Need to know: Reception baseline assessment

From 2020, Reception teachers will have to assess the maths and language skills of every 4 and 5-year-old child starting school. Tes reports.

The test framework was published earlier this month, and it may allay some fears that baseline could lead to children being labelled as “failures” at an early age.

Unlike other statutory tests, this assessment will not have a pass mark – and teachers are being told not to prepare children for it. And teachers will not be given pupils’ individual scores.

Instead, it is being designed to provide a baseline for the DfE in measuring children’s progress between their first weeks in school and their final Sats results in Year 6.

Here are the details that teachers need to know:

What will the baseline assessment actually assess?

The assessment will evaluate children’s skills in maths and language, communication and literacy (LCL). A proposal to assess children’s self-regulation – which includes the ability to focus on a task – has been dropped after trials.

When will I have to do start doing the baseline assessment ?

The assessment is due to become statutory in autumn 2020, but a voluntary pilot scheme begins in September 2019, which schools have been invited to sign up for. Schools have been emailed by NFER – which is running the tests – with information on how to sign up for the pilot. The recruitment window closes on 5 April 2019.

How will children be assessed?

The assessment is a task-based assessment using physical objects such as plastic shapes and picture cards. Children will respond to the tasks they are given through speaking, pointing or moving objects.

The maths tasks will cover: early number, early addition and subtraction, mathematical language and early understanding of shape.

The LCL tasks will cover: early vocabulary, phonological awareness, early reading and early comprehension.

Read much more about the baseline testing Need to know: Reception baseline assessment

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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