Book

The 'Early Years Teacher's Book' by Leonie Abrahamson is now available, published by Learning Matters (Sage).


Click here for more details and to download a sample chapter of the book.

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Coaching and Support

If you would like additional support, please contact us for details of informal coaching and mentoring opportunities.

Assessment and Evidence

Action planning and your DPR

Your DPR is your Developmental Progress Review and it is a particularly helpful part of your Early Years Teacher Status. You will meet with your tutor and together identify any gaps you have and plan your next steps. It will help you understand the assessment process, difficult Standards and what counts as “evidence.’

Before your DPR  you will identify your knowledge and understanding, your experience and your evidence for each Standard.

Tip: the key to getting the most out of your DPR is:

  • to complete the DPR form in detail, and
  • to know the Standards well enough to map your activities against them.

The more you engage in this process, the better you will know yourself and the more support your tutor can give you.

The DPR process will help you turn your initial analysis of your skills and understanding into concrete pieces of evidence.

Your tutor will complete a second form during your meeting. On this they will record everything you now need to do if you are to achieve a ‘met’.

Tip: you can use your tutor’s form to draw up your individual action plan.

You need to create a timeline for your action plan as some actions will take longer to achieve than others, for example,‘ developing the garden area’ will take longer than ‘completing a risk assessment form’.

The Setting Visit

Here is an overview of the Setting Visit and a series of useful tips on meeting the assessment requirements. Your Early Years Teacher Status Handbook will have further detailed information for you, so you can read this once you have an overview of the process. If you have specific queries you can email earlyyearsteacher.info to find out about additional support in understanding the assessment process.

Tip 1: Your assessor is here to record what you have achieved in relation to the Standards. Make it easier for them by clearly linking the evidence you present to specific Standards.

Tip 2: You have four opportunities to meet each Standard during your Setting Visit – the tour, your portfolio, the observation and your final interview. You can simplify this process if you plan where you will meet each Standard and make yourself a list as a reminder.

 

Written assignments
You will complete a set of written assignments for your Early Years Initial Teacher Training. These are not pieces of academic writing, but they need to be detailed and reflective (see Reflective Writing). You will use them to showcase your knowledge and understanding, your personal practice, your leadership role and your ability to reflect.

Tip 1: Three assignments relate to your work with different age groups so you can use these to demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the developmental needs of each age group.

Tip 2: Read through the Standards and check out which bullet points require evidence of work with different age groups (see ‘tips’ in Age Range Requirements). Then make sure you evidence those Standards in the three age related assignments.

 

Documentary evidence: you will put together a portfolio with approximately thirty documents. These pieces of evidence are mainly work products or extracts from your reflective journal (see section on Reflective Practice). For example, you might include a parent newsletter you wrote, an IEP you completed or policies you reviewed. The key is that each document shows what you have done.

Tip 1: Once you know the Standards well you will realise that one document can meet several Standards.

Tip 2: Use post it notes or a highlighter pen to record on each document what it is that you did and why.

 

The Tour

The tour is your opportunity to show your assessor the positive impact you have had on your setting, for example, how you redesigned the garden area or book corner.

Tip 1: Draw a rough plan of your setting and walk round it with this plan. Mark on it each place where you can see something you have introduced or used, e.g. the food allergy poster you put up in the kitchen or the profile book you completed.

 

The Observation

Your assessor will observe you for a short amount of time working with the children, your colleagues or parents.

Tip 1: You can choose what you want your assessor to observe, so think carefully about what skills you want to demonstrate and choose an activity to showcase these. For example, if you have developed a planting area, choose to be observed in a planting activity with the children.

Tip 2: Read through the Standards and pick out those you think you could evidence well in an observation, for example, ‘communicating with children.’

Make a list of these to use as a reminder.

 

The Final Interview

Your assessor will make detailed records of your evidence throughout the visit. If they noticed any gaps in your evidence, for example, if you have only addressed one aspect of a Standard, in they will use the interview to ask you questions to fill in these gaps.

Your assessor will let you know before the interview which topics they questions you on, so you will have time to prepare.

Tip: You can prepare yourself for the interview by making a list of possible questions based on the topics in the Standards.
Practice answering them out loud. Here is one to start you off….’what safeguarding procedures do you follow?’

Understanding the evidence requirements

Understanding the use of verbs

If you want to evidence each Standard well, you need to pay attention to the verbs within it as they will tell you what type of evidence you need. For example, if you are asked to ‘model’ your practice, your evidence will look very different from if you had been asked to ‘reflect’ on it

Tip : make a list of all the verbs you can find in the Standards.

Ask yourself, ‘what does each verb ask me to do?’

Then, check that the evidence you have actually shows this.

For example, have you modelled how to use play dough or reflected on why play dough is important?

What makes a good piece of evidence?

A good piece of evidence will clearly highlight:

  • what you thought
  • what you did and why
  • how this had a positive impact on the children and their families
  • how you supported your colleagues
  • how this relates to a specific Standard

Which assessment method is best for which Standard?

Make yourself a list of the Standards and their bullet points.

Next to each Standard/bullet point decide and jot down whether…

…this is something you can record in an assignment   →  ‘A’ (assignment evidence)

…this is a physical change you made to the environment  →  ‘T’ (tour evidence)

… this is something you do when you interact with a child  →  ‘O’ (observation evidence)

…this is something you can record in a document  →  ‘P’ (portfolio)

Further information and tips on this will be available as you progress through your Early Years Teacher Status.

Recording and tracking evidence

You will need a system to record where you plan to evidence/have evidenced each Standard.

You need to create a chart for yourself that records each Standard and bullet point against each potential source of evidence. You can use this to record where your evidence is and identify any gaps in your evidence.

 

If you would like to be sent a sample pro forma, please email us with your request.

 

Further information will be available as you progress through Early Years Teacher Status.