It is important to view learning, teaching and assessment as a continuous cycle, where assessment is not the end point but should feed back into the process to help to improve learning. Since the purpose of teaching and the main purpose of assessment are to help children to learn, teaching and assessment need to be planned together as complementary aspects of the one activity. In turn, the information obtained from assessments should be used to inform the planning process.
During Years 1 and 2 ongoing assessment will be based mainly on teacher observation which will inform the learning programme for each child. Observations are a natural and essential part of good practice for teachers and classroom assistants. Well-planned, regular and skilful observations help teachers gain information about children's progress over time which ensures that all children's needs are being met.
The assessment arrangements for the Northern Ireland Curriculum embrace the principles of Assessment for Learning.