Assessment for learning (AFL) 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 be and how to achieve their goal. Black and William (1998) in their research on the use of formative assessment in the classroom found ten principles of assessment which guide classroom practice in AFL. (Assessment Reform Group, 2003)
The school I work in is a city based multi cultural school. UIS caters for children from all backgrounds and inclusion is of importance to our setting. I work in key stage 1 as a HLTA. I do PPA cover throughout the year 1 classes and I cover when a teacher is away wherever possible. The subjects I teach are the foundation subjects which are History, Geography, R.S and Music. I plan, implement and assess these subjects.
In UIS, we believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. To do this in our school, we undertake two different but complementary types of assessment: assessment for learning and assessment of learning
Assessment for learning (formative assessment) involves the use of assessment in the classroom to raise pupil achievements. 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 this aim i.e. to close the gap in their knowledge. Assessment of learning (summative assessment) involves judging pupils’ performance against national standards. Teachers may make this judgement at the end of a unit of work, a term, a year, or if a key stage.
We give our children regular feedback on their learning so they understand what it is that they need to do better. Research has shown that their involvement in the review process raises standards, and that it empowers pupils to take action towards improving their performance.
The objectives of this assessment are: to enable our children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do their work; to help our children recognise the standards to aim for, and to understand what they need to do next to improve their work; to allow teachers to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each child; to provide regular information for the parents and carers that enables them to support their child’s learning; to provide the head teacher and governors with information that allows them to make a judgement about the effectiveness of the school.
To support our teaching, we use the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance, the Primary Framework literacy and mathematics schemes of work based on National Curriculum objectives. We assess children at the end of each unit of work to help us identify each child’s level of attainment.
The first principle that I will be discussing is that assessment for learning should be part of effective planning of teaching and learning. The teachers plan their lessons with clear learning objectives. We base these upon the teacher’s detailed knowledge of each child. UIS strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to each child’s ability. Our lesson plans make clear the expected outcomes of each lesson. (Appendix 1)
Teachers always share the lessons learning objectives with the children as the lesson begins. They also indicate the way in which the activity is linked to the learning objective, and the criteria against which the work will be judged which is the success criteria.
Teachers ask well phrased questions and analyse pupils’ responses to find out what they know, understand and can do, and to reveal their misconceptions. We identify those individual children who do not achieve, or exceed, the expected level for...