Observation informal observations will be those which staff carry out each day as you work with pupils. These may be small but over time will enable staff to build up a picture of each pupil. Staff may notice, for example, that a pupil is able to understand new concepts very easily, or that they are holding a pencil incorrectly. It is likely that teaching assistants will discuss your observations with teachers as part of the feedback process after your work with pupils. A disadvantage of informal observations is that they may not be recorded and you might forget to pass on what you have seen to others. Staff may also be asked to carry out formal observations on pupils to support the teacher in assessing pupil’s levels of development. The assessments that are made – do you have progress charts or records that map children’s development, that you then have planned and unplanned times to evaluate, enabling you to support children’s development / be aware of their current stage of development?
Assessment frameworks involve methods such as England’s EYFS profile, possibly baseline assessments for children entering a new setting, the way a setting assesses development for a possible 2 year progress check, P-scales are another method that may be used to assess the development of children with learning difficulties. Other materials from Early Support might be used. Standard measurement – school tests/cognitive aptitude tests that demonstrate a snapshot of children’s academic ability or skill at retaining taught information and that might then be used to compare outcomes between a larger population of same-age children. Health programmes that might measure head circumference, weight, height, visual and auditory functioning. Educational psychologists may use reasoning tests to assess an intellectual age in contrast to a chronological age.