It didn’t take long for me to discover that at Mairtown Kindergarten assessment is a huge focus, especially writing quality assessment that is meaningful and makes individual learning visible. Assessment is placed in children’s portfolio's as a record of their learning and is readily available for reading and sharing.
“Assessment is the most powerful policy tool in education….and will probably continue to be the single most significant influence on the quality and shape of student’s educational experience and hence their learning.” (Broadfoot, 1996. Pp21-22)
“In our lives we need to interact with others. These interactions include people with connections to us such as family, friends, teachers, peers and also people without such a direct connection to us who we come across in everyday life. The ability to interact with others and to be competent in doing so has been ranked as one of the most important skills that we can have. Social competence is about being able to manage and contribute to the social interactions we have.” (T. Fagan, 2011)
As a team we strive to ensure our children’s portfolios are filled with pages that are meaningful and captures who they are, what they love, whilst also being a representation of their ways of being, knowing and doing (Te Whatu Pokeka, 2009).
Te Whāriki (1996) states that assessment observations and records should provide useful information for children and adults. Feedback to children on their learning and development should enhance their sense of themselves as capable people and competent learners.
Hezekiah: “My favourite page is about jumping, ‘cause I’m jumping so high.”
Reese: “These are my favourite pages I just love climbing on the black thing. I got my fourth birthday tray, that’s when I got my sticker.”
Matteo: “I was a pirate; my sister gave them to my mum she cut them to be a pirate for the party.”
Tyler C. “My favourite is fire day…..mmmmm…marshmallows.”
Sharlotte: “That’s my Nana on my first day, look me in my tiger suit and me upside down.”
Roman: “My favourite page is this one, swinging, spinning and my birthday.”
Kayden: “That’s my favourite (the wheels-a-thon) cause my Poppa is in it.”
Isaac: “Look at my panda house”
Payton: “There’s me Princess Payton on the castle. That’s me doing a back flip.”
Dallas: “I like Fire Thursday and bread. That’s me and my sister Cara. I was looking at some centipedes. That’s my dragon Stormfly.”
Khaia: “This is my favourite (pointing to her fourth birthday page), I love chocolate cake. I had a spider on my t-shirt.”
Oscar: “I was painting a dragon, another dragon, that’s toothless he has lines in his eyes and green eyes, I got a dragon for my birthday.”
The individual portfolios are a special record of children’s interest and learning while attending kindergarten and are a wonderful document to reflect back on when older. From personal experience I know my children still love to read their treasured portfolios at home, recalling different stories and remembering happy memories from times gone by. My daughter commented to me that she would like to keep her portfolio forever and my wish is that she will be able to share it one day with her own children and grandchildren.
“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage.” Henry David Thoreau