What? Tests in Kindergarten?!

You may have heard that children beginning Kindergarten in Catholic schools this term were ‘tested’ before they even embarked on Day One. Aurora invited Education Officer (Primary Curriculum) Trish Gleeson to explain what really happened…

What? Tests in Kindergarten?!

1) Were 'kinders' required to do a test before beginning school?


For the first time in our diocese, all children entering Kindergarten participated in the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment which was developed by the Department of Education and Community.  This Assessment tool gives teachers information about what children already know and can already do, in terms of literacy and numeracy, prior to starting school. The information the teacher gathers during the assessment enables the teacher to plan a program which meets the individual needs of each child in the class.


2) What is the rationale behind Best Start?


Children enter Kindergarten between the ages of four and a half and almost six, so there is a broad range of ages and stages of development. As the name suggests, we want to give the children the 'best start' at school by knowing each child's starting point in both literacy and numeracy.


3) What does Best Start involve? How long does it take?


Simple activities such as counting, recognising numbers, and listening to a story are used. It takes about 40 minutes.


4) How are the results of the individual assessments used by teachers?

Teachers use the information to plan their literacy and numeracy program to meet the different needs of the children.


5) What information will parents/carers receive after the assessment?


Parents will receive information on how they can help their child at home in very simple ways, such as using shopping lists, counting objects, playing games, reading stories.


6) What about a shy or anxious child? Will their result be adversely affected?


Many children show signs of trepidation when the time comes to attend 'big school'. Teachers administering the assessment are very skilled at helping children to feel as relaxed as possible and they use a positive and supportive approach during the assessment.


7) As a teacher with many years' experience in the Kindergarten classroom, what is the best way for parents to help their children?


Reading to children from a very early age gives them a wonderful start. Nursery rhymes provide the children with the rhythm and rhyme of language. Good literature provides the children with a window to the world and promotes language and vocabulary. Involving children in day to day activities such as shopping and cooking is also beneficial. Above all else have fun with your children, and provide opportunities for inside and outside activities.


8) Are there any other advantages to Best Start?


Kindergarten teachers have always been very good at getting to know their students, however the opportunity to have this time 'one on one' with the children so early has some wonderful benefits. Each child has the teacher's undivided attention.  Parents have the opportunity to meet the teacher and so a three way relationship begins.


To learn more, please visit www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/beststart/index.htm

Aurora Facebook Ad

Share Aurora Article

Aurora on Twitter