We use a wide range of research tools to support practitioners to tune in to children and to practice.
Tools to support evaluation of practice and inform improvement - The Environment Rating Scales
The Environment Rating Scales
The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) are highly regarded research tools used for assessing the quality of early years settings. They have been shown to predict development in the EYFS, KS1 and beyond, including performance in national tests. The rating scales also provide a means of tracking improvement over time to provide evidence for Ofsted.
The ERS provide us with a structure for recording, improving and evidencing different aspects of the learning environment we provide for children. They are used by researchers and practitioners all over the world to support reflection, self-evaluation, quality assessment and improvement. The ERS align closely with the EYFS and are used in the UK by over 50 local authorities and settings and schools in all sectors.
There are seven Environment Rating Scales in all:
Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale Third Edition by Thelma Harms and colleagues – evaluates centre-based provision for children from birth to 3 years.
Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Third Edition by Thelma Harms and colleagues – evaluates centre-based provision for children aged from 3 to 5.
Extension to the ECERS-R by Kathy Sylva and colleagues– focuses on support for the specific areas of learning and development for children aged 3 to 5
School Age Care Environment Rating Scale by Thelma Harms and colleagues – evaluates out-of-school provision for children aged 5 to 12 years
Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale by Thelma Harms and colleagues – evaluates childminding provision for children from birth to twelve
Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing Scale by Iram Siraj and colleagues – considers practice that supports children aged 2 to 5 years in developing skills in sustained shared thinking and emotional well-being, developing strong relationships, effective communication and aspects of self-regulation.
Movement Environment Rating Scale by Carol Archer and Iram Siraj – measuring the quality of environment and pedagogy in which young children are encouraged to move and be physically active.
We are not the only providers of training on the Environment Rating Scales. For specific training on the SSTEW scale, please contact Denise Kingston and/or Iram Siraj. For training on MOVERS please contact Carol Archer.
Tools to support observation and assessment of children to inform practice - TROLL & WellComm
TROLL – Teacher Rating of Oral Language and Literacy
As well as using the ERS and other tools to tune into and improve practice, we support teams to develop effective observation and assessment strategies to inform teaching and next steps. In relation to language development, we regularly use the Teacher Rating of Oral Language and Literacy (TROLL), developed by David Dickinson and colleagues.
The TROLL is a short 5-10 minute assessment, enabling practitioners to assess children’s language, reading and writing abilities. TROLL has been used with over 900 low-income children. The instrument is reliable and has strong internal consistency. Its validity has been established in numerous ways. For example, TROLL correlates significantly with scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Early Phonemic Awareness Profile given to the same children by trained researchers.
Our courses also make connections to the WellComm toolkit for school / setting already using it.
Other evidence-based resources
In addition to using research tools as a framework for tuning in to children and to practice, we draw on a range of evidence-based resources to support development of practice. These include resources from the Hanen and Incredible Years programmes –
links to http://www.incredibleyears.com/ and http://www.hanen.org/Home.aspx