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Early Years Foundation Stage Levels Explained

From Year One on in their school life, all children are assessed against the National Curriculum Levels; children in Early Years follow a different curriculum called the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Below is an explanation of what the ‘average’ attainment is expected to be at the end of various year groups. It is important to put ‘average’ in inverted commas as we believe at Birdsedge First School that every child is an individual, and should be treated as such. We always strive for excellent attainment and progress for all individuals, whilst recognising it is normal for children to make faster and slower progress at different stages of their school career. There can be many reasons for this, and understanding the individual child. All assessments recorded on your child report are called teacher assessments and therefore rather than based on the one-off test they are a true reflection of your child's attainment over a period of time.

Children in Reception Year

Personal, social and emotional development

  • • Dispositions and attitudes
  • • Social development
  • • Emotional development

Communication, language and literacy

  • • Language for communication and
  • thinking
  • • Linking sounds and letters
  • • Reading
  • • Writing

Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy

  • • Numbers as labels accounting
  • • Calculating
  • • Shape, space and measures

Knowledge and understanding of the


Physical developments

Creative development

Scale Point 9
Scale Point 8
Scale Point 7

Scale Point 6


Scale Point 5
Scale Point 4
Scale Point 3
Scale Point 2
Scale Point 1

Children are scored out of nine in each of the 13 assessment scales. Each point relates to a different ‘skill or characteristic’ that has been observed during the child's independent working.

Scale points are not necessarily achieved in order so scale point 6 could be achieved before point 5. However, scale points 1 to 3 must be achieved before a child can progress to point 4 and beyond. Scale point 9 can only be awarded once all other eight points have been achieved.

A score of point 6 is considered average for the end of Early Years. Good attainment is judged as achieving a combined and score of 78 points or more with a score of at least six points in each of the Personal, Social & Emotional and Communication & Literacy areas.

Throughout Early Years children are continuously observed by staff to inform their judgements. The evidence of these observations is available for you to see on request. Judgements for the scale points are based on 80% child initiated evidence and 20% adult directed.

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