In our latest version (4.02 release of late March) we have done away with stages of “beyond”, and have changed the single beyond into a marker for the pupil’s matching (in the teacher’s judgement) the Early Learning Goal.In the current framework it is possible for children to reach this point before June/July. As a concept the matching of an ELG is a simple single-stage process – the child has matched it or the child has not.
The idea of three stages of beyond are problematical because they are boundless and therefore have no comparative meaning. The official DM age bands have boundaries, even though they are quite soft (e.g. 30-50 months), but “beyond” had none. There is beyond and the back of beyond is as meaningless here as it is as a description of location.
While teachers may like the idea of graded “beyondness” there is no way in which this can be compared with anything. The notional three degrees that eProfile allows within each age band do have some meaning at least within a school and between schools in a moderation process as we all have the same script for comparison. It is possible that some schools may see “entering”, developing” and “secure” as evenly dividing up the line of development and others may see the outer two as smaller and concentrate more towards to the middle, but that can still be negotiated.
In the beyond section that was there is no script to discuss. While there are statements that describe attainment beyond expectation at the end of the stage these are exemplars and not points to tick off as the child reaches them.
Once a child has matched the ELG it may be time, especially where this applies to the specific areas to be considering approaches to Key Stage One programmes. For prime areas it may be that the child has developed the formative, thinking, social and other skills that indicate readiness for KS1.