EYFS Insight and Development Matters

Hi, we are new to Insight and are in the process of refining things to work for our setting. I was wondering if anyone could help answer a couple of queries from our EY’s teacher:

  1. The progress indicator for each age band is shown by a - (for emerging), = (for expected) and + (for exceeding). Our Ey’s teacher wanted me to clarify how the ‘+’ worked, as when working with the development matters assessment, she wouldn’t put exceeding, but move onto the next band at emerging, if this makes sense?? She was concerned that if she entered an exceeding it would lead to false data in this sense. If anyone out there could lend us a hand on this it would be much appreciated.

  2. When our EY’s teacher looked at entering emerging in the ELG at the end of the year, she found she could only enter this at 40-60+. I am assuming this correlates and means the same as emerging, but just different language used. Is this correct??

Thank you in advance- all help gratefully received :wink:

Hi. Possibly a radical departure, but have you considered making a broad assessment along the lines of:

below
just below
expected
above

to indicate each pupils security/development within EYFS at that point in time. Those that are ‘expected’ are essentially ‘on track to meet ELGs’; those that are ‘above’ are 'on track to exceed ELGs. Pupils that are ‘Working towards’ a borderline on track to achieve ELGs, and those assessed as below are most likely to be emerging at the end of the year.

It’s a point in time assessment equivalent to what many schools do in Y1-6, and could therefore offer some comparability with other years groups.

It’s an approach that some schools are exploring.

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Thank you so much Jamie!

I was thinking along these lines after hitting the web yesterday to see what others are doing (always an amazing resource!)
We are needing to show finite steps of progress in response to recent Ofsted focus.As a school, we have only just bought into Insight for this term, so all new! It would definitely make sense to use the same terminology as the rest of the school as then progress is comparable.

Very much appreciate your feedback :grinning:

Can you clarify? Were Ofsted telling you to track in a particular way, through distinct steps (ie levels)? If so, then they are going against their own guidance (see mythbusting section of handbook) and recent statement instructing inspectors not to use phrase ‘expected progress’.

Track in the way that makes most sense to teachers. I think finding a common approach across all years groups make sense.

Also, a point in time assessment is not comparable with steps of learning. The former: a pupil can be secure/expected all year if they are keeping pace with the curriculum; the latter: pupils go up through steps until they magically become secure/expected after Easter.

The former makes sense to me (and most teachers) but does not allow for a points-based progress measure.

The latter is just levels by another name.

Hello! Thanks for getting in touch and I hope it’s going well so far.

@Jamie_Pembroke’s suggestions are great. Just thought I’d chip in with some info on what most schools seem to be doing for EYFS, and what the customisation options are.

  1. The -/=/+ sub divisions on the default Development Matters are deliberately vague, to allow schools to interpret them. Some think of them as emerging/developing/secure within the band, rather than emerging/secure/exceeding. Personally I’m a fan of reducing the options and customising the terminology to fit what you’re doing in school. So you could have 40-60 Emg and 40-60 Sec, for example, instead of 40-60 -/=/+. The key is that as a school you have a good understanding of what learning is required for each assessment to be made, so if the default isn’t working for you let’s change it!

  2. In Summer2 of reception year, Insight will treat anything below Expected to be an Emerging judgement. This allows you to show exactly what level an ‘Emerging’ child is working at, while still allowing Insight to do things like calculate GLD. When importing data from SIMS etc, Insight will import the Emerging/Expected/Exceeding judgements using the assessment name EYFSP, so that these sit alongside your teacher’s assessments. That means you’ll probably end up being able to see both. Let me know if you’d like more info on this at sarah@insighttracking.com

Hope this helps!

Maintaining a positive stance as I write, I will just say that we were told that what we thought was good progress on our tracking system, wasn’t, it was expected progress.We are now in a position where we need to show ‘accelerated’ progress and ensure we have a higher percentage of more able. We very much want a point in time assessment tracker, which is why we feel Insight is the way to go- completely agree wholeheartedly with the ‘magically secure’ thing! We really need all staff to be positive and just to move forward, focusing on the children- hoping Insight can revitalise assessment, which was admittedly not very useful and mostly a paperwork exercise!!

Thank you so much for getting in touch Sarah! I am returning to work off Mat leave next week (not actually Sue Thornley-she knows I have hijacked her name:)

  1. Will definitely be taking you up on perhaps a few subtle changes for our setting. We are still using Tapestry as an observation package in EYFS and we really want this to feed into and work with Insight. So it may be that we alter some language/terminology to reflect across the school, so that when doing moderation all teachers are using the same language/vocab regardless of age phase. I was thinking maybe changing, ‘below, just below, expected and above’ to ‘emerging, developing, securing and mastering’. Will run past staff, but just need some common language for my sanity!!

  2. Yes, I have taken a closer look and really like the fact that you can actually say exactly where a child is working. Great for diagnostic purposes and for moving forward in terms of next steps. A great option- thank you!

I will prob email you directly soon for a few minor tweaks. So far though, really happy with the whole thing and I know staff are pleased.

This is troubling. There is no such thing as ‘expected’ progress. Ofsted inspectors have been told not to use the phrase ‘expected’ progress. It is a myth. In my opinion, any pupil that is keeping pace with the demands of this curriculum is making good progress. We need to stop seeing that as expected/satisfactory/sufficient/average. When it comes to tracking, I am a firm believer in the old alpine climbing adage “if you haven’t got it, you can’t use it’. Once we ditch those ‘expected’ progress measures then no one can ask for them, no one can use them as stick to beat us with, and we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot with them. When someone asks for what are essentially levels, we need to call them out on it, tell them they are levels by another name, and say “we don’t do that in this school, it has no impact on learning”. I am convinced that many of these progress measures, which are really just measures of coverage, can encourage a continuance of the old levels problem - that we are more focused on linear progression through content than consolidation of what has been taught. Pace at the expense of depth. Ignore the noise and develop an approach that is fit for purpose and is aligned with the principles of assessment without levels.

Anyway, if you’d like to discuss this, feel free to give me a call.

Thanks Jamie! It is very frustrating and your thoughts resonate strongly with my own! I may well take you up on that chat if that is ok? I am returning off MAT leave next week so will be back at the desk so to speak. This will hopefully make it all a little easier. I am looking forward to seeing how staff are getting on with Insight in situ, so to speak, as I have been dealing mostly in virtual world. That said, time away definitely refocuses you and gives you some perspective!!

Email info@sigplus.co.uk and we’ll arrange a time for a chat. J