In the third edition of this respected and influential textbook, Kate Wall blends theory and practice with an informative and highly accessible writing style to provide a detailed analysis of provision for young children with additional needs.

New to this edition are: - up-to-date information on all the relevant policies and legislation, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Every Child Matters (ECM) and the training guidelines for new SENCOs; - a timeline showing the development of policies and legislation in the field; - learning objectives at the beginning of chapters; - points for reflection within chapters, to aid independent study and facilitate critical thinking; - new case studies, which cover the Birth to 8 age range; - new content on the role of fathers, pupil voice and listening to children, taking an holistic view of the child, and current issues around diversity and inclusion.

This book is essential reading for early years students and practitioners, and for all those working with young children with special educational needs and their families.

Observation and Assessment

Observation and assessment

Chapter Objectives

To develop awareness of:

  • statutory responsibilities within this area of work
  • methods of observation and assessment in the early years
  • the principles of effective observation and assessment.


As part of the ongoing recording and monitoring system within early years settings, the usefulness and power of observation and assessment should be acknowledged as crucial to effective planning as together they can:

  • inform planning
  • inform understanding of a child's current competence levels
  • support reflection on the appropriateness of provision
  • enable the sharing of information with other parties
  • enable assessment of specific children, groups, interactions, the learning environment and staff.

The Early Years Foundation Stage guidance (DCSF, 2008k) and Code of Practice (DfES, 2001c) acknowledge the value and need for observation and assessment, placing requirements on all early years practitioners to

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