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Early Years

What do different phrases/words/letters on my child’s school report mean?



Attainment: the academic standard that pupils reach in, for example, assessments and exams. It's usually recorded as grades, scores or levels, and it indicates a pupil’s result at the end of a Key Stage.

In the Early Years Curriculum there are 7 areas of learning and development which must shape the activities and experiences that our pupils have. These 7 areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The early learning goals (ELG) summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the academic year in which they turn 5, the reception year. The goals are there to be used to assess children at the end of reception year

For the 7 areas of learning and development in EYFS, pupils are assigned On Track if they are meeting the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS or Not on Track if they are not yet reaching this level.



Progress: pupils’ achievements over a period of time (rather than attainment at a single point), for example from Term 2 to Term 4. It’s the difference between pupils’ previous attainment and current attainment. When measuring a pupil’s progress, the DfE also takes into account the progress of pupils with similar starting points. 


What do we mean by 'Expected Progress'?


The report uses the terms Below Expected, Expected Progress, and Above Expected to describe pupils' journey between two points.


Expected Progress will indicate that there has been no change in attainment over the selected period. For example, a child that was On Track in Term 2 and is on Track in Term 4 will be making Expected Progress. Pupils that drop down in attainment (i.e. On Track to Not on Track) are described as having made Below Expected progress; those that move up a band (i.e. Not on Track to On Track) have made Above Expected progress.


N.B. Where starting points are significantly lower than where a pupil is expected to be, 'Above Expected' progress may not necessarily mean they move up in attainment.