Precise assessment and personalisation of provision is central to the way in which children’s learning pathways are determined at Fairfield School. A fit-for-purpose assessment for learners at the early stages of development must take a more holistic view of learners and focus on how they learn.
We have worked closely with the Leeds West Specialist inclusive Learning Centre (SILC) to develop our own assessment system which ensures that we are able to accurately evaluate children’s progress and identify their next steps. This will inform our target setting which defines the priorities for each child.
Many linear or hierarchical assessments are unable to detect the very subtle changes in behaviour shown by our learners, regardless of how many ’small steps’ are provided. In real life, children’s development and learning is not compartmentalised. Each pupil has differing learning needs therefore each personalised learning plan will differ in terms of content and emphasis. These will be called Learning Journeys.
Wolf-Schein (1998) states: ‘It is important that individuals working with children who are severely disabled are given tools that enable them to address the relevant features of the child’s behaviour without trying to fit the behaviour into a pre-existing assessment tool that was not developed for, or related to the behaviour of someone with very special problems, i.e. unique abilities and patterns of growth.’