Reducing barriers to learning.

Tools and resources for assessing children ages 5-11

   Boxall Profiles

The Boxall Profile is an observational tool that focuses on identifying children’s developmental needs and the levels of skills they possess to access learning. It supports staff in developing greater observational skills and deepens understanding of children’s difficulties and can support the development of interventions. It is used extensively as part of monitoring nurture group provision.

Find more information here.

   PASS survey

Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) is an all-age attitudinal survey that provides a measurement of a pupil’s attitudes towards themselves as learners and their attitudes towards school, suitable for pupils aged 4 to 18+.

Available here.

   Robin Banerjee’s* Socio-Emotional Profile Questionnaires

Socio-Emotional profile questionnaires are designed to help you gain additional information about a child or young person’s emotional health and well-being, as well as to give a picture of the peer relationships and levels of social acceptance and rejection within a class or tutor group.

There are two types of surveys (with two variations of those dependent on the pupils age) :

  1. 'My Feelings':
    • This questionnaire concerns pupils' social and emotional experiences. Dependent on the pupil's age, they are asked to respond to between 20 & 43 questions covering a range of topics such as:
      • Positive social experiences at school
      • Negative social experiences at school
      • Negative emotions (e.g. feeling sad, worried, or scared) at school
      • Self-perceptions
      • Anxiety, depressive symptoms & sadness

  2. 'My Class':
    • This questionnaire asks pupils, dependent on their age, to nominate peers that they:
      • Most like
      • Least like
      • See as kind and cooperative
      • See as shy
      • See as leaders

Find out more and download free socio-emotional questionnaires from the University of Sussex website here.

*Professor Robin Banerjee is Professor of Developmental Psychology (Psychology, Mental Health Practice) at the University of Sussex and co-editor of the journal Infant and Child Development (Online ISSN: 1522-7219)

   Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

What is the SDQ?

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire designed for 3-16 year olds.

It exists in several versions to meet the needs of researchers, clinicians and educationalists. Available here.

   The Leuven Scale

This tool has been developed by a team based at the Research Centre for Experiential Education (Leuven University – Belgium) under the supervision of Dr. Ferre Laevers. The tool focuses on two central indicators when planning any educational setting: ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Involvement’. Wellbeing refers to feeling at ease, being spontaneous and free of emotional tensions and is crucial to secure ‘mental health’. Wellbeing is linked to self-confidence, a good degree of self-esteem and resilience. Involvement refers to being intensely engaged in activities and is considered to be a necessary condition for deep level learning and development.

Assessment of Wellbeing and Involvement

Laevers has created a 5 point scale to measure both wellbeing and involvement. If there is a lack of wellbeing and or involvement, it is likely a child’s development will be threatened. The higher the levels of wellbeing and involvement we can achieve for the child, the more we can add to the child’s development. When there are high levels of wellbeing and involvement, we know that deep level learning is taking place.

The evaluation starts with assessing the levels of wellbeing and involvement using the tables.

The procedure is simple and can be compared to ‘scanning’: observe the children for about two minutes to ascertain the general levels of wellbeing and involvement using the five-point scale. The observation can focus on groups of children or can be used to focus on a particular individual. Unless a child is operating at 4 or 5, learning will be limited. However, children cannot peak at levels 4 or 5 all the time and levels will fluctuate throughout the day.

Leuven Scale of Wellbeing

  1. Extremely Low - The child clearly shows signs of discomfort such as crying or screaming. They may look dejected, sad, frightened or angry. The child does not respond to the environment, avoids contact and is withdrawn.
  2. Low - The posture, facial expression and actions indicate that the child does not feel at ease. However, the signals are less explicit than under level 1 or the sense of discomfort is not expressed the whole time.
  3. Moderate - The child has a neutral posture. Facial expression and posture show little or no emotion. There are no signs indicating sadness or pleasure, comfort or discomfort.
  4. High - The child shows obvious signs of satisfaction (as listed under level 5). However, these signals are not constantly present with the same intensity.
  5. Extremely High - The child looks happy and cheerful, smiles, cries out with pleasure. They may be lively and full of energy. Actions can be spontaneous and expressive. The child may talk to him/herself, play with sounds, hum, sing. The child appears relaxed and does not show any signs of stress or tension. He / she is open and accessible to the environment. The child expresses self-confidence and self-assurance.

Leuven Scale of Involvement

Reference: Well-being and Involvement in Care Settings. A Process-oriented Self-evaluation Instrument, Ferre Laevers (Ed.) Research Centre for Experiential Education, Leuven University. ISBN: 978-90-77343-76-8)

Level Involvement Signals:

  1. Extremely Low - Activity is simple, repetitive and passive. The child seems absent and displays no energy. They may stare into space or look around to see what others are doing.
  2. Low - Frequently interrupted activity. The child will be engaged in the activity for some of the time they are observed, but there will be moments of non-activity when they will stare into space, or be distracted by what is going on around.
  3. Moderate - Mainly continuous activity. The child is busy with the activity but at a fairly routine level and there are few signs of real involvement. They make some progress with what they are doing but don’t show much energy and concentration and can be easily distracted.
  4. High - Continuous activity with intense moments. The child’s activity has intense moments and at all times they seem involved. They are not easily distracted.
  5. Extremely High - The child shows continuous and intense activity revealing the greatest involvement. They are concentrated, creative, energetic and persistent throughout nearly all the observed period.