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Findings From Our Baseline Autumn 1

Findings from our Baseline Assessments

We have completed all our Baseline tests and observations, and have identified these areas that we will be focusing on:


Listening Skills

In order for children to make good progress this year, they need to be able to listen attentively in a range of situations; in their small group, during whole class inputs and to all adults who work with them. Many of our children are confident speakers, but are less good at listening to each other, holding conversations where they take turns in speaking.


You can find out more about supporting children’s listening skills at


Fine Motor Skills

If children are unable to hold and use a pencil effectively they will not be able to reach a good level of development in their writing. Some children really enjoy paper and pencil activities, but for others we need to find ways to develop the strength and control of the muscles in the hands. Playing with playdough, threading activities, using tweezers to pick up small objects and writing in shaving foam are all fun ways of building these skills. Some children benefit from using a pencil grip to help them use the correct, thumb-and-two-fingers grip.


More ideas at


We can provide a sheet showing how each letter is correctly written. If children form each letter correctly, they are more likely to write them in the correct direction, size and position, and it will make it easier for them to use joined up handwriting later on.


Using Phonics in Reading and Writing

We start each morning with a phonics session, just like the rest of the infant department. Children work in groups that support their current level of phonetical ability, this may involve children working in other year group classes. Children need to learn the sounds made by different letters or groups of letters, and how to blend those sounds together to be able to read words. Alongside this skill, they need to learn the Tricky Words, those which can’t be sounded out because they don’t follow the phonic rules, for example the word ‘was’. In their writing, children need to be able to hear and distinguish the different sounds in a word, and then remember which letter or letter group to write to make those sounds, and to write the sounds / letters in the correct order. We will be practising writing a simple caption or sentence each week, to match the phonic focus for the week. Each Friday we will send home a word list that you can play blending games with your child. The electronic books that we assign to each child’s activelearnprimary account explain the sounds used and have some words to blend inside the front cover.


The links below will take you to documents that give information about the order in which we learn the sounds, and lots of activities to learn them.