Affinity uses UOW program for school readiness
The Sector > Provider > General News > Affinity Education Group partners with UOW to enhance school readiness

Affinity Education Group partners with UOW to enhance school readiness

by Freya Lucas

April 17, 2024

Affinity Education Group has partnered with the University of Wollongong (UOW) with the aim of enhancing the capabilities of its early childhood teachers and educators who are working in its preschool aged rooms. 


“By leveraging the expertise of academic professionals, and integrating evidence-based practices into our curriculum, we can enrich the learning experiences of our students and set them on the path to success,” a spokesperson for Affinity noted.


Educators and teachers working with children aged four to five years gather data on children’s learning and progress, and analyse this information to support their ongoing planning. 


The data is gathered through the Early Years Toolbox, an app-based assessment tool encompassing key learning and development areas. The Toolbox is a reliable and tangible assessment and data collection tool that utilises five interactive games that assess children’s: 


  • Working Memory 
  • Impulse Control 
  • Maths 
  • Vocabulary 
  • Auditory Processing of Instructions 


The progress of each child in each of the five interactive games is scored and benchmarked against an extensive database at UOW. This enables educators and teachers to use this data accurately as a reliable form of assessment for and of learning. 


Once the data has been collated, families receive results through the online progress records, which contain educators’ reflections on each social, emotional, and physical health and well-being and foundational learning skill.


Families are then encouraged to collaboratively construct and set goals with educators to further support their child’s lifelong learning journey. 


The Early Years Toolbox is freely available, and requires no prior permissions to download or use, however UOW does recommend that all data collectors are trained prior to using the platform. 


This typically involves an hour or two of face-to-face workshop talking about the apps, their aims, the role of the data collector, common and uncommon occurrences in the field and submitting/checking data. 


It is also preferable that prior to data collection, data collectors have the opportunity to practice administration of the apps with an appropriately aged child, with a more senior data collector providing feedback. 


This will help ensure standardisation of fieldworker responses, sufficient engagement of the fieldworker during data collection, and ensure they are not ‘over-helping’ during data collection. 


For those with more experience working with young children and administering psychological measures, this training can be reduced.


To learn more about the Early Years Toolbox please see here

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