Best Practice

The principles of effective assessment

The NFER has worked with hundreds of schools and thousands of pupils to develop its Reception Baseline Assessment. Catherine Kirkup and Marian Sainsbury look at some of the principles of effective assessment that have emerged

Starting in a reception class is an important step in a child's educational career. It is the beginning of school education which will continue throughout the primary and secondary phases. Wherever children have been in their pre-school years, a positive start in reception is a crucial springboard for later learning.

Correspondingly, the reception teacher needs to get to know each young learner quickly upon arrival in school, to plan the right learning experiences and address any difficulties. It is this natural process of finding out about each child's personality, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses that, when formalised, becomes a reception baseline assessment.

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