Towards Robust Assessment – Using exemplification to support EYFSP

Using Video Exemplification Materials to support Robust Judgement of the EYFSP

This section is to be used during the Summer Term when moderation discussions take place between teams and schools. 

It can be used as a standalone section or as a summing up of the previous materials in this package.

This section will only be used in PVI settings if parents have chosen for their child to stay there rather than be in a Reception class.  Please take advice from your Local Authority if this is the case.

The aim of this section is to share thinking that will help you to accurately assess your children towards the Early Learning Goals.

Each ELG is accompanied by film clip examples and notes of what to notice.  The children filmed are demonstrating that they are either already within the ELG – ‘Expected’ – or are on course to be so by the end of the Summer Term when final assessments are completed.

However you decide to use this section of the materials, it is important to remember these key points –

  • The Early Learning Goals are not the curriculum. They are the end of Reception Year summative assessment
  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook (2022) are vital source material to support assessment. These documents are not subject to interpretation or addition
  • Each Early Learning Goal is broad and deep, as the examples will demonstrate. A broad range of children will meet them.  It is not appropriate to split an ELG into different levels
  • Achieving an Early Learning Goal is not about ticking off statements. Use knowledge of the child to ‘best fit’ achievement
  • Make sure to ‘sense check’ the judgements you are making across all the ELGs. They all link
  • Does your provision really enable some of your judgements?

You must pay due regard to the EYFSP Handbook 2024 –

Principles of EYFS profile assessments (DfE 2024 page6)

Reliable and accurate assessment at the end of the EYFS is:

Based on the teacher’s knowledge of each child: assessment is based primarily on the teacher’s professional knowledge of what the child knows, remembers and can do day-to-day. It is a means of checking whether a child has learnt what has been taught. It can take place during routine interactions with children and does not need to be planned or documented. The teacher may simply reflect on the knowledge, skills and understanding that the child demonstrates in the course of everyday learning to plan what to teach next. Where something has been well taught, a child’s learning is embedded and secured. The child is likely to demonstrate what they know and can do consistently in a range of situations.

assessment is based on a holistic view of what the child can demonstrate against each ELG at the end of the reception year. When assessing children against the ELGs, teachers should look at the whole description for each goal to determine whether this best fits their professional knowledge of the child. The ELGs are interconnected, meaning that children demonstrate attainment in more than one area of learning when engaging in a particular activity. Practitioners should consider the child’s development across the areas of learning, and whether the levels of development in relation to each of the goals make sense when taken together.

Informed by a range of perspectives:
assessment is predominantly based on the teacher’s professional judgement but should also take account of contributions from a range of perspectives, including the child, their parents and other relevant adults.

practitioners need to be alert to the general diversity of children’s interests, needs and backgrounds, in order to accurately assess their development and outcomes against the ELGs. This includes children with a special educational need or disability (SEND), who may demonstrate their attainment in different ways. Children whose home language is not English should have opportunities to engage in activities in the security of their home language. Children from different cultural backgrounds will demonstrate their attainment not only through what they have been taught but also when activities such as role play, cookery, celebrations, visits or events are linked to their cultural experience.

Underpinned by a broad curriculum and effective pedagogy:
teaching should enable each child to demonstrate their learning and development fully. Effective assessment takes place when children are taught well and can talk about what they know, demonstrating their learning and development in a range of contexts. The ELGs represent a narrow measure of what is assessed at the end of reception year and should not restrict the breadth of what is taught in the final year of the EYFS. It is for schools to determine their pedagogical approach and curriculum (having regard for the ‘Educational Programmes’ set out in the EYFS framework) to support children’s learning and development.

(DfE 2024 pp6-7)


Be aware that there are many myths around the EYFSP, and what an ‘expected’ assessment should look like.  These often seem to occur around the Literacy goals.  Always check source material for the definitive expectation.  Common myths will be addressed where relevant in the notes for each ELG.

Key points to remember

  • Using primary source materials for reference

    EYFSP 2024

    Statutory framework for the EYFS
    These documents are the most reliable reference point. Always fact check second hand information. 

  • Best fit

    To be ‘expected’ a child can be just achieving the goal of very securely within the expectations. Using what you know about your children you will ‘best fit’ your knowledge of them to each goal. Each early learning goal is deep and broad so children will achieve them in different ways. Remember that children do not need to achieve every word of a goal in order to achieve it.

  • Sense checking

    “Areas of learning, and therefore the ELGs, are often interlinked. These may also be related to the characteristics of effective learning. If practitioners can see these links it will join up the assessment process. Practitioners will be able to capture each child’s learning more effectively and genuinely. Practitioners can also reflect on these links when they quality assure their assessment judgements. They must consider where the different aspects and levels of attainment make sense when they are put together.”
    EYFSP 2021 handbook

    “It is important that settings carry out a ‘sense check’ of outcomes for all children for whom they have made EYFS profile judgements. This helps to make sure parents and year 1 teachers are given an accurate picture of their learning and development.”
    EYFSP 2021 handbook

  • An open mind

    Above all keep an open mind and use everything you know about every unique child.