NFER Reception Baseline Assessment

The practical, child-friendly baseline assessment

About the Assessment

The NFER Reception Baseline Assessment is a task based-assessment that uses resources children would typically find in an Early Years Foundation Stage classroom, such as counting bears, plastic shapes, number cards and picture cards. The assessment is easy to administer and its designed to be carried out by any Early Years practitioner, with no additional training required.

Children work through face-to-face, task-based activities, taking around 30 minutes in total, while the practitioner records the child’s progress either on a laptop or tablet or in the individual paper pupil booklets.

The NFER Reception Baseline Assessment has been extensively trialled with over 65,000 pupils, who provided positive and valuable feedback that helped shape the robust assessment.

You have other children coming up to you saying 'can I have my turn now?'- Reception Teacher


How it works What you get? Sample Materials


There are two core components to the NFER Reception Baseline Assessment, Mathematics (assesses using tasks) and Communication, Language, and Literacy (assesses using tasks and observational checklist) and one additional free Foundations of Learning checklist which is optional for use.

Mathematic and Literacy tasks
  • Task based assessments
  • Face-to-face and child-friendly
  • Uses practical resources
  • Does not rely on ICT
  • Based on important aspects of the child's early learning
  • Routed to avoid stressful experience for the child.
Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Observational assessments
  • Assesses prime areas of learning (listening and attention, understanding, speaking and literacy)
  • Assesses characteristics of the child’s learning
  • Provides a robust assessment of each child
Foundations of Learning Checklist
  • Additional checklist included for optional use
  • Assesses PSED, Physical Development and characteristics of effective learning
  • Provides a well rounded picture of each child when used in combination with the core components


NFER Reception Baseline Assessment Timeline


Assessment expert, Catherine Kirkup, discusses the approach taken by NFER when developing the child friendly and robust NFER Reception Baseline Assessment.


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