Take a moment to think about your first memories of school or preschool. The chances are high that while some may stand out, the majority will be vague at best. This is quite normal, as our brains were still developing and we were only beginning to appreciate the world around us. This was also the time when we first learned that our actions could have an impact upon the outside environment. From a professional point of view, children between zero and five years old are in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). Why is this time period so critical? What are some of the most effective techniques that can be utilised to track the progress of a pupil during these years? Both of these questions deserve a closer look.
The Early Years Foundation Stage: All About the Basics
At a very young age, children tend to absorb everything that they encounter. In the same respect, their learning relies upon a combination of games and instruction. Here are some of the ways in which a child will increase his or her personal set of skills:
- Communicating with others.
- Learning about personal expression.
- Appreciating the world.
- Developing on a physical, social and emotional level.
It only stands to reason that a bit of guidance is often needed along the way in order to point young children in the right direction as well as to discourage certain unhealthy behaviours. This is why observation is so important.
How Can EYFS Pupils be Effectively Monitored?
We should first mention that children are normally not given standard tests when they are extremely young. Instead, childcare professionals will rely upon observational techniques in order to better appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the individual in question. Data will be recorded and then analysed. Not only will this provide professionals the knowledge needed to provide the right guidance, but the very same information can be passed on to parents in order to keep them “in the loop” in regards to how their child is developing.
One common and extremely effective method is known as observation tracking. As you might have guessed, this approach entails observing a child and recording his or her behaviour over a specific period of time. While traditional log books are still used, many childcare professionals are now employing insightful tools such as Tiny Tracker. Not only can a massive amount of information be collected, but sharing these details with others is clear and straightforward.
Building Strong Foundations for the Future
The best way to avoid any potential problems is to recognise their presence at an early stage. This is the ultimate goal of EYFS tracking and monitoring. While some children may excel in their own right, others may need a slight push in the right direction. Childcare professionals who are able to stay on top of such requirements will help to create a successful and well-adjusted individual in the future.