun-15 10:17:38

That's how it should be, but in reality if schools are judged on all children making x amount of progress, they will target support to the children that are at risk of not making that progress. (Believe me, I have LOTS of experience of this!) So a late-blooming child who scores low on the baseline could be at risk of being allowed to coast once they've made x progress, even if they're capable of more. While the child who scored high at 4 will always have to meet higher expectations.

Unless I'm missing something? Will there be some kind of specific provision to allow for this?

MrsKCastle Sat 20-Jun-15 10:22:02

Just thinking again about your point

"They want to show as much progress as possible especially in summer borns."

That would be true if the school was judged on average progress, but not if it were based on '% of children who make x progress'. If it's the latter, then there's not much incentive to push them beyond.

poppy70 Sat 20-Jun-15 10:31:08

Am summer borns are part of the statistics that are scrutinised. Along with gender and FSM.

poppy70 Sat 20-Jun-15 10:33:35

Still stands that no targets are set based on baseline. Except for the top obvipisly who aew alqays pushed to the hilt because everyone's career is based on it. Bad dor them, bad for their mental health, a tragedy waiting to happen.

mintpoppet Sun 21-Jun-15 16:08:40

No decent school would see a coasting child and not push them on further. Believe it or not we know kids well and can see if they can be pushed on, regardless of age.

Minispringroll Sun 21-Jun-15 16:42:20

So a late-blooming child who scores low on the baseline could be at risk of being allowed to coast once they've made x progress, even if they're capable of more. While the child who scored high at 4 will always have to meet higher expectations.
Why would anyone stop encouraging and pushing children to achieve more, just because they've reached an imaginary target, supposedly set years earlier? A decent school will try and support children in achieving as highly as possible. confused
Some children develop later. Some appear to be more able in the earlier years than they later turn out to be.
I have children in my Year 6 class, who barely reached the level 2 (or indeed, didn't reach it at all) in KS1. They were way below expectations on school entry. That doesn't mean that I stopped pushing them when they reached the Level 4. A few of them are now quite happily working on Level 5 and one is moving into the Level 6. I have others, who were supposedly above average in KS1 and who are now struggling to secure the Level 4. Children's futures aren't set at 4,...hmm

mrz Sun 21-Jun-15 16:43:10

The new curriculum has minimum expectations for every year group regardless of starting point and that is the target is for every child to meet (or exceed)

mrz Sun 21-Jun-15 16:44:08

Everyone wants every child to be the best they can possibly be

MrsKCastle Sun 21-Jun-15 18:21:50

See, you're all talking as though most schools are good, decent schools. Of course, all children should be pushed to achieve their potential. But some schools DO teach to expectations. Some have to, because otherwise they will be put into special measures.

If you have a class of 30, and 6 children haven't made the progress that the government thinks they should, and as a school you will be judged (and at risk of 'failing') based on how many of them make that progress, who are your focus children? Who will get targeted for extra support?

This is not a teacher- bashing thread, I know that we all want the best for each child. But I have first-hand experience of the above scenario, albeit working from KS1 results. It does happen. My concern is that by judging progress on a baseline at 4, it will be even worse.

mrz Sun 21-Jun-15 18:30:02

If there is a class of 30 and 6 haven't made the expected progress the teacher will be expected to explain why

MrsKCastle Sun 21-Jun-15 18:39:55

Yep. And an explanation like ' Some appear to be more able in the earlier years than they later turn out to be.' won't in any way convince Ofsted. That's what I'm worried about.

As a teacher, I'm worried that unrealistic expectations (both high and low) will be set because the children will be assessed so early.

I'm not against the baseline in principle, I think it will have some benefits, like being able to compare school intakes more accurately. But I do have concerns and am interested in hearing more about what other teachers and parents think.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 21-Jun-15 18:45:54

But bad schools will do that whatever the system.

The minimum progress measure from ks1 you ate talking about is one of many pieces of data ofsted look at on progress and attainment. It is never in the best interests of a school to hold back children that have already made expected progress because Ofsted also look at the average points progress score of the children and the number of children that made more than 2 levels progress.

It works both ways. I am aware of at least 1 school that used the 1:1 tuition that the last government intended for lower attaining pupils on year 6 children that were on course to get 4a by the end of the year. Seemingly it was easier to get these children up a sublevel to make 3 levels progress than to improve the outcomes for lower attaining children so had a better chance of improving their data.

poppy70 Sun 21-Jun-15 18:51:17

You are a bit demanding aren't you. Schools provide extra support dependent on many things. Children who are well behind, children who need an extra push to get there, the amount of support money can buy them to give children extra support and there is precious little of that around now. Continuously supporting children with a TA for example is counter productive time. Secondary schools report that these children are unable to help themselves in secondary school. You'd get fired if you stopped one day and decided the children had come far enough and you were going to leave it now. Of course what the children really need is support from home but the ones that need it don't get it.

mrz Sun 21-Jun-15 19:13:50

We had baseline assessment in the first six weeks of reception in the 90s until 2002/3 and many schools carry out their own baseline when children start because it enables teachers to plan effectively for individual needs. The only difference being that the new baseline will be used to calculate "value added" so it's to the schools advantage for children to make more than expected progress.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 21-Jun-15 19:14:54

Was that to me or MrsKCastle?

poppy70 Sun 21-Jun-15 19:17:11

Is that in reference to me. MrsKCastle.

MrsKCastle Sun 21-Jun-15 19:27:41

"You are a bit demanding aren't you."

Errrr, no, I don't think so. I'm not 'demanding' anything. I just posted about something that I'd like to know more about.

mrz, as you say I'm sure a baseline is useful for assessing children's individual needs, and I'm sure that every single reception teacher already carries out an initial assessment of some kind. I guess in many ways it makes sense for schools across the country to be using a comparable format.

Will the results be published in any way? I'd be interested to see how the pupils in different schools vary at intake, but only out of sheer nosiness!

poppy70 Sun 21-Jun-15 19:33:41

Well you are asking a lot of questions saying this and this isn't right. Schools use their limited resources in the way they consider most beneficial is the answer. No one knows what will one knows anything about the future of education at the moment. Not even about SATs for next year. The tests are a !measure of value added. It already happens in reality and we are at least 8 years from the first cohort leaving primary school. Nobody knows

mrz Sun 21-Jun-15 19:37:38

Since schools are free to choose which if the approved programmes they use and they vary greatly I'm not sure how they can be used to provide an accurate national picture.

Minispringroll Sun 21-Jun-15 19:54:25

See, you're all talking as though most schools are good, decent schools.
hmm I also believe that most people are good and decent. Anything else would be rather sad. I have yet to meet a teacher, who doesn't care for the children in their classes and isn't working to help them achieve their best. Granted, some might be slightly misguided (my class' previous teacher was very keen on school being fun, they didn't actually learn much, but had a great fun year,...with lots of extra playtime),...but that doesn't mean it's not well intended. (Meant more work and less fun when they got to me.)

Yep. And an explanation like ' Some appear to be more able in the earlier years than they later turn out to be.' won't in any way convince Ofsted. That's what I'm worried about.
Why? Does your school not review pupil progress several times per year? If children don't make the expected progress, then this shouldn't come as a surprise. Generally, there are reasons for it. It's not as if you suddenly realise by the end of Year 6 that they haven't moved up as much as they should have. In that case, support is put into place. However, that doesn't mean that I neglect the rest of my class. What an odd notion...

MrsKCastle Sun 21-Jun-15 20:55:25

Aaargh. It seems as though I have come across as really aggressive, which has not been my intention.

Minispringrolls my experience recently has been of working in a school that is very target-focused. The aim is to be Ofsted outstanding within as short a time as possible. So to do that, they study the figures in a huge amount of depth. Support is given where it will make the most difference to the school's statistics, not necessarily where it will benefit the child. There is a lot of support available, an awful lot- in that respect we are lucky. But in that setting, a child who did badly at KS1 (maybe because of having EAL) and then takes off at KS2 may not be pushed. It's not right, it's not how it should be but when I saw that in future the progress judegements are made based on a test at age 4, that's the issue that sprang to mind.

I do believe that most people are good and decent- all my colleagues care deeply about the children they teach. But their hands are tied by SMT, who will say 'child x must make progress- give him all your attention. Don't worry about child y, he is already exceeding expected outcomes.' SMT believe (rightly or wrongly) that their hands are tied by the government. And they are also generally good and decent people who want to do the best for the children.

poppy70 Sun 21-Jun-15 21:26:48

That is certainly one way of targeting their money. Results have shown that targeting the lower middle gets the better outcomes. Do you want the top set targeted for extra time? They should be getting enough of that anyway. Main class teaching is for the children who get things easily.

mrz Sun 21-Jun-15 21:41:53

We target the pupils who need support regardless of top middle bottom.

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