Guiding Principles for Assessment at Foundational Stage
Nature and Purpose of Assessment
In a Competency-based curriculum as proposed by the NCF, assessment is, simply, ways and means through which evidence of the learning achievements of children is gathered.
Assessment in the Foundational Stage can serve the following purposes:
- a. Identify the needs, preferences, and interests of the child – this information can guide the Teacher in the selection of content and pedagogical approaches.
- b. Give the Teacher an insight into the learning achievement of the child and guide the Teacher on the future course of action – children’s responses to assessment tasks are a wealth of
- information on which Teachers can further act. These responses give a window into the child’s thinking and learning process. Careful analysis of a child’s responses is as much a
- task for the Teacher as designing well thought-out assessments.
- c. Allow consolidation of learning – assessment tasks, when well designed, help children in consolidating their learning through meaningful activities and exercises. Through the application of recently acquired knowledge and skills, children further deepen their understanding and abilities.
d. Make collaboration and coordination possible in efforts to provide the appropriate learning opportunities for the child – information gathered through the assessments can be shared with all stakeholders who have an interest in promoting learning of the child.
e. Give the rate of progression over a period of time for each child – it is not just the achievement of Competencies, but also the time taken to achieve these Competencies that give important information about the learning process.
f. Give an overall view of the learning achievement of children in a classroom, at an aggregate level – this information is helpful for both the Teacher and the school leader in planning and
organising content and pedagogy to achieve Curricular Goals for all children.
- g. Given the different socioeconomic backgrounds of children and differences in the pace of learning, gaps in learning between children in the same class begin to emerge early and could get pronounced by Grade 2, if not addressed in good time. Ongoing, well-designed assessment can help a Teacher design appropriate additional learning experiences for children who are not learning adequately.
- h. Give early signals about possible developmental challenges or learning difficulties the child might be facing – while this is particularly important in the Foundational Stage, equal care
- must be taken not to label children especially based on poorly designed assessments.
Reference and Excerpt
National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022