Jump to content

Best Start
Kindergarten Assessment NSW


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Ianthe

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

I found out this week that our school is not starting the kindergarten (FYOS) kids until February 4th because each kindergarten kid is having their Best Start assessment in the first 3 days of school and they are arranging classes so there is a range of abilities in the classes based on the assessment.

So what do you think about this? I am very interested in what our EB teachers think.

I don't feel completely comfortable about it. I don't mind the assessment but I don't like them arranging classes around the results. Kids can come along in such different ways at school. My eldest knew little when he started school but was reading 2 years above his year level by the end of kindergarten. I'm not sure of the benefits.

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw...ation/index.htm

Edited by Ianthe, 24 January 2013 - 08:33 PM.


#2 melaine

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

That's late to be finding out when they start!

I don't have a problem with considering ability while planning classes - but yes, not sure that the best start assessment measures ability. It measures starting knowledge which will be impacted by the preschool exposure the child has had etc.



#3 **Xena**

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 24/01/2013, 09:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I found out this week that our school is not starting the kindergarten (FYOS) kids until February 4th because each kindergarten kid is having their Best Start assessment in the first 3 days of school and they are arranging classes so there is a range of abilities in the classes based on the assessment.

So what do you think about this? I am very interested in what our EB teachers think.

I don't feel completely comfortable about it. I don't mind the assessment but I don't like them arranging classes around the results. Kids can come along in such different ways at school. My eldest knew little when he started school but was reading 2 years above his year level by the end of kindergarten. I'm not sure of the benefits.

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw...ation/index.htm


I think it seems a bit strange. Like yours my kids all only knew a bit when they started school but progressed very quickly ie strated school not being able to read much at all but were reading novels by the start of the next year. I could understand it if they were testing how a child learns (if that's possible) and grouping them that way, but not by how much they know. If that makes sense.

#4 Expelliarmus

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

Other classes are based on a spread of abilities so no classes are loaded with either 'tricky' kids or 'easy' kids. It's difficult to do this with kids you've not yet doine some assessment on. So it sounds like reasonable practice, although not something I have ever come across myself.

#5 Fifi

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

Kindy nsw teacher here - we are doing Best Start assessment next week too. We have already organized our classes. However, if we do Best start and then discover  that we have for example a Gifted and Talented student who does not have anyone to challenge him/her in that class, we might swap them to another based on the results. Sometimes we can have a few Maths whizzes who would benefit from being together and extended etc. or sometimes we have a child who does not have funding but we identify as perhaps having a learning difficulty and we may place them in a class which has some aide time attached to it so that the child can benefit from a helping hand before we can organize other funding. There are lots of reasons and all of them are to benefit our kids original.gif
Hope that helps original.gif


#6 qak

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

I understtod that Best Start was universal among public schools in NSW?  I had never thought of it in the context of the OP, but can see that point of view.  DS school (Catholic) did assessments during orientation, with the aim of making an even split of abilities/personalities and/or working out who would be best suited to a class together (or not, as the case may be!).

In any case now they are going into Y1 and there is going to be quite a bit of movement between the two classes ... this does suggest that things have changed a lot in one year ie what is the point of the assessment?

#7 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 24/01/2013, 08:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I found out this week that our school is not starting the kindergarten (FYOS) kids until February 4th because each kindergarten kid is having their Best Start assessment in the first 3 days of school and they are arranging classes so there is a range of abilities in the classes based on the assessment.

So what do you think about this? I am very interested in what our EB teachers think.

I don't feel completely comfortable about it. I don't mind the assessment but I don't like them arranging classes around the results. Kids can come along in such different ways at school. My eldest knew little when he started school but was reading 2 years above his year level by the end of kindergarten. I'm not sure of the benefits.

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw...ation/index.htm

Same thing is happening with DD1, only she is starting at school on 5th Feb.

I don't have a problem with it.   It's to benefit the kids and to provide the baseline knowledge/needs/talents of each child for the teachers' planning. Arranging classes around kids needs and talents has been going on for ages and happens in all years of school.  Don't see what is so different about this.

#8 Expelliarmus

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

QUOTE (qak @ 24/01/2013, 08:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In any case now they are going into Y1 and there is going to be quite a bit of movement between the two classes ... this does suggest that things have changed a lot in one year ie what is the point of the assessment?

The point of the assessment - any assessment - is to find out what the child knows for the purpose of finding out 'where to next'. Without the assessment the teachers wouldn't have known what to teach your child during FYOS.



#9 mum850

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

.

Edited by mum850, 25 January 2013 - 06:39 AM.


#10 ~flaxen~

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

I have no problem whatsoever with it. It gives the teachers a starting point, and lets them individualise learning from the get go. Also I would imagine it frees up those first few days so they can spend more time on settling the kindy kids in.

QUOTE
Arranging classes around kids needs and talents has been going on for ages and happens in all years of school. Don't see what is so different about this.


True. Years ago I think it was called "baseline" or something similar, except they would spend the first few weeks of kindergarten doing it.

#11 OscarAndTilly

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

I don't have a problem with it, however I don't believe that in all cases it gives a true indication of the child's ability.



#12 Julie3Girls

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:05 PM

I've had 2 kids go through best start. I've actually found them pointless for my girls, and the teacher has agreed.  With dd2, she was so shy with the teacher that she barely spoke. When the teacher gave me the report, she said i should just throw it straight in the bin ... That in no reflected the very bright child I had.
Dd3 got a good best start report. When we got the report, we had a meeting with the teacher, said her results were fantastic, but doesn't show where is now, just a couple of weeks later.

Based on my experience, best start is probably useful to give the teachers a general overview, might pick out some of the really advanced kids, and which ones are way behind.  But they can also be very wrong. Particularly for kids who have just met the teacher and are in an unfamiliar place.  I wouldn't want them used for making up class lists.

Our school simply puts all the kinders  together for the first week before assigning classes. Best start is done after that.  Classes are decided based on observations by the teachers at orientation, and during the first week, parent-teacher chats, discussions with the local preschools.  Based much more on personalities, rather than academics.

#13 RealityBites

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

I think it will be a waste of time with my very shy (initially) daughter.

Also I had to laugh at a PP's obsession with early reading. I deliberately didnt teach DD1 to read before kindy, as I knew she was very bright and thought otherwise she would be bored at school. She is now in a selectively streamed Yr 5 class ..

#14 mum850

Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (RealityBites @ 24/01/2013, 11:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it will be a waste of time with my very shy (initially) daughter.

Also I had to laugh at a PP's obsession with early reading. I deliberately didnt teach DD1 to read before kindy, as I knew she was very bright and thought otherwise she would be bored at school. She is now in a selectively streamed Yr 5 class ..



I presume this is me?
You are laughing at me because of my obsession with early reading.

What a pointlessly mean and hurtful  thing to say.

I didn't teach my son to read. I have video of him doing what we thought at the time was reciting a book by heart, but it turned out he was reading. He was two. When he wen to school he was reading chapter books or novels while the class was doing one letter a week. He was so totally, utterly miserable at school that... anyway better not to go into the details I guess, my point is that he was profoundly unhappy. I did tell them that he could read but I didn't know it was unusual and as it turns out, they didn't believe me. I only found out that that was the case when he became so unhappy that we had to get ed psychs and stuff involved and they told the school that he was reading 7 years ahead of age. The school did not know. At this time my son was pretty much refusing to participate in most activities at school. He was 5.

Still laughing?

I am not "obsessed" with early reading. Some bright kids learn to read before school  and some do not.  My  point is that I am happy that the best start assessment  MAY pick up what level all the kids are at so the teacher can pitch things appropriately for them. Maybe if my son had had one, as my daughter did, the teacher would have realised and saved him many months of misery with ant in the apple, a a, a

How lovely that your daughter is doing well.

#15 RealityBites

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:03 AM

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as snide. Of course if the child is teaching themselves, there is not much you can do. But that sort of miserable outcome was just was I was afraid of. And my faith in the public school system is not great - it is really up to the school to make the best use of the results. If they don't have a g+ t program (which DD1's school did not) there is not much they will do. I was told by her 1st grade teacher 'she is just a kid', ie let her be a kid, no extension work necessary.

#16 José

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE (qak @ 24/01/2013, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I understtod that Best Start was universal among public schools in NSW?  I had never thought of it in the context of the OP, but can see that point of view.  DS school (Catholic) did assessments during orientation, with the aim of making an even split of abilities/personalities and/or working out who would be best suited to a class together (or not, as the case may be!).

In any case now they are going into Y1 and there is going to be quite a bit of movement between the two classes ... this does suggest that things have changed a lot in one year ie what is the point of the assessment?


As for the point of the assessment I think some hope it will eventually link to naplan.  Si when some schools habe poor year three results when best start is taken into account they may still demonstrate the growth the kids have made.  As we kniw some kids start school with many skills and supportive parents and others come without ever having been read to and not knowing anything about what to do with a book etc.

#17 Julie3Girls

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Of course things change by yr 1.  The kids have had a whole year of schooling, some kids are going to find learning very easy and go from not reading at all to reading at grade 2 level by the end of the year.  Others might have been more advanced to begin with, but their progress might be slower at this point.  Some kids might have been at equal level when they started, but one might have learning difficulties.

Doesn't make initial assessment pointless. It gives the teachers a a starting point.  A good teacher will be able to recognise pretty quickly if the best start was wrong ... Dd2's teacher told me so within 2 weeks of having dd in her class. Best start is just a quick way to get a bit of a benchmark of where the class sits.

Going into yr1, classes will get shuffled. Classes are not just set up based on academics in primary, there are a lot of factors.  But even going through every year, their position academically can change. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be assessed in case thing change in the next year.

#18 Kemismum

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

My kids school said the same thing but what we noticed was they really already had the classes made up as the majority of kids were in the class with the same teacher who did the assessment except for a couple.

From what I can tell it is not just about academics. The school don't know much about these kids so its a good opportunity to determine the shy ones and the strong willed ones etc and make sure that there is a good mix of personalities as well as pre school knowledge in the class and no potential conflicts. It helps ensure the in the two classes in my kids school you don't have one class full of shy kids and the other full of outgoing kids, or disruptive kids or one class full of kids who have benefitted from a great preschool experience and the other with kids who have had none for example.

For example I would have hated if Ds was in a class of shy kids as he needed outgoing kids to bring him out of his shell and being the youngest he didn't necessarily have the same knowledge as most of the other kids. I would not have been happy if he ended up in a class with only those like him. Therefore I think it's good idea for the school to get bit of knowledge of the kids and ensure a mix.

Dd on the other hand will be trouble if she ends up in a class full of strong willed kids ( which I imagine would drive the teacher mad)

And of course it changes year to year as kids change at different rates.

its not perfect but its better than putting together classes with no knowledge of the kids at all.

#19 Kemismum

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

.

Edited by Kemismum, 25 January 2013 - 01:13 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How to talk about your pregnancy at work

The workplace isn't always a friendly place for pregnant women. Yet working women inclined to conceal a pregnancy from prying coworkers may be better off opening up and carrying on, according to a new study.

Tell us your story to win!

To celebrate Mother's Day this year we are giving you the chance to win one of five great prizes simply by telling us your story.

Where to get help to help your baby sleep

There is so much pressure about having a baby who sleeps 'all night' , it's no wonder you worry about your baby if she wakes in the night.

Vintage baby names having a comeback

What makes some names have comebacks while others silently fade into oblivion? A few factors come into play.

When your partner doesn't want you to breastfeed

Dads can have many reasons for not wanting their partners to breastfeed their baby, but both parents should learn more about it before making a final decision.

Model mum Sarah Stage shares post-baby selfie

Most new mums would recoil at the thought, but Sarah Stage has shared a post-pregnancy selfie just four days after giving birth.

I'll admit it: I have last child parenting fatigue

If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.

Exhaustion is not the same as tiredness

Having a new baby isn't tiring - it can be downright exhausting.

Five posterior babies, four home births

I was on a high. I'd done it all by myself with no help from anyone.

Mum's list of birthday gift demands goes viral

We're big fans of kids' birthday parties - but this is one bash we're glad we didn't get an invite to.

Kate Middleton to receive 'loyalty discount' for second birth

Everybody loves a bargain - including the Duchess of Cambridge.

Fish & chip shop owner's sad note goes viral

A lengthy note put on the window of a fish & chip shop has gone viral due to the writer's serious doubts about the romance of travel.

Pregnant women need good nutrition advice, not judgment

Pregnant women are under pressure to do all the "right things" to have a healthy child. It results in women feeling judged about their decisions.

When your child wants you to have another baby

Giving your child a sibling when you don't want to have another baby can be a complex issue.

William Tyrrell's mum speaks out: 'We hope he is still alive'

The mother of missing toddler William Tyrrell says she has a vision that somebody "picked him up and moved him on ... that's the only way ... to explain for him not to be there".

Family comes first for 23-year-old Tommy Connolly

Most 23-year-old blokes spend their hard earned cash on fun times with mates or romantic dinners with their girlfriend, but not Tommy Connolly.

Newborn all-girl quintuplets 'doing great'

The first all-female quintuplets born in the United States were delivered last week, at 28 weeks and two days.

Model mum's big baby silences critics

He may be less than a week old, but baby James Hunter has already helped his model mum silence her critics.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Last chance to win a year's supply of toys

You have less than a week left to win your child one of five Fisher-Price toy packs valued at over $600 each - hurry, enter today!

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

 

ENTER NOW!

Win a year's worth of toys

Last week to submit a picture of your baby at play for your chance to win. Visit the Play Wall to view our recent entries.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.