According to Gipps (1994), assessment can be defined as the use of a wide range of methods used for evaluating performance, attainment and needs, including formal testing and examinations, practical and oral assessment and classroom based assessment and observation. Assessment strategies can be described as a process that organises actions and ideas, usually in a step-by-step fashion, which help to guide practitioners in carrying out an assessment.
Assessment can be categorised into formative, summative, diagnostic and evaluative. Formative assessment, which is the continuous use of assessment to guide the teaching and learning process, enables the positive achievement of students to be recognised, and informs decisions taken about the next appropriate stage of learning. Summative assessment is that which usually takes place at the end of a programme of learning in order to find out what has been learnt and what standard the student has reached, it records the overall achievement of the pupil in an orderly way. Diagnostic assessment is usually conducted in order to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the learner and to identify any difficulty either with the learning or teaching process. Evaluative assessment is used to ascertain the success of a particular setting, practitioner or incidence; therefore the focus is not on the individual student or learner but on the overall outcomes for a group of students (Glasgow &ump; Hicks, 2009).
Inclusion is seen as a universal human right. The aim of inclusion is to embrace all people irrespective of race, gender, disability, medical or other need, removing barriers in order to give equality of access and opportunity and eliminating discrimination. Inclusive practice is about ensuring that all practitioners understand and provide equal opportunities for all children and adults within the setting, valuing them equally and viewing the difference between people as resources to support learning, rather than as hurdles to be overcome (Soan, 2007).
Observation, is the first strategy to be examined by this essay, and in early year’s education describes the process of looking at children in settings, listening to them and taking note of what we see and hear. Observation, according the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Effective Practice: Observation, Assessment and Planning (DfES, 2007), is a vital element in assessing children's progress and using this to inform planning based on their needs. Observation is the formal term for one of the most important components of everyday practice when working with children; it is how practitioners discover the specific needs and achievements of individual children, as a result of sensitively looking, listening and documenting the activities of a child or group of children. Observation, as part of the EYFS is used as an assessment strategy, which is then drawn upon to record progress in a formative way, either by learning journeys or in some form of profile,...