A new tool has been launched to help those in teaching jobs chart the progress of children within the Welsh government's flagship Foundation Phase.
This phase of the curriculum, which covers three to seven-year-olds, places a strong emphasis on learning by doing to develop skills and understanding, and finding different ways to solve problems.
These abilities are valued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Confederation of British Industry.
Known as the Foundation Phase Profile, the new tool will enable schools and nurseries to assess the development and skills of children at the beginning and end of the Foundation Phase, as well as their progress through this section of the curriculum.
Education minister Huw Lewis said: "This assessment tool will help schools and practitioners to track and plan the progress of children throughout the important early years. It will also provide incredibly useful information to regional consortia, local authorities and Welsh government around children's progress in the Foundation Phase."
The Foundation Phase Profile is being trialled by approximately 250 schools and nurseries across Wales from January. It will run for three months.
This trial is intended to ascertain the length of the assessment process and the ease of calculating a score for children in the Foundation Phase in schools and nurseries.
In addition, it will evaluate how it links to tests for youngsters up to the age of three, as part of the wider Early Years Development and Assessment Framework.
The validity, effectiveness and consistency of various elements of the tool is to be determined, while the usefulness and clarity of the user guidance that will accompany the Foundation Phase Profile will also be assessed.
All schools and nurseries delivering the Foundation Phase will be required to use the assessment tool and report information to the Welsh government from September this year.
Posted by Harriet McGowan