Assessments are designed to provide appropriate support to those children who require it as well as motivating children and their learning challenged by assessment. (CCEA 2007) Children learn by building new understandings on what they already have. (Wood 1998). In order to support children's learning practitioners first collect information about children's well-being, identity and belonging, communication, exploring and thinking. Reflection on these assessments helps practitioners to decide how best to advance children's learning and development. (Dunphy 2008) Dunphy (2008) also suggests that assessment in early childhood cannot be considered independent of either curriculum or learning. As result of these assessments the practitioner can plan worthwhile interesting and challenging experiences to further progress learning. (CCEA 2006) NCCA (2007) Assessment identifies a child's progress and attainment in learning as well as helping to maintain standards by identifying strategies that work well and those that are not working so well. (NCCA2007) Assessment involves gathering, recording, interpreting, using and reporting information about a child's progress and achievement in developing knowledge, skills and attitudes. (NCCA 2007) Assessment focuses on what a child can do. A meaningful assessment reflects a broad holistic picture of the child's unique learning dispositions, skills, attitudes, knowledge and understanding. On-going observation of children's performance whilst engaged in meaningful activities and builds a reliable picture of what the children can actually do. Through assessment the practitioner constructs a comprehensive picture of the short-term and long-term needs of the child and plans future work accordingly, using the information from assessment allows the practitioner to support and extend the child's learning. (NCCA 2007) There are 2 principal approaches to assessment; these include the assessment for learning and the assessment...
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