A stage to build trust in teachers

9th July 2004 at 01:00
As a headteacher and early-years practitioner, I would like to comment on some of the issues raised by the foundation stage profile.

I believe that the principles behind the development of the profile are sound. It is vital that we base our assessments of young children on our observations of their interests and learning. The profile gives us the opportunity to use our long-established and effective records of the children's learning, built up over a one or two-year period, as the evidence to complete the document.

Undoubtedly improvements can be made to the profile. It is certainly an opportune time to assess its implementation and to work with early-years practitioners to develop and improve it.

However, I believe it would be a retrograde step to move away from an assessment process which is based on observation and provides both an effective assessment for learning and a summative report at the end of the foundation stage. We should in fact be moving the use of the profile on into key stage 1; this is a far more sophisticated and useful assessment tool than the Sats. It is time to develop and value the knowledge and skills of primary practitioners and trust them to support the richness and complexities of young children's learning. The early-learning goals and the foundation stage profile offer us this opportunity.

Sara Holroyd

Headteacher Werneth infant school Coppice Street, Oldham

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