Assessment for Learning 

“Play is the highest form of research.”

Albert Einstein - Scientist

We believe that children are active learners who learn best through play, first-hand experience and meaningful conversation. They need time and space to explore, experiment, research, reflect and make sense of their world. We provide a learning environment that enables children to become independent, autonomous learners.

Children are given the opportunity to return to experiences and deepen their learning throughout their time here and are given genuine choice between a range of experiences which are rich in potential for learning. Staff and parents work in partnership to create a shared understanding of how children learn and how adults can best support their learning.

For more information about your child's learning at Pembury House, please see our       Developmental Learning Policy


  • To have effective Home / Nursery relationships by working closely with families to nurture and support children’s learning and progress
  • To create an effective learning environment by ensuring children are presented with open-ended creative experiences in an attractive, calm, purposeful environment, (indoors/outside), with natural materials and natural colours
  • To support children to become mastery learners: to ask questions, take and evaluate risks, develop resilience and have ownership for their learning and develop ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ (EYFS, 2021)
  • For staff to be attentive to the 4 principles of Assessment for Learning: learning outcomes, feedback, questioning and self-evaluation/challenge
    • To celebrate children’s learning and record their experiences so that children make the best possible progress
  • To provide opportunity and access to learning for all at Pembury according to individual need

Assessment Tools


Celebrating children’s learning and recording their achievements

We use a range of assessment tools to celebrate children’s learning, recording their achievements, assess children’s development and progress, and close gaps in learning.

Assessment Tools

  • - EYFS Early Learning Outcomes for the Prime and Specific areas of learning
  • - Staff use objective led planning developed from observations of children’s fascinations, interests and schemas. Inquiry based learning is planned for individuals or small groups of children who share an interest.
  • - Plans are linked to EYFS Development Matters / Birth to Five Matters and are differentiated to ensure inclusion and challenge.
  • - Differentiation is achieved through accessibility of resources, complexity of task or expectation of outcome.
  • - Evaluations inform next steps for individuals and / or groups of children.
  • - Child engagements are observed and monitored through our observations
  • - The team make informed professional judgements about children’s progress (Birth to Five Matters, 2021):

  • Tapestry online e-learning journey

Children’s interests, samples of work photos, observations, Learning Stories and other formative evidence of progress and achievement is recorded in the children’s ‘e - learning journeys’ to capture significant progress.

- Staff aim to enter 1 Learning Story with 5 photos; and 5 additional ‘wow’ photos; per half term (depending on child’s attendance)

- Learning Stories (based on the work of New Zealanders Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee) capture the story of a child’s interest / enquiry, and how this has supported progress and development

- Parents access their password protected secure area to comment and contribute.

  • ‘Environment of Enquiry’ Books and classroom displays

Contain photos, records of conversations, and samples of work

  • Oral story telling stages

‘Helicopter stories’ – assessing children’s oral story telling stages at the beginning (cold stories) and end (hot stories) of a term

  • Target Tracker assessment data programme

- We aim to enter and track data 3 times a year (baseline / mid –point / summative)

- The Head Teacher uses this information to analyse progress across the nursery.

  • EAL Screening – twice a year (Julie Cigman’s system)
  • More Able Child Screening – twice a year (NACE categorisation grid)
  • Parent / Key Person consultations

At home visits, and then 3 times a year - to discuss settling in, progress and transitions out of our setting.

Learning Journey