Child Development for Ireland
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Written by Josie
Updated over a week ago

Design Your Assessments

You can choose what information you would like to include in your assessments and two year checks. To do this:

  • Log in to the app and click on Settings, indicated by the cog icon

  • Select Child Development from the menu

  • Select Assessment

  • A screen will open (as below) where you can:

    • configure your own assessments, or

    • choose to set the pre-made assessment templates (as below) as your default

Assessing using Development Matters guidance - focus areas and reflections

This is recommended if you've chosen to use the Development Matters guidance.

What Development Matters says about assessing children:
• Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data and evidence.
• Effective assessment requires practitioners to understand child development. Practitioners also need to be clear about what they want children to know and be able to do.
• Accurate assessment can highlight whether a child has a special educational need and needs extra help.
• Before assessing children, it’s a good idea to think about whether the assessments will be useful.
• Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time.

This assessment was designed in conjunction with the authors of Development Matters, and consists of:

  • The assessment options:

    • Progressing well

    • Give more support

    • Needs special support

  • Space for 'reflections' (free text boxes)

  • No age banding

Assessing using Birth to Five Matters guidance - ranges, focus areas, and reflections

This is recommended if you've chosen to use the Birth to Five Matters guidance.

What Birth to Five Matters says about assessing children:
• Responsive pedagogy is needed to recognise what children know, understand, and can do. Summative assessment should not be a time-consuming process. It should be a straightforward summary, pulling together insights from formative assessment and then making a professionally informed decision about the child’s development and learning
• Summative assessment involves stepping back to gain an overview of children’s development and progress.
• Reliable summative assessment grows out of formative assessment. An informed professional decision is based on a holistic view of a child’s development and learning.
• Summative assessment serves several purposes that can enhance development and learning opportunities for children, including by informing improvements to provision and practice in the setting.

This assessment is approved by the authors of Birth to Five Matters, and consists of:

  • Ranges 1-6, as in the Birth to Five Matters guidance

  • One assessment option:

    • Needs some focus

  • Space for 'reflections' (free text boxes)

Custom assessment options

This gives you the option to create your own custom assessment configurations for your setting.

What the EYFS says about assessing children:

• Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process.
• Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.
• Parents and/or carers should be kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development. Practitioners should address any learning and development needs in partnership with parents and/or carers, and any relevant professionals.

Under, 'Create your own configuration', a new menu will open for you to enter your choices (as below). You can choose:

  • What to call your assessment

  • Which framework to assess within

  • Whether to include age bands,

    • what those bands are

    • how many you'd like

  • Whether you would like to include specific 'assessment options' (shown below),

    • how many assessment options you would like,

    • what you'd like to call them

    • which colours represent them

  • Whether you'd like to include 'reflections' (a free text box)

Please note that if you choose not to add any 'assessment options' or age bands/ranges, your 'progress report' will be blank.

When creating your own assessment configurations, keep in mind:

  • What information you really need - and what you can leave out

    • The EYFS states assessing should not take practitioners' time away from children for too long, so assessments shouldn't be too labour-intensive or complex

    • Does the information presented tell you what the child can do?

    • Does the information presented tell you where a child might need extra support?

  • The language you use to define where a child may need additional support

    • Is it clear to practitioners?

    • Is it sensitive to the child and their parents?

*Note that assessment configurations cannot be deleted after an assessment has been made using it. These can be left as disabled so they will not show up for staff members when going to create an assessment.

Where To Make an Assessment

Assessment is ongoing through your observations of the children in your care, however, you can also record summative assessments to create a general snapshot of a child's current development.

To make an assessment, follow these steps:

  • From the 'Journey' tab of the child's profile , select 'New'

  • Select 'Assessment' from the drop-down menu
    You assessment template will open for you to fill in

  • Your reference material will appear to the right.

    • Currently, to see the reference material on the app, you will need to be on a tablet device (not a mobile phone), and it must be in landscape mode.

Please note: you will not have the option to select specific curriculum statements.

  • You can add a photo, by clicking 'Add photos'

  • Click 'Send' or 'Save as draft'

The Two-year Progress Check

You can complete the progress check for 2-year-olds in Famly (this can only be done once per child). To do this:

  • From the 'Journey' tab of the child's profile , select 'New'

  • Select 'Two year check' from the drop-down menu

  • Enter your assessment in the text fields.
    Drafts are saved automatically should you be called away

Two year checks are structurally very similar to Assessments. Unlike Assessments, 2-year checks are not included in the progress report. Once a 2-year check has been created it will appear as a fixed box in the child's learning journey and can also be found in the 'Overview' of the 'Child Development' app. If a 2-year check has been sent for review, another 2-year check cannot be started.

Where To Find Previous Assessments

The Journey tab

The Journey tab is where you'll find all Assessments and Observations made about a child, in chronological order.

To Make an Observation

To make observations, you'll need the 'Manage Observations' permission enabled. If staff only have this permission enabled, the observations will be sent to a manager with permission to review and send.

To make an observation:

  • From the child's Journey tab on their profile, select New, then select Observation from the drop-down menu, or from the Newsfeed, click on the Observation tab.

  • The boxes above the text allow you to choose the framework in which you're working.

  • The panel to the left, called 'Reference material', is where you'll find the curriculum guidance, to support your knowledge of the child's development. When you enter the child's name, relevant bands or stages are offered as a starting point.

    • Currently, to see the reference material on the app, you will need to be on a tablet device (Ipad or similar, not a mobile phone), and it must be in landscape mode.

  • You can view the child's past observations and assessments for reference too, just click on 'Past observations and assessments'.

  • You can choose to add what you'll be doing next to support the child and extend their learning, by clicking on 'What's next?'

You can learn more about making great observations on our blog

Draft Observations

If you click 'Save as draft' on an observation, instead of 'Send', you can open the observation to finish later. To find a draft observation:

  • Open the Child Development app

  • From the 'Status' dropdown, select 'Draft'

  • All of your draft observations will appear in a list

  • By clicking on the three dots to the right of the observation, you can choose to

    • Edit the observation

    • Delete the observation

Approving Observations

When approving observations made by practitioners, you may wish to offer feedback before sending the observations to the child's Journey. To do this:

  • Log into the Child Development app and click on the 'Overview' page

  • On the panel on the left-hand side, open the 'Status' dropdown and select 'Pending review'. You'll now have a list of only the observations for review.

  • In order to add feedback, open the observation by clicking on it

  • You can add a comment on the box to the left-hand side (as below)

  • You must also then click the paper aeroplane icon to send the message (as below)

  • Finally, click 'Request changes'

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