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Reception Baseline Assessment pilot

(14 Posts)
Aquifer Sat 14-Sep-19 20:35:33

Hello, my DC has just started reception, we've had a letter from the school saying they are running a pilot this year of the Reception Baseline Assessment (which is "a practical assessment focusing on early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills) to be re-measured at the end of Year 6 to assess progress. We can opt out but I'm inclined to continue to take part; however, I'd be interested to hear teachers' opinions on this?

Part of me thinks they're too young to be 'tested' (although apparently they won't know they're being tested, it's just to establish a baseline) and also I'm sure once these scores are recorded they could be used for any political points/comparing schools/comparing children the govt feels like. Although the info says the individual children don't get a 'score'.

I'm reading the info on the site. Also wondering if it's to focus on kids who aren't speaking 'enough' English.

Would you take part? It's my first DC so all school stuff is new to me!

OP’s posts: |
absopugginglutely Sat 14-Sep-19 22:12:40

I did this on my reception class last week and I personally would allow my DD to take part. It’s just asking them to count things and point at things, really no different to how schools have always baselines new starters.

Lookingsparkly Mon 16-Sep-19 20:13:59

It will be compulsory from 2020. I would let my child take part in the trial.

mundaneflounder Mon 16-Sep-19 23:19:06

Apparently my DS was shown a number story "4+6 like in number blocks". He said it was written down with a plus in the middle. So not just there are 4 people then 6 more how many altogether type thing. Obviously he didn't know the answer (though he thought he did!!!).

I quizzed him and he said he was asked numbers and counting first, he had to count some objects and name the number cards. Then it was number stories.

Was that the new baseline? We have been told the school are trialing it.

I have no problem with it, but as a ks2 teacher I was flabbergasted when he said he'd been asked a sum.

He could be making it up of course, but seems a very detailed story!

Anyone know if this is a part of the new baseline? Did you see anything like this @absopugginglutely ?

absopugginglutely Mon 16-Sep-19 23:24:11

Yes @mundane flounder . I suppose the children that do get the "number story" right will be expected to be exceeding at year 6 end. The children who reached that part of the test managed to pass the earlier parts of the test because it doesn't let you go through to the next bit unless you get the earlier easier ones right.

mundaneflounder Tue 17-Sep-19 15:50:05

Wow. Interesting @absopugginglutely How have you found the baseline so far? Is it useful?

absopugginglutely Tue 17-Sep-19 20:04:36

Yes very very useful and much more efficient in terms of time not faffing with jobs based baselining which can take 6 weeks. Now we can just crack on with teaching them.

absopugginglutely Tue 17-Sep-19 20:05:04

obs* not jobs

Aquifer Tue 17-Sep-19 21:29:15

Interesting, thanks abso !

OP’s posts: |
LiGlitterBug Thu 03-Oct-19 21:17:19

@absopugginglutely Honestly? We’re doing the baseline trial too and finding it a complete waste of time, which seems to be the view shared by other local schools who are taking part (we had a recent EYFS family meet). The tasks and reports are not giving a true picture of the children’s abilities, and it seems to take so much time (we have limited staffing and suitable areas to use, so it’s eating into a lot of class time) to find out such a small amount of information, especially when compared to our usual observation based baseline which gives a much more holistic picture of the child. I’m not confident at all in the predictions it will make, as we’ve always found the Prime Area outcomes to be much more accurate predictors of children’s attainment (from previous cohort tracking).

LoisLittsLover Thu 03-Oct-19 21:23:17

Would reception children not be familliar with the + sign? Genuinely unsure about when this would be introduced

mundaneflounder Thu 03-Oct-19 22:27:38


Some would be familiar with it before starting reception but the vast majority wouldn't. I teach year 1 and they understand it by the time they come to me, so it's taught in reception.

Understanding the + sign is multifaceted.

My child who has just started reception. Could probably (with some counters or something) answer a simple addition story like "there are 4 people on the bus, 2 more get on the bus. How many are now on the bus?" But if you showed him a piece of paper with "4+2" written on it, he wouldn't have a clue what that meant. Lots of work in reception is done on understanding these abstract concepts with apparatus and resources.

So im answer to your question, yes during reception they would become familiar with the + sign, but it's certainly not an expectation that they start reception know what it is. And of course the baseline is all about where they are when they start school. So if you asked in the summer term they would probably all know it.

Knackerelli Sun 06-Oct-19 15:43:33

I’ve done it with my class and j agree with pp that it is boring and takes a lot of time for very little information. We normally do our own baseline that is quicker and more informative. This year, I have learnt more from our speaking and language assessment than from baselining.

blackburn01 Tue 10-Mar-20 09:28:34

Hi, I am currently doing my dissertation surrounding the topic of the baseline assessment, if you could please complete my questionnaire sharing your thoughts on it that would be great smile

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