Engaging with the AEDC data for teachers

This session focuses on the value of AEDC data in supporting children's learning, wellbeing and implementing differentiated teaching.

This session focuses on the value of AEDC data in supporting children's learning, wellbeing and implementing differentiated teaching. Educators are also guided in how they can interpret and engage with the AEDC data. Some examples on how to adapt practice to support children’s development in the five AEDC domains are explained. Some guidance on possible actions that educators can take as they use the AEDC data to inform or make assumptions that inform future planning is also provided.

Target audience

School leaders and teachers

Mode of delivery

 Video of 'Engaging with the AEDC data for teachers' (60:04)


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Engaging with the AEDC data for teachers video (60:04)

Engaging with the AEDC data for teachers

Mary Taiwo [AEDC New South Wales State Coordinator]

Hello everyone. Thank you for taking some time to engage with this professional learning resource. Today, I'll be talking to you about the Australian Early Development Census, AEDC. This professional learning is presented from the AEDC team here in New South Wales. The topic for this professional learning is engaging with the AEDC data for teachers. The AEDC is a nationally funded project and each state and territory has a state coordinator who oversees the data collection in each state. In New South Wales, I help to oversee the data collection as well as other activities associated with the AEDC project. My name is Mary Taiwo and I'm the AEDC New South Wales State Coordinator.

Before I progress onto the content of this professional learning, I'd like to start with an Acknowledgement of Country. I would like to acknowledge Aboriginal people who have, for thousands of years been the custodians of the land where you are listening to this presentation from. I also acknowledge their strong on continuing connection to land and waterways across New South Wales. I pay respect to Aboriginal Elders past, present and emerging, and I extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who will listen to this recording.

Learning outcomes. So, the resources provided through this professional learning is going to support learners and learners will learn how to use the AEDC data to inform their support of children's learning and wellbeing. They will also learn how to engage with and interpret the AEDC data to enable differentiating their teaching practises. Also, learners will learn what possible actions they can take as they use the AEDC data to inform or make assumptions about future planning.

Teaching standards and learning outcomes key messages.

In order to meet the learning outcomes, we have some key messages that are weaved through this professional learning resource. Some of the key messages are that the AEDC data provides an indication of early childhood development outcomes for students in Kindergarten. So basically, the AEDC occurs in the first year of schooling for every collection year, and the collection occurs once in three years. The AEDC gives a good indication of where children are at when they commence school. Also, because the AEDC is a population measure, it gives an indication of what the trend has been over time and gives a good indication of where children are, not only just within a school community, but also in the broader community.

The AEDC data is also an additional data set that can inform teaching, collaboration, partnership, and transition to school practises. The AEDC data can be used to inform teaching and learning. So basically, the AEDC data can inform planning before the students arrive at school, also planning in their first year of being enrolled fully within a school system, and also it helps in planning how they can be supported in their classroom interactions, and the years that come after the Kindergarten enrolment.

Some of the key messages or these key messages are going to be highlighted through the various aspects of this training. The first part, I'm going to be talking to you a bit about the AEDC domains, what they are, what they comprise of. Also, I'll talk a bit about the value of the AEDC data. Now we're going to go and look a bit into analysing the AEDC data. What are the key elements to look out for? What do you pay attention to and how do you respond to your data? At the end of this professional learning, we're going to propose some possible actions you could take and provide a bit of guidance on how you might proceed with the actions you need to take.

The content in this professional learning resource meets the Australian Professional Teaching Standards, and this is Standard 6, which is, engage in professional learning. The focus area relevant to this content is 6.2, engage in professional learning and improve practise. And then the sub-area is 6.2.2, which is, participate in learning to update knowledge and practise targeted to professional needs and school or system priorities.

Basically, the AEDC data provides information that can support schools in planning. It also helps teachers update their knowledge and understand how they can improve on their practise or the kind of priorities that they might set within the school community. Now I'm going to progress into the first section of this professional learning. And here I'm going to be providing an overview of the Australian Early Development Census, AEDC. I'm going to be using the term AEDC as part of this, because this is an acronym used to represent the Australian Early Development Census.

An overview of the Australian Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).

The AEDC is a national measure of children's developmental by the time they start school. AEDC measures five developmental domains which are relevant to learning in school community. These five domains are physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, communication skills, and general knowledge. With each of these domains, there are some sub-domain indicators that inform what makes up a domain.

The AEDC collection is not just a few questions, and also each domain score is estimated based on a number of factors. So, let's say for instance, with physical health and wellbeing, it has a few sub-domains, and this includes children's physical readiness for the school day, physical independence and gross motor skills. So, these are all important elements that come together based on the child's or the teacher's response to the child's level for each of these indicators, it's added up to become the physical health and wellbeing domain.

Similarly, with social competence, we have children's overall social competence, responsibility and respect, approach to learning and readiness to explore new things. With the emotional maturity, we have children's pro-social and helping behaviours and absence of anxious and fearful behaviours, aggressive behaviour, and hyperactivity, and inattention. These are all important elements that add up to form the child's level of emotional maturity. Also, emotional maturity has been found to be important in terms of understanding student behaviour broadly, and some schools use this to inform their implementation of PBL in schools. In some instances, this is also useful and has been found to be a useful indicator on factors that impact on suspension for students.

With language and cognitive skills, which is school-based skills, we have some sub-elements that inform this particular domain. We have children's basic literacy, interest in literacy, numeracy and memory, advanced literacy and basic literacy. So, all these elements kind of measure where the child is at, and it gives an indication of the child's level of language and cognitive skills development.

The fifth domain here is a communication skills and general knowledge. The sub-domain indicators that make up communication skills and general knowledge are children's communication skills and general knowledge, which is based on broad developmental competencies. And also, the skills are measured within the school context. So, the communication is about having that broad awareness of the environment and awareness of different situations. So not just being able to communicate the words or being able to speak the language, but being also able to comprehend what's happening around, and being able to apply the knowledge broadly. Each AEDC domain has sub-domain indicators, and you can also download some of the domain guides from the AEDC New South Wales webpage. More information is also provided on AEDC national webpage.

As already mentioned, the AEDC domain comprises of various sub-domain indicators, but we thought it would be important to provide an indication of some of the questions asked that inform the sub-domains as well as the domain itself. So, the AEDC instrument or the questionnaire, these are the questions that teachers respond to for each student. So just a few examples to give you an idea of the kind of questions that make up the responses for AEDC.

Physical health and wellbeing. So, some of the questions that teachers may respond to are questions like is the child independent in their toileting habits? Does the child ever arrive at school hungry? These give an indication of how physically ready the child is for the activities they need to engage with in school. If a child arrives at school hungry, then they might not have the energy, or the energy levels might be lower than expected. Also is the child independent and able to take care of themselves in terms of hygiene? So these are all important aspects of being independent and being at school and also engaging with learning effectively.

Social competence. Some of the questions asked within the social competence is, is the child able to get along with peers? Does the child demonstrate respect for other children? This revolves around their interaction with other students. And this is quite important because learning occurs in every aspect of the activity that children engage with, and also children do learn from their peers and learn from the people around them. So being able to engage socially or having the social competence to interact as appropriate with peers and also with teachers is very important for an effective transition into school.

Emotional maturity. Some of the questions within this domain include, does the child try to help someone who has been hurt? Does the child kick, bite, hit other children or adults? Basically, this provides a bit of a context in terms of the child's emotional response, and the maturity which they have in having the right response to different situations. Within the language and cognitive skills, which are school-based skills, some of the questions that teachers respond to are, is this child interested in reading? Meaning, are they inquisitive? Are they curious about the meaning of printed materials? Is this child interested in games which involves numbers? So this gives an idea in terms of numeracy. SO basically, as we all know, in most instances, literacy and numeracy is the foundation. It gives a lot of advantage if a child is well equipped in terms of their literacy and numeracy skills when they commence school. So it is indeed very important that a child is well prepared and also they have the knowledge that they can build on and acquire other skills while at school.

Communication skills and general knowledge. Some of the questions asked here include, is this child able to tell a story? Is this child is able to communicate their own needs in a way understandable to adults or to peers? As we all know, there's a lot of verbal interaction that happens in school while learning is taking place. But beyond that, also being able to have a greater understanding and comprehending what's happening. So with each of these questions, most times the teachers have the option to answer yes, no, or sometimes they answer don't know.

Within the AEDC context, there is a question that asks for how long, if the teacher has known the student for at least a month. And usually if the teacher has not known the student for an extended period of time, then they have the option to choose not to complete the instrument for the student, or even when the results have been interpreted that length of time is taken into account. This is why the AEDC data is usually collected in Term 2 of every collection year. Again, the collection occurs once in three years, but then it means that if the teacher has had some extensive communication with the child, at least over Term 1, or interaction with the child in the classroom, and probably they've had the opportunity to interact with the parents at that point in time, then the teacher has the comprehensive knowledge and they're able to reflect and answer the AEDC questions.

These are just a few examples of the AEDC questions, but what we thought it would be important to give a bit of context, so teachers understand the kind of questions that have been asked and some of the sub-elements that these questions feed into to make up a domain.

The AEDC and key documents or frameworks. It's important to know that within the broad framework of implementing the AEDC, there are so much linkages with other key document that schools are already familiar with or early childhood services engage with. These documents support planning in schools and also early child services. Within New South Wales with the Department of Education, there is a School Improvement Plan where schools plan how they're going to improve or the approach they're going to take and areas in which they can improve on. Also the Strategic Improvement Plan.

Using the AEDC data, you can actually reflect and have an idea of, where are the areas that we can improve on? What is AEDC data telling us? And what area can we focus on? We could choose to focus on one domain, if for instance, students are lacking with their social competence, then may be a school might implement initiatives, or kind of plan in such a way that they're able to improve their student outcomes in those areas.

Also we have the School Excellence Framework where schools actually plan towards what they improve on with their practise and with how to improve themselves or how schools are assessed, let me say. In this instance, the AEDC data also provides information and it provides guidance on what area you might actually improve on within the framework of the School Excellence Framework. Also, within the Wellbeing Framework for Schools, where each school tries to ensure that their students feel that they are connected, and also feel like they are succeeding and thriving.

Again, the AEDC data provides context and a school can actually see the trend of progress over the years, and they can decide on what area they might have to focus on. It might be that students might have a need to feel more connected, it might also mean that maybe students need to feel that they are succeeding within a particular school environment, especially in the first year of schooling when students have just made progress from early childhood services. It might take a bit of time for them to actually understand what is expected and feel like they're succeeding within that environment.

Similarly, in terms of the National Quality Framework with the National Quality Standards implementation, it's important that services can have a look and see what areas can we improve on in terms of our practise, or how can we support families or communities with different quality areas in how they respond to their AEDC data. If for instance, the AEDC data is showing that parents are not engaging with their students after transitioning to school, or they don't really have time to engage with reading, for instance, it might be important that early childhood services might work with families and support them.

The AEDC data provides a good opportunity that you can use to start a conversation with the community or with families. Also, the case with Early Years Learning Framework and in terms of the five key outcome areas and what you might want to focus on, the AEDC data is a good guide. If for instance, you want to focus on ensuring that children have a good sense of wellbeing, or their wellbeing is developing, then you can actually look at the AEDC data within the domain or the sub-domain level to decide on where you might want to invest or where the initiative will come from.

In terms of implementing the New South Wales curriculum and syllabus, there's been a mapping that has happened, and you can download the domain guide which provides some of these linkages on the AEDC New South Wales webpage. The link to the webpage is going to be provided at the end of this professional learning resource. But the AEDC, I think over time with the research that has happened, it's provided some indication on some areas of the curriculum, where students might actually struggle a little bit more depending on the domain where they are impacted most in.

So with physical health and wellbeing, students might be impacted a bit more obviously academically in terms of PDHPE. But there are other areas of the curriculum, and that resource is available on AEDC New South Wales webpage. These are some key documents that AEDC data can inform in how schools decide to plan or to approach what area of this document they to focus on in their practise.

In this part of the professional learning, I'm going to be talking to you about fostering learning and development in each domain. As we've already seen, we've had a chance to look at what each domain means, the sub-domain indicators, and also some of the questions that are asked from teachers in terms of understanding where the child is in their developmental journey. Part of the aim of this professional learning is to provide some guidance for teachers so that you can have the opportunity to reflect on practise, how practise can improve, but also have the opportunity to also see how you might be able to support your students as they progress or transition into school. And although the AEDC data collection was collected in 2021, with a different cohort of students, it's important to understand that it's at the population level, and this might be a reflection, in most cases, it is a reflection of students who will be transitioning into school next year.

The strategies that teachers can reflect on, could apply to students who are in Year 2, who have just finished Kindergarten, but then it's also applicable to students who are starting Kindergarten in 2022, because it's a reflection of their experiences before school, which in most cases might be similar to the experiences of students who transitioned into school in 2021.

As already explained, this section of the professional learning is going to provide some context into how you can foster that development of each domain. In order to achieve this, some context is provided on what domain is about, and also some examples on how teachers can respond in practise.

I'm starting with social competence. This is the ability to cope with demands of learning and the social environment. So examples of how teachers might respond in practise include, give children tasks or responsibilities for helping in class. For example, making a weekly classroom responsibility list that includes all children. This gives them an opportunity to take turns and also to feel responsible or to take on some responsibility within the classroom setting. You can also create a task that allows children to solve problems.

For example, 'I need someone to help me figure out how to set up the classroom so that we have a big space to sit and listen to stories. Can anyone help me figure that out?' This gives an opportunity for children to be able to take on responsibility and also contribute in problem solving. Posing a question and giving them an opportunity to respond will allow them to be able to think and engage.

Another way in which teachers might foster or help in developing social competency in children includes explicitly teach the routines and behaviours that will support children to understand the rules and routines at school or within the classroom. For example, 'when we are working with our friends in literacy groups, we talk quietly about our work' and ask the group of children to demonstrate and discuss with the class after. So this is an example where the teacher is setting the expectation of what behaviour is expected from each child. So these are just a few examples of how you might help children in terms of social competence. There are many more examples, but this gives a prompt and hopefully it will help, to support your thinking as you walk towards responding to social competence in children.

Now we're going to move on to the next domain, which is emotional maturity. Emotional maturity has to do with children's ability to infer the feeling of others and respond in pro-social ways, or ways show care for other people and value relationships. Examples of how teachers might respond in practise. So, in this instance is if your outcome from AEDC data collection shows that children are lagging in terms of emotional maturity, these are a few suggestions of some of the ways you might want to consider in how you respond.

One of the ways you could respond is to model how you are managing your own feelings by thinking aloud. For example, this is something you could say to a group of students or students in your class, 'When I got to school this morning, my room was locked and I had forgotten my keys. I was so frustrated. I had to take a big breath and think about what I should do next instead of getting angry. After a nice, big, slow breath, I could think clearly, and I figured out that I could go to the office and ask for help.' Basically this, an example of how to respond in a situation that seems actually a bit stressful. You could share this example or reflect with your student, or you could reflect on other situations that you found yourself in and how you responded. This will model how students can respond because some students, as we all know, because it's such a young age, could respond in ways that could basically be throwing a tantrum or could just be that they're overreacting to what the situation might be. Modelling the best way to respond is a good example.

Another way you can also help to respond or to support students as they kind of grow and develop their emotional maturity is to role play how to react in various situations. Again, this is a similar, but yet slightly different example. For example, role play happy and sad situations, or maybe frustration, anger and worry. Allow children to talk about times when they had these feelings and ensure that the role play ends with a solution and a model of how children can respond when they have these feelings. So these are feelings that children often experience on a day-to-day basis or in different situations, so it will be good to have a conversation or maybe reflect or maybe actually role play or get the children to role play, being happy, being sad, being frustrated, but also to reflect when they had those emotions and how they responded, that that might be helpful in helping them to think and be proactive in how to respond to each of these instances.

Another approach could be teaching children the language to use when they describe their feelings. Again, these examples are interrelated, but they're also important because each element of this can help in ensuring that a child is emotionally mature for the level at which they are in. For example, you could read books that show children a variety of emotions, including more complex ones, such as fear and worry. You can give children opportunities to discuss these feelings and ways in which they can talk to an adult when they are feeling this way.

So, it's about being able to express your emotions, not just getting upset or crying or being less engaged with activities, but being able to express what exactly is happening, how they are feeling, or what the teacher can do to help or what the solution might be for them. These are just a few examples. Again, as I've said earlier on, we just want to prompt a few examples in ways that teachers can respond to support students in the classroom context or within the school community.

The third AEDC domain that we're going to look into is communication skills and general knowledge. This is basically has to do with developed vocabulary that enables children to express ideas, concept and understanding of how the world around them works. Examples of how teachers might respond in practise in order to support children's development around their communication skills and general knowledge.

One of the ways teachers could do this involves engage children in child-led discussion or conversations, ask probing questions and encourage them to reply. For example, ask an open-ended question such as, 'Tell me about what you are doing.' Listen to the child's response and continue to scaffold the conversation in a way that encourages. So you can ask more probing questions or build on the conversation so that the child gets to engage longer and also gets to interact a bit more. In the second example, when reading books, you can ask open ended questions about the characters, the setting, and the plot. For example, encourage children to talk about how they feel about the book and make connections to their own life. Maybe asking probably questions like, 'Have you found yourself in this situation before? How did you respond to that situation? Have you observed this?' Depending on what this book might be about or what the situation might be.

You can also use routines as opportunities to interact with children around a topic of interest or whatever is occurring around. If you're walking across a field, for instance, you could ask about the activities that other students are engaging with, or if you are somewhere where you have objects around, you could ask questions. So for example, when walking to and from the classroom with the class, have an informal conversation with a small group of children about the topic of interest. Encourage the children to use extended sentences, patterns and use vocabulary appropriate to the topic. So it's about being able to use the right vocabulary for the right context, and also allowing the child to be able to express themselves and maybe describe the situation as appropriate.

Communication skills and knowledge is quite important because as we all know, students need to be able to express themselves both verbally, non-verbally, and when it comes to reading and writing, they need to be able to read and comprehend. But communication mainly has to do with being able to express themselves and also make sense of what's happening or occurring around them.

The fourth domain now we're going to look at is physical health and wellbeing. This has to do with the ability to cope with the physical demands of learning and the social environment. If you remember earlier on, when I talked about the sub-domain indicators, as part of this professional learning, you will see that physical health and wellbeing has to do with their ability to be physically independent and also have ability to have good hygiene, as well as the ability of students to manipulate objects. So this is a bit more detail into beyond what was presented in the slide earlier on.

One of the ways or the easiest way, that this is going to support students in terms of their fine and their gross motor skills is practise opening a piece of food, wrapping in a plastic, for example, make sandwiches as a group activity and wrap them in glad wrap. Another way is having a conversation with the children about the symbols that they may see when going to the toilet. So this is about being able to find their way to the restroom when they need to, and also being able to take care of themselves independently. For example, explain the toilet arrangement and labels used at your school. So every school might have their toilet at different locations. They might also have different levels, that mean different things, but for the most of it, we do have generic levels, but pointing out specifically what his situation is for your school context.

Ensure that each week, Kindergarten students have 150 to 250 minutes of planned physical activity at school. For example, think about creative ways to do this, including a maths lesson countdown on how many skips you can do in a row, or literacy lessons, listen to how many syllables are in each word and jump into a hoop for each one you hear. So these are just some examples of creative ways where teachers can bring in some of those learning around physical health and wellbeing, but also supporting students as they progress in their journey through school.

The fifth domain of from the AEDC domains is a language and cognitive skills school-based. So, just to also explain that these domains are not presented in a particular order, so you could always look at the domains at different orders or in whichever way you want. And each domain stands independently, so you can actually explore one domain in depth without necessarily having to consider the others. Some of the activities might enhance development in more than domain.

So, back to the slide now. Language and cognitive skills, which is school-based, are skills that assist children to learn concept, apply them to new situations, and build a rich understanding of the world around them. Examples of how teachers might respond in practise include jointly construct texts with children. For example, you can create a shopping list together or add letters to the shopping list, or maybe add words and catalogues to your collage or to your craft area. This is within the classroom. You can engage the children in creating the list itself or having them to add various aspects of the list while you talk about your craft area. Be sure to model the activity for children before playing. So this is allowing them to be able to understand a particular situation, and also apply the knowledge.

For example, play games that includes counting or board games with dice, be sure to model the activity for the children before they are given the opportunity to play. Also encourage children to solve problems by providing opportunities to think critically and creatively. For example, you can say this to the children, 'We need to develop an obstacle course for sport next week. It needs to have climbing, running, hoops, crawling and crawling. Well let's design a course together.' So this is getting the children to be creative but also getting them to think in ways that encourage the development of their cognitive skills.

So, these five AEDC domains are quite important, even as standalone because they play an important role in ensuring that a child has a more enjoyable experience while in school or that they are more ready and prepared for the challenges that come with full-time schooling.

Now that we've looked at the five AEDC domains and provided some examples on how you might consider your practise or some of the practises that can help in developing those domains, we're going to progress on to look into the value of the AEDC data. This will provide some context and understanding on how you might look at the data, what value it provides, and also how you can use that to inform practise as a teacher.

Value of the AEDC data.

AEDC outcomes are predicted by preschool attendance, playgroup attendance, and child protection notifications. Both preschool attendance and playgroup attendance have a positive impact on how children arrive at school in terms of their progress within the AEDC outcomes or the AEDC domains measured. However, child protection notification has a negative impact. So even if it's as little as having a phone call from a concerned member of the community or from the family about the child, that enough has been found to be a significant enough for the child to have at least one vulnerability when they commence full-time schooling. The AEDC data tells how children have developed in the years prior to school. So it gives us a good idea or what experience a child has had around their education right from before or just after being born and up to the age when they commence full-time schooling.

The data enable educators to gain a better understanding of the developmental needs and strength of children in their community. This is because apart from the AEDC that had been provided at the school level, it also provides a community level data. And this provides a good context to understand what exactly has happened for children before they commence school, is it specific to a particular community? Is it something that is widespread within a local council? Exactly what are the strengths of children and how can schools or teachers engage and ensure that children are able to build on those strengths that they have while they commence full-time schooling?

Also, the AEDC data is an important data set that can help to examine the impact of programs and policies across population groups. I'd mentioned earlier on that AEDC is a population measure, so this provides a good context to measure if a particular policy has been implemented, probably a playgroup policy or some funding that has been provided into schools with the AEDC data completed or the data collection, I beg your pardon, completed once in three years, this allows or gives the opportunity to be able to reflect and see if progress is being made over time.

Again, this has been a practise that has been implemented in other areas either in New South Wales or in other jurisdictions, but in terms of those outcomes that predict what level students are at with the AEDC, there are lots of research that has shown, and we've provided some of the references, sources such as student wellbeing and mental health disorders. This is a significant research work that looked at students' profile over the period of time and sees what impact that they have over time when it comes to the Stage at which they were at, when they arrived in school, under the AEDC.

Through the previous slide, I've talked a bit about the AEDC domains and also talked a bit about the value of the AEDC data and some key documents that you might want to consider the AEDC data for when you work in terms of school planning or planning within the community, or within an early childhood education service. In the next few slides, I'm going to talk about the AEDC school profile. The AEDC school profile provides information about the AEDC data collected at the school level. It will be important to be able to understand what exactly is contained or available in the school profile and how you might want to interpret that information.

AEDC school profile

The AEDC school profile provides some basic information based on the AEDC data collection. First of all, it provides information about children in your school. And basically, there are a few tables on that page or within the first few pages of the AEDC school profile that gives you important information on demographics, early childhood education experiences, special needs and transition to school. A lot of the information in the first few pages of the AEDC school profile provides demographic information. So, for example, it provides a total number of children measured, so the number of children that participated, also the school profile provides each of these over a period of time. So, for the 2021 AEDC data collection, you're going to have a snippet that compares 2021 outcomes to 2015 and 2018. This gives you an idea of a trend over time. Are we making progress? Are we declining or have things remain the same?

It also gives an average age of children at completion. At the point when the AEDC was completed, what was the average age of children that participated? Again, this provides a lot of contextual information to understand how to interpret and engage with your data. Then it provides sex, either male or female. It provides different options, and basically this is based on information that has been provided by the school, or that has been provided by teachers.

So, teachers are given the opportunity to update or to edit this information, the demographic information, once it's received. It provides information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's background. It also provides an information about children with English as a second language, or children with a Language Background Other than English (LBOTE), and who are proficient in English. And then children with other Language Background Other than English (LBOTE), but who are not proficient in English.

It's just to provide contextual information that will support your understanding and interpretation of your AEDC outcomes. Also, it provides more information on the type of early childhood education experience that the child has had before they commence school. Again, this question is responded to by teachers based on the knowledge and understanding that they have had in their interaction with the child. The AEDC data collection occurs in Term 2, so this gives time for the teacher to get to know the child and the parents.

Table 1.2, which is the second table after demographic information is provided, includes only children where the teachers had an idea of non-parental early childhood education and care experience in the year before school. Teachers are able to choose if they know the type of early childhood education the child attended. And again, it's either a day-care service, preschool or Kindergarten, family day-care, grandparents supporting the child, other relatives supporting the child, or if it was a nanny. This gives an idea, and then it also provides a trend over time, so you can see what progress is happening or where the situation is for the cohort of students in your school.

I guess some of the questions to ask yourself in this context is, what are the characteristics of children in the latest census? Which will be 2021. How is the makeup of children in your school changing over time? You can look at some of the background information and see do we have more students with another language background, children other than English and who are not proficient in English, or do we have more children of other language background who are actually proficient in English? It's important to see what the trend is as AEDC is a national measure.

As part of the AEDC school profile, each school receives a report that provides the percentage of children who are on track, the percentage of children who are vulnerable, and the percentage of children who are at risk. Each domain, as already discussed, you have the information about each domain, and then you also have in terms of the summary indicators, which I'll talk about later. This is an example of the language and cognitive skills domain, which is school-based knowledge. Here you can see that information is provided about your school or the school that your report you're engaging with, but then it's put within the context of what is the situation in New South Wales and what is situation nationally? This gives you a broader context to understand and interpret your data.

By March 2022, the AEDC community level data report will be available. Then, you can also compare your school level data against that. What you can see here that there's a percentage that is provided of students and the green bars in the diagram, the green bars provide the percentage of students who are developmentally on track. The yellow or amber looking bar, coloured aspect of the bar provides a percentage of those who are developmentally at risk. And then the red part, or the red part of each of the bar charts provides information or the percentage of children who are developmentally vulnerable.

What is important to note in understanding and engaging with your AEDC school profile is to pay attention to the number of students. For example, 10% of 70 is different from 10% of say, 500 or 700 students. It's important to pay attention to a number of students that participated in the AEDC data collection. And then pay attention to the number of students who are vulnerable, on track or who are at risk.

This gives you a good understanding of how you might want to respond. Is our response going to be targeted, or is there a response that is more appropriate at a community or at the local council level? As already mentioned, the AEDC school profile is provided, but then there's also the AEDC community profile, which is provided and publicly available for people to access on the AEDC national webpage. In the next few slides, I'll just talk about the AEDC community profile to give an idea of what it might look like.

AEDC community profile.

So similar to the school profile, the AEDC community profile provides some background information. It gives you information about children in the community and shows the trends for each of the domains. This is an example of how you're going to see the information, so it gives you the total number of children measured within a particular community.

We have sorted the community group groupings, as the ABS has done nationally and in accordance with what is consistent. However, in some instances, depending on the population of students, some communities are merged together so that reporting can happen in an anonymous way. it's important to pay attention to what community is included in the report that you are referring to. Otherwise, in most instances, some of the reports generally are almost at a local council level or based on a suburb if the suburb has a significant number of students.

The total number of children measured, the number of schools contributing to the results, the number of teachers that contributed to the results, and then the average age of children that contributed. So, because this is at a community level, it gives you an average score at that level and tells you the number of schools involved.

Again, this is important in informing planning, should we have targeted initiatives if only two schools have contributed to the number of students enrolled and within the community in Kindergarten in a particular year, or do we have a broad spread of schools? Also, there are further demographic information available at the community level reports. this includes the gender of this participating students, it also includes their Aboriginal status, percentage of children who are born in another country before arriving in Australia, and then children with English as a second language, children with a language background other than English, and who are proficient in English.

It also provides children with a primary caregiver who reported a completed form or some form of post-school qualification. As we know, post-school qualification provides some level of indication in terms of socioeconomic status. This is also used as an indicator by proxy, however, in the AEDC reporting, the information is also sliced by your SEIFA ranking, and different quantiles in the society, or in Australia generally. Some the questions you might ask yourself with a community profile is, what where the characteristics of children in the latest census? How is the makeup of children in your community changing?

Similar to the school profile, information is provided about each domain. It gives you an idea of the percentage of children on track, percentage of students who are vulnerable, and the percentage of children who are at risk. The community level data is provided and is provided in the context of data the community, the state, and the national level. Again, this gives a broader context on how best to interpret your data, how well are you doing compared to the state or the national level, and how can you respond? Is it, are some of the issues or whatever vulnerabilities that you've observed with your own data? Is it something that's specific to your community or is broadly at the state level and the national level?

Another aspect to pay attention to is, what's the percentage? What's the number that makes up the percentage? If, for instance, 50% of 100 students within a community are progressing or have some level of vulnerability, that's going to be different from 50% of 1000 students in that community. It's important to pay attention to the number, again, to inform how you might want to respond. It’s also important to pay attention that if there is a decrease in the percentage of students who are on track, it's important to pay attention, to see where has it gone to, have they shifted to be being at risk?

Then, maybe the support that's required might be just for a particular period of time to ensure that the students are put, or they're being back on track, or they're being supported so that they can kind of get back on track in their development within the AEDC five domains. If there is decrease of students or the percentage of students on track it means that it's an increase in the percentage of students at risk, then maybe the intervention needs to go on for a longer period of time, or probably it has to be a bit broadly applied. So similar to the school profile, the same information is provided at each domain level.

One of the ways that AEDC data is also reported, which is available within the school report, and at the community level report, is to provide an indication of the percentage of students who are vulnerable on one or more domain, or who are vulnerable on two or more developmental domains. These are called the AEDC summary indicators. Usually, with the graphs provided for each domain, it provides a trend over time, and also provide a percentage of children who are vulnerable on one or more domain, so this is to say the child is either vulnerable in the physical, emotional or social domain, regardless. It's just how many kids have some level of vulnerability and as measured within the AEDC.

Then, you have also a graph that provides the percentage of children who are vulnerable on two or more domains. This means that for some students, the vulnerability is not just from one domain, but they've got two areas, key areas that they're developmentally lagging in. This provides a good insight in terms of how you might want to target your response, if the issues are concentrated within a specific domain or more than one domain, and how can you support the students? It might be something that needs more investment in funding or more broad response, more compared to if the percentage of students with vulnerability in one domain is a lot higher, then it's more about taking a step back, and actually asking or interrogating the data a bit more. We have more vulnerabilities in one domain and which of the domains is that and how can we respond?

Reflecting on your own context.

We've definitely talked about what the AEDC is, we've provided some information on each of the domains, and given examples on how you can develop your practise as a teacher or build in some particular strategies that can support the growth and development of each domain for children who, especially when they are vulnerable or if the children are lagging in a particular area, within the AEDC domains. Also, I've shown you a bit more on how you can understand your AEDC data.

This part of the professional learning will give you an opportunity to reflect on your own context, or at least provide you with some questions that can guide those reflections. How can you respond to the AEDC data as a teacher? So, the AEDC data I've said earlier on is an evidence base, and if you look at your AEDC school and community profile, then there might be a few questions that could prompt your thinking. What is the link between what you do in your school or service and outcomes for children? Can you see a link anywhere in terms of the AEDC outcomes now? How can the information available through the AEDC school and community profile, inform your planning for transitioning into school? What other data sources can you refer to?

After having reflected at, what evidence base is the AEDC providing in terms of informing your action, you can then proceed on to act. This is more about what do you want to implement and how you might evaluate the effectiveness of what you're implementing.

Some questions to consider are; consider a program or initiative to implement based on what you have seen or what you want to change. Consider what early success looks like and how to monitor progress. Is there something you want to implement over a term, over a year, and how can you know that what you're doing is making progress? What measures do you want to put in place?

Consider partnerships and key stakeholders that might support effective implementation. Who do you want to partner with and how will that affect the implementation? Is it something that you could have, like a speech therapist come into a school and do you have funding to support that? Or can you work collaboratively with other schools? It's more an opportunity to reflect on what might be feasible or what you might be able to respond to within the community.

Possible actions.

So, once you've had a chance to ask yourself some of the questions from the previous slide, in terms of how you might respond, who you might partner with, there are some possible actions you could take. Again, you could also use these actions to guide your reflection or to guide what steps you might take in response to your AEDC data.

Step one is to gather the evidence. This is about looking at your AEDC data, interrogating the data, also triangulating the data with other data sources, such has the Best Start Kindergarten assessment and everything that's available that could support your interpretation. You could also then progress in terms of identifying the needs. Which of the domains are students vulnerable in? Is this something that's applicable to a broad group of students? What's the demographic information available that has probably influence on the outcomes? Also reflecting on what has been the experience nationally or depending on which area of New South Wales you're in, some areas have been impacted more with COVID restrictions than the others.

Then, consider target teaching. This is targeting your teaching or the support that you provide to students so that it's able to meet those needs, or it's able to support them as they progress towards meeting those needs. And then you have to think about how you're going to monitor impact. What impact does my change bring? Or who is better off as a result of what I've done or what I've implemented at the classroom level, at the school level or the community level? And then plan the next step.

Basically, you can go over and over the process in terms of improving practise. I'm sure teachers in schools are familiar with these steps or generally as services, you tend to respond and try to gather the evidence and identify what the need is, make sure the needs of the customers are met and then monitor the impact and then plan how the next cycle could be better.

There are a few questions here that I'm going to read through just to give you something to think about. What have I learned from the AEDC data and other data? This is about gathering your evidence. What do I need to focus on? What is the evidence telling me? How can I use the information I've gathered from the evidence? What strategies can I use? Can it just be something implemented within a school? Will it be more effective, collaboratively? Would it be effective in terms of me just adjusting my practises within the school environment or having a system that involves more students, beyond a Kindergarten classroom? How do I monitor progress made and then what next? So again, it's just giving yourself the opportunity to reflect, to interrogate the data, and to present the information in a way that can support your planning next time or gathering the information and gathering the evidence.

Accessing AEDC school and community level reports.

This section will provide some guidance on how you can access your AEDC school and community level reports. Accessing your AEDC school profile. AEDC school profile can be accessed through your school principal. Each principal located in a school where the AEDC data collection was completed, receives a school profile. Also, if for some reason you're unable to locate the report at your school through your principal, you can approach the AEDC National help desk on helpdesk, helpdesk@aedc.gov.au.

You could email your AEDC New South Wales state office team to ask for your school level profile. If you're emailing the AEDC New South Wales state office, you will need written approval from your principal, and this only applies to public schools in New South Wales, so to government schools only. You need to be able to use one of these approaches, because the school level data belongs to the school and is provided to the schools only.

Accessing your AEDC community profile. The AEDC community profile is publicly available on AEDC data explorer page. Please note, that AEDC 2021 community profile will only be available from March 2022. Steps to accessing your report. You can visit the aedc.gov.au/data/data-explorer page. Type in your community's name and then you download the report. The report is available as a PDF document, which you can click on download, or you can download the Excel document. Similarly, you can also, if you just want to have a quick view that data is available, and it comes up once you put in the name of the community.

Relevant webpages and other courses.

So as part of the resources provided through AEDC New South Wales, we have some information on the AEDC New South Wales webpage. This includes the domain guides, which were referred to earlier. You can download the domain guides, we also have examples of some case studies of how local councils have engaged with the AEDC data. You'll find more information and examples on the AEDC national webpage, where they publish community stories and some school stories of how communities have responded to the AEDC data.

AEDC New South Wales hosted an AEDC research symposium in August 2021. That symposium led to the production of videos from the presenters and the sessions held. You can also access that webpage and view some of the resources provided there. As part of the professional learning resources, adding to the one for teachers, we have the AEDC, the school leaders engaging with Australian Early Developmental Census 2021 school report.

These guide leaders on how they might consider or think about responding to the AEDC data. Also, we have the AEDC online professional learning, which looks a bit broadly into responding to the AEDC either at the community, state or national level. It provides some information and insight and provides some guidance on partnerships. There are a few examples of videos and case studies on how schools have responded to the AEDC data.


Thank you for participating in this session and professional learning on the AEDC. Please complete the survey or provide your feedback. You can either scan the QR code or use the link to access the form. The link is also provided on the slide, but you can also click on the link to the webpage where you access this particular professional learning from.

Well, thank you for engaging with the AEDC professional learning for teachers. For more information, you can visit AEDC New South Wales webpage, which is education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/early-learning/australian-early-development-census. You can also contact AEDC New South Wales team by emailing aedc@det.nsw.edu.au, or call 1300 083 698.

I hope that this professional learning has supported your engagement with the AEDC data and in planning for future learning and how you engage with your students. Thank you.

[End of transcript]


  • AEDC

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  • Curriculum and Reform
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