Last reviewed on 30 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: Nursery, Primary
Ref: 10702

All new reception pupils are expected to take the reception baseline assessment. Find out how it works so you're prepared to carry it out.

How it works

When you do it

You should carry out the assessment within the first 6 weeks of a pupil joining your reception.

This is regardless of when they join the class, unless they have been assessed previously.

It's carried out 1-to-1 and takes up to 20 minutes per pupil to complete. There's no need to prepare pupils for the assessment.

Who carries it out

The assessments must be administered by one of the following:

  • A reception teacher
  • A reception teaching assistant
  • A suitably qualified practitioner (e.g. early years lead or SENCO)

They should be familiar to the pupil, and be fully trained and familiar with the materials.

The assessment 

The assessment consists of:

  • A series of practical tasks using physical resources (including oral response, pointing and ordering or moving objects)
  • An online scoring system for the person carrying out the assessment to complete as the pupil engages with the tasks

Each task is made up of a small number of activities with varying marks, and the practitioner makes a 'yes/no' decision for each one.

The assessment is designed to allow pupils with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities, and/or pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) to participate in the standard format. Modified resources are available for pupils with a visual impairment.

What information you'll receive

You'll be provided with a series of 'narrative statements', describing how each pupil performed. These can be used to inform teaching within the first term.

However, you won't get the raw score that pupils receive. 

There is no pass mark.

What's being assessed

Pupils' starting points in:

  • Early mathematics
  • Early literacy, communication and language 

It won't affect the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile assessment, which will remain statutory.