Tracking Development In The EYFS

April 15, 2019 1:40 pm
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2.Different ways in which development can be tracked in the EYFS

In order to track children’s progress, settings need a system for channelling the wealth of information gathered about individual children into a manageable summary. Detailed individual observations of self-initiated activity in a particular context, photos, and special moments contained in a child’s portfolio, all document the child’s unique learning journey.


There is no prescribed format for this system but it should be:

  • Grounded in the principles of the EYFS
  • Derived from observational assessment as described in the EYFS based on a quality-improvement strategy
  • The formats of the documents used to record information may vary from each setting but they will all have the same aims. These documents are:
  • Progress summary, such as EYFS summary report forms
  • Progress check at age 2

  • Individual tracker – such as learning journey tracker
  • Group trackers
  • Language and communication monitoring tool
  • Handy tools such as observation sticky notes

Individual learning journeys are a versatile way of recording a child’s development in the EYFS and they can be easily added to.

Trackers are also a simple way for practitioners to mark when a child has met certain stages in their development and where they may need more support.

In order to capture progress information, a robust system is needed for identifying the stages children are at and showing the progress they make over time across all six areas of learning and development. The six areas of learning and development are:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Observations of children are vital. Because each child has a unique set of abilities and talents, observations in different situations capture these firsthand.

The starting point is always with the child. Observing what children choose to do, what their interests are, and who and what resources they enjoy playing with provides adults with reliable information about children as individuals. Discussing these with the child, their parents, and team members gives a starting point for a comprehensive approach that will ensure that the child is always central to what is planned.

In the moment planning records are particularly useful when centring a child at the middle of their development. As a practitioner they allow you to simply record what you have observed and how you supported the child in terms of their development and which areas and learning outcomes this was associated with.

Click next page to read about what inspectors will look for in regards to tracking a child’s development

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