NFER Reception Baseline Assessment
The practical, child-friendly baseline assessment
The assessment principles
The NFER Reception Baseline Assessment is designed to assess the knowledge and skills that children bring to school in a way that is manageable, useful and pedagogically sound.
The assessment has been developed by a specialist team of researchers within NFER who have extensive early years and primary teaching experience and research expertise. NFER’s underpinning principles which have shaped the assessment have been further supported by external advisory and practitioner groups. In summary, NFER believes the underpinning principles which are important in a Reception Baseline Assessment are that it should:
- take place in meaningful contexts (e.g. one-to-one with a familiar teacher or teaching assistant)
- enable teachers to gather information on each pupil during the early weeks following a new Reception intake in a systematic and consistent way within and across schools
- employ practical, familiar and child-friendly materials typically used in Reception class settings that are reflective of how children learn within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
- be a holistic assessment that enables all children to demonstrate their understanding and ability when they enter Reception.
The development process started with a review of research, which is summarised here.