Assessment and Reporting at Key Stage 4

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Assessment is the cornerstone of good learning and teaching. It can make a vital contribution to improving educational outcomes for all pupils. It’s about collecting, interpreting and using information to give a deeper appreciation of what pupils know and understand, their skills and capabilities, and what their learning experiences enable them to do.

Assessment should:

  • complement and support the key aims of the Northern Ireland Curriculum;
  • be fit for purpose;
  • be manageable; and
  • be supported by teacher professional judgements that are consistent and reliable.

Since teaching and assessment have the same purpose – to help pupils learn – teachers need to plan them as complementary aspects of one activity. Teachers can use different assessment types to gather information. They can use this information for a variety of purposes, including:

Purposes of Assessment
Diagnostic Formative Summative Evaluative
To identify strengths and areas for improvement and to inform next steps To use assessment information to make specific improvements in learning To acknowledge, record and report pupils' overall performance and achievement at a point in time To inform curriculum planning and to provide information for monitoring and accountability

The Northern Ireland Curriculum encourages a focus on active learning methodologies. CCEA therefore encourages teachers to create assessments in meaningful contexts, which should involve using formative assessment strategies such as Assessment for Learning.

The Guidance on Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Key Stage 4 document supports schools in meeting the statutory requirements for the Northern Ireland Curriculum and assessment at Key Stage 4 and the Entitlement Framework.