From September 2016, primary schools in England will be required to conduct a baseline assessment with all children entering Reception classes. The DfE has today approved GL Assessment’s Reception baseline assessment as one of the few permitted for use by schools for this purpose from September 2015.
Fast, approachable and face-to-face, Baseline is a fully standardised assessment for pupils aged 4 – 5 years. It is designed to establish a pupil’s developmental stage in literacy, language and maths as they start school in Reception and an additional, optional assessment can also be used at the end of Reception to show how the child has developed over the year. The assessment has been developed in line with DfE requirements for an on-entry assessment in these areas.
Baseline is an engaging, one-to-one assessment that is delivered on two tablets – one for the pupil and one for the teacher. The pupil answers questions orally or by tapping the answers on their tablet while the teacher controls the audio and progression of each question. Most of the scoring is done automatically to ensure accuracy and the assessment can be accessed on iPad or Android devices.
Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Assessment, says: “We know the Reception baseline is a Government initiative, but we have set out to make our baseline a useful tool for schools and a positive experience for children. Following a careful design process, we believe that GL Assessment’s Baseline will provide teachers and parents with the information they need to give every child the best possible start, as well as generating the information DfE requires. The 1,560 schools involved in our trials have given us very positive feedback on the tablet format, particularly as many young children are already used to using this kind of technology at home.”
The simple, engaging digital format is highly appealing to young children. As Grace Shaw, the Early Years Foundation Stage Manager at Datchet St Mary’s Primary Academy explains: “I was really impressed. Children will love the pictures and the tablets. I really like that the teacher controls what the child sees on their tablet and you can adjust the pace of the assessment to the child’s needs.”
Baseline was trialled with 1,560 pupils in England in September 2014 and 500 of these pupils were reassessed to ensure the reliability of the assessment. Baseline was also trialled in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and a number of international schools also took part. The on-entry assessment can be completed in less than 25 minutes and the optional end of Reception assessment is delivered in two short sessions – one for literacy and one for maths.
For schools looking for more information or to pre-order Baseline for September 2015, they can visit: www.gl-assessment.co.uk/baseline