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Using summary information to support children’s progress

Once information is collected, find out how effective analysis will allow you to discover issues, and then improve practices and outcomes.

Collecting and using data

When information is organised in a systematic way, it helps leaders and managers ask pertinent questions and gives starting points for discussing and understanding progress, and evaluating quality and impact.

Leaders and managers will have to be clear about:

  • what data is collected
  • how data is collected
  • what it is used for.

Analysing the data

Data by itself cannot support children's progress or identify the next steps in learning. It needs to be analysed to discover issues that can point the way to further thinking, resulting in improved practice and outcomes.

Effective analysis of children's progress will enable leaders to:

  • spot trends and patterns in development
  • understand what is working well in the setting
  • identify any gaps in learning
  • identify any particular groups of children whose needs may not be met
  • ask questions about gaps that can lead to improvements in practice and provision
  • make sure children are offered the right environment and opportunities to reach their potential and enjoy learning through their play and planned activities.

Creating the picture

'Creating the picture ' provides additional information on how this information can be managed. 'Creating the Picture' defines the principles, process and purpose of assessment in the early years. It is based on Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) principles, the EYFS Profile and associated publications.

The materials were developed in partnership with local authorities and the National Assessment Agency (NAA) now part of QCDA. These materials address issues of evidencing judgements, developing approaches to manageable record-keeping, appropriate use of data, and demonstrating progress that have emerged as key challenges for practitioners, headteachers, managers and local authorities. The materials also emphasise that all practitioners should be assessing throughout the EYFS, as explained in the EYFS materials.