The Victorian Government is investing $22 million to support early childhood educators to plan and deliver quality education programs. This includes the development of an Early Years Assessment and Learning Tool (formerly known as the Teaching Tool for Kindergartens) to enhance best practice the in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Practice Principle, Assessment for Learning and Development.
The Early Years Assessment and Learning Tool will enable educators in three and four-year-old kindergarten programs to:
- observe and assess children’s learning and development
- be intentional in their teaching practice and identify suitable next steps for program planning.
The University of Melbourne worked with about 120 kindergarten teachers across Victoria in 2020 to develop the Tool. The Tool's development built on the extensive research to create the
Early ABLES suite and has been validated for use with all children in kindergarten programs. The Tool will be further refined as an outcome of the pilot of its use which is taking place in over 50 kindergarten services throughout 2021.
There are eight assessment modules in the Tool that align with the five Learning and Development Outcomes in the VEYLDF and map to the Victorian Curriculum.
The eight modules in the Tool are:
- Identity and community - social
- Wellbeing - emotion
- Learning dispositions
- Communication - interactions
- Communication - symbols and text
- Learning and communication - Numeracy
- Wellbeing - movement
- Learning and identity - thinking skills
Modules are completed separately and at different points in time. They are designed to be used more than once to capture the learning and development of individual children over time and support the continuity of their learning.
The tool is being piloted throughout 2021 in over 50 kindergarten services across Inner Eastern Melbourne, Goulburn, Inner North Eastern Melbourne and Loddon Campaspe. The pilot seeks to understand kindergarten teachers' use of the Tool in everyday practice in Three-Year-Old and Four-Year-Old Kindergarten programs.
The pilot is being independently evaluated and the evaluation seeks to understand:
- how easy the Tool is for kindergarten teachers to use
- what professional learning and support is required
- the Tool's impact on intentional teaching practices and program planning.
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