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Puzzling baseline assessment

(34 Posts)
Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 17:52:27

Dd has just finished nursery. Her ongoing assessments throughout the year have been good and her end of year report was also good, with ticks in the highest benchmark for a large proportion of categories.

Her baseline assessment is pretty bad, with a large proportion of categories being marked as "emerging". She is summer-born, so at first glance I thought perhaps that was the reason. But when I looked more closely it really didn't make much sense to me, as skills which are long-established have been marked as "emerging".

Her nursery profile says she can count to 30 and can go beyond with help. (She can go to 100 without much promoting).
Her baseline assessment however says that counting just from 1-10 is "emerging".

When she was 27 months her nhs assessment recorded that she could walk easily up stairs but her 48 month baseline assessment has this as "emerging".

She is very confident with colour recognition and days of the week but these have also been recorded as emerging.

It would be easy to say it doesn't matter but I feel worried that she is being labelled as backward, based on info which is clearly wrong. I am not being a proud mum who refuses to accept a bad report, I am just puzzled because the nursery ongoing assessment and nursery report are in conflict with the nursery's own baseline assessment.

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 17:53:47

Prompting, not promoting. Autocorrect fail...

catkind Sat 18-Jul-15 17:54:29

I'm puzzled that the nursery have done the baseline assessment. Shouldn't the school do that? Unless that's a baseline assessment from when she started nursery?

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 17:57:22

Yes I was surprised by that too. It's a 48-month assessment and the nursery did it in the months running up to her 4th birthday and I think have passed it to her school. I think it's some sort of agreement between the school and nursery.

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 18:04:00

I should add that the nursery is superb and this has been the only blip. The staff are wonderful. Children go from the nursery to some of London's best prep schools.
We turned down a place at a highly selective prep school in favour of a non-selective prep which is nearer our home. I don't think the selective school would have offered a place if dd is as backward as the baseline assessment indicates, as places in the selective school are hotly contested.

catkind Sat 18-Jul-15 18:50:21

I'd probably query it then, does sound a bit odd.

TeenAndTween Sat 18-Jul-15 19:16:08

If I was cynical I'd say it was a deal done with the prep so that the prep looks good later on its value added scores ...

Ashwinder Sat 18-Jul-15 19:19:06

If I was cynical I'd say it was a deal done with the prep so that the prep looks good later on its value added scores ...

That was my first thought too. I could be way off obviously but it seems v odd that your obviously very able DD was given such a low baseline.

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 19:32:14

Baseline assessment is carried out in the first few weeks of reception. Are you sure the data isn't old information from the beginning of the nursery year?

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 19:33:36

It definitely isn't normal practice to do this ... Is it the pre prep 4+?

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 20:50:11

The data is dated very specifically, starting from a few months prior to dd's 4th birthday. The prep is 4+.
The nursery head is lovely but she was vague when I queried the baseline assessment. She said dd is very clever and the fact that she showed "emerging" results on a 48-month test at 45-47 months proves this.

All fine, but when the emerging skills include walking up stairs, which was recorded as secure at 27 months by the nhs, it's a bit strange.

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 20:53:39

It's definitely not normal practice

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 20:55:24

Teenandtween and Ashwinder make interesting suggestions. If this is what has happened I would be very shocked as the nursery head seems so lovely. But I guess the London nursery and preprep scene is notoriously competitive and schools do what they have to. I wonder how widespread the issue is.

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 20:57:53

So the normal practice would be some time after starting reception?

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 21:01:48

No what you describe isn't normal practice at any stage

QueenOfNothing Sat 18-Jul-15 21:02:48

Very common for schools to lower initial baseline scores so they look like they've 'added more value' than they have.

Only occasionally do they get caught though......

However, I thought this was only a state school thing? And you sound like you're in the private sector? Which makes it even more strange.....

QueenOfNothing Sat 18-Jul-15 21:05:00

For example read this:

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 21:09:03

Except value added isn't measured using initial baseline assessment (it will be in 2022)

Clavinova Sat 18-Jul-15 21:09:06

CEM have a pre-school assessment - could it be that? Does she walk up the stairs with one foot on each step or steady herself with two feet on each step?

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 21:10:34

Queenofnithing your link refers to end of Key Stage 1 assessment not baseline

QueenOfNothing Sat 18-Jul-15 21:17:34

I know my link refers to KS1. That's because I only spent 30 secs googling. But the same principle still applies.

Obviously most schools don't do this. But some do. And it'd be totally naive to suggest they don't.

MN is a huge place. Even if only 1% of schools do this then loads or MNers are going to experience it.

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 21:20:22

The same principle doesn't apply since it isn't used as a measure

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 21:56:04

Clavinova, she bounds up the stairs. I have seen her trying to miss out one step at a time. The stairs are an extreme example of the baseline assessment missing the mark.
Another one marked as "emerging" is catching and throwing a ball. She has tennis lessons, and hits with a racquet about 50% of the balls her teacher sends her way, so she has no problem with simple throwing and catching. Again, the baseline assessment makes her sound like she can barely catch a ball, never mind hit it with a tennis racquet.

When identifying colours, she will refer to turquoise for instance, distinguishes between light and dark shades, and will describe something as being yellowish-green, so again I am bemused that the baseline says "names colours and recognises the difference between shades of colour" as "emerging" confused

Deolcam Sat 18-Jul-15 21:59:18

Yes it's private sector, but I can see the logic of it, if that is what has happened. I just can't see the charming head teacher of the nursery as a person who would go along with it.

mrz Sat 18-Jul-15 22:01:21

In countries where more students repeat grades,overall performance tends to be lower ...

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