Best Start Kindergarten Assessment

Best Start Kindergarten Assessment is currently being revised to integrate with the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions. Some schools will start using the revised assessment in 2018, and all schools will transition by 2019.

What is the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment?

Best Start is a one-on-one assessment used in all schools, designed to identify each student's literacy and numeracy skills at the beginning of Kindergarten.

Currently, Best Start maps student learning to the literacy and numeracy learning continuums, to help teachers personalise learning for each student. In 2019 Best Start will be mapped to the learning progressions for all schools.

Best Start is inclusive—all children have the opportunity to participate.

Implementation of the current Best Start

The timeline is communicated through SchoolBiz in Term 1 each year.

Weeks 1-5: assessment tasks completed

Weeks 1-7: student data entered into planning literacy and numeracy (PLAN) software

Weeks 1-8: parent or carer feedback conducted

Supporting students with disability and additional learning and support needs

Some students with disability or additional learning and support needs will require reasonable adjustments to help them access and participate in Best Start on the same basis as their peers. Adjustments should be determined through the collaborative planning process and should reflect the types of adjustments provided in previous learning settings or at home.

Public schools are provided with the booklet 'Gathering and using supplementary information – a guide for teachers' in the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment folder. This guide supports teachers to build a profile to inform quality teaching and learning programs for students with disability and additional learning and support needs.

What's new with revised Best Start?

Revised Best Start:

  • includes some new and revised items that better reflect current literacy and numeracy research
  • enables teachers to capture data at the item level to assist teachers to more quickly and accurately identify a student’s level of skill and knowledge
  • enables teachers to capture student responses directly onto a tablet or computer
  • integrates with the new literacy and numeracy learning progressions and PLAN2.

Accessing revised Best Start

In 2018, Early Action for Success (EAfS) schools and some selected supplementary schools will start using the revised assessment and PLAN2 software. Other NSW primary schools will continue using the current Best Start until the end of 2018. In 2019, all primary schools will transition to the revised assessment. For an implementation timeline, see Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2017-2020.

Revised Best Start is hosted on the Assessing Literacy and Numeracy (ALAN) website. You can access technical support, including how to navigate the revised assessment, on the ALAN helpdesk.

More information

R/Coordinator, Early Learning and Primary Education
9266 8165

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