'Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there'. (Assessment Reform Group, 2002)
Assessment for learning involves using assessment in the classroom to raise pupils’ achievement. It is based on the idea that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge).
Assessment is closely linked to teachers’ curriculum planning, since it is only by continually assessing what children have learnt and understood, that we can know what “next steps” should be planned.
In mixed ability classes it is essential that teachers enable all children to access the specified learning intentions/outcomes given to different ability groups, particularly in the core subjects of Maths, English, ICT and Science. Children’s progress can then be assessed against the “learning intentions” in the curriculum planning. Planning and assessment form an on-going cycle.
Effective assessment for learning happens all the time in the classroom. It involves: - sharing learning goals with pupils - helping pupils know and recognise the standards to aim for - providing feedback that helps pupils to identify how to improve - believing that every pupil can improve in comparison with previous achievements
- both the teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on pupils' performance and progress
- pupils learning self-assessment techniques to discover areas they need to improve
- believing that every pupil can improve in comparison with previous achievements - both the teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on pupils' performance and progress - pupils learning self-assessment techniques to discover areas they need to improve - recognising that both motivation and self-esteem, crucial for effective learning and progress, can be increased by effective assessment techniques. - Research has shown that being part of the review process raises standards and empowers pupils to take action to improve their performance.
Assessment and Testing... are not the same thing!
Children’s learning is assessed in a variety of ways ....... By observing the children, by talking with them about their learning and designing assessment tasks/activities at the end of an area of learning in order to find out what children have learnt. In the upper part of the school children are given “tests” in the classroom from time to time and also to help them learn to work “against the clock”.
The emphasis is not on children competing with each other, which could be very disheartening for children of lower ability, rather the emphasis is “improving on your own previous best”. This motivates children to achieve at their own pace.
Assessment drives learning. Feedback to pupils about their learning leads to new learning. Assessment is an essential part of the ethos in every classroom and a continual two way process between adults and children. Planning and assessment are thus interdependent processes.
At GBP we are committed to teaching children in focus groups when possible to ensure that 'learning conversations' take place. Such conversations focus on the planned learning for the lesson and enable teachers to assess learning, give instant and constructive feedback and to scaffold / develop the next step with the child - immediate improvements can be made. Pupil self-evaluation becomes an essential component of this dialogue.
- Actively involves pupils in their learning
- Provides a window into pupils’ thinking and develops their reasoning skills
- Makes planned learning / assessment criteria visible
- Makes pupils’ learning visible to enable communication about it (it’s usually abstract)
- Enables feedback to support current learning and feed into the next stage of the teaching and learning process
- Enables feedback which helps pupils know how to improve
- Pupils and ‘teachers’ to become partners in the learning process
- Confidence that every pupil can improve (untapped potential rather than fixed IQ =Growth Mindset)