Perfect: but not in the real world

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
IT is interesting to note that early-years experts defending the foundation stage assessment profile say it will take only 35 minutes to complete per child. I assume this is just to fill in the booklet.

They neglect to point out the vast amount of time required to carry out assessment activities, check the elaboration and exemplification for each scale point, make notes on children's ability to perform activities and take part in moderation meetings.

The area of knowledge and understanding of the world is particularly difficult to assess. There are too many aspects covered in one scale point - designing a party invitation on a computer and drawing a picture of the inside of a synagogue are two of seven very diverse examples in point 6.

For those of us with limited resources, ie insufficient whiteboard markers and pencils, the suggestion in point 7 that "Patrick should demonstrate skills at a Powerpoint display using an interactive whiteboard..." is pie in the sky! I really would like to know which planet these "experts" are from and when they last ran a busy foundation stage class for themselves? They might come down to earth soon enough if they had to change wet or dirty pants in the midst of attempting to carry out an assessment activity with no nursery nurse or classroom assistant.

The profile is yet another example of a burdensome, ill-thought-out initiative which will, at some point in the future, be consigned to the dustbin, like the numerous other ring binders and plastic boxes that have emerged from the DfES at great expense.

Christine Lees

13 Islestone Court Berwick-upon-Tweed Northumberland

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