Assessment in Practice

Assessment in Practice

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Teachers in this project recorded how they had:

  • built assessment opportunities into their planning;
  • used our online exemplification library; and
  • used the aspects of Assessment for Learning in their classrooms.

Since the purpose of teaching and assessment are the same – namely to help pupils learn – teaching and assessment need to be planned as complementary aspects of one activity

- Guide to Assessment: Supporting schools in meeting Statutory Requirements for Assessment and Reporting, Page 20

Schools' Experiences

The schools involved in this project are in the process of embedding key aspects of Assessment for Learning into their classroom practice. Their practice currently includes:

  • teachers using their own assessment activities and CCEA Assessment Tasks – as these Assessment Tasks are new, teachers are still deciding how to fit these into their planning;
  • using We Are Learning To (WALT) and What I’m Looking For (WILF) to share the relevant learning intentions and success criteria;
  • ensuring that the success criteria map onto the Levels of Progression for Communication;
  • using our exemplification library to show pupils examples of other pupil responses to an assessed activity;
  • providing a pupil-friendly guide to writing genres and their characteristics;
  • making pupils from Years 3 to 7 aware of the key aspects of a level in pupil-friendly language;
  • developing, planning and editing in the mode of Writing and developing the skill of using a plan;
  • encouraging self-assessment, using a traffic light system at the lower levels;
  • encouraging verbal discussions about levels with pupils working at Levels 3, 4 and 5;
  • encouraging peer assessment and sharing work; and
  • using Two Stars and a Wish to give pupils feedback, enabling teachers and pupils to discuss the next steps needed to progress in their reading or writing.

Helpful Hints

  • Build assessment opportunities into your existing plans so that, as one teacher said, assessment is not an add-on.
  • Show your pupils exemplification pieces from our exemplification library. Teachers who did this reported that the piece not only modelled a pupil response but was also a good way to motivate pupils.
  • Share the levels with your pupils. One school generated these in pupil-friendly language.
  • Learning, teaching and assessment take time. The process is just as important as the outcome.
  • Integrate Talking and Listening with your Reading and Writing assessments. This could become part of your prior teaching and learning.
  • Ensure that your success criteria match the criteria for the Levels of Progression. You may have to differentiate success criteria to suit the range of levels in your class.
  • Pupils carried out activities related to the task before undertaking the assessment task. Although planning took more time, the outcome of the overall process was significantly more rewarding for pupils and teachers. This was because:
    • pupils engaged with the activity and produced a higher standard of work; and
    • teachers had clearly matched the success criteria to the activity.