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Observation, Assessment and Planning in the EYFS

Babies and young children are individuals first, each with a unique profile of abilities.  Schedules and routines should flow with the child’s needs.  All planning starts with observing children in order to understand and consider their current interests, development and learning. 

Observe children to find out about their needs, what they are interested in and what they can do. Note children’s responses in different situations. Analyse your observations and highlight children’s achievements or their need for further support. Involve parents as part of the on-going observation and assessment process.
EYFS Observation, Assessment and Planning 3.1: Starting with the child

This diagram shows simply how Observation, Assessment and Planning should flow into one another. Observation, assessment and planning systems are effective when these elements come together as a cycle.

Observation, assessment and planning cycle


Observation describes the process of watching and listening to the children in our care and taking note of significant information.  This is supported by information from parents and carers.


We assess children’s progress by analysing our observations and deciding what they tell us about the children’s interests, development and learning.


We plan how we can support the next steps in children’s development and learning.