Assessment in Practice

Assessment in Practice

Using CCEA Tasks

Although teachers carried out their own assessment activities, this resource focuses mainly on how CCEA Assessment Tasks were used as part of the external moderation process. We asked teachers in the schools that took part in this project to record the CCEA Assessment Tasks that they found most useful. They also noted any challenges they overcame when preparing to carry out these tasks.

You can find the tasks that teachers used below. These include teacher-generated resources and pupil responses.

Schools' Experiences

The teachers selected CCEA Communication Tasks that they could link into their classroom planning. All teachers had to invest time preparing resources for the CCEA Communication Tasks. Successful outcomes depended on how the teachers planned success criteria when preparing to carry out the task. Having invested time in preparing resources, all teachers stated that they would do the tasks again.


Teachers undertook the following tasks as part of this project:

Fact Findings - Communication: Levels 1–3

Lesson 1

The pupils worked in three groups during guided reading time. The teacher encouraged the pupils to look at a range of non-fiction books and pamphlets about World War II. They also used the internet, with the teacher’s guidance, to explore World War II jobs such as an air raid precaution warden or a land girl. Pupils then fed back to the teacher some of the facts they had learned. The teacher prepared a worksheet and gave it to the pupils. The pupils used this to record:

  • the name of the non-fiction book they used;
  • the job they were going to research; and
  • the page numbers of where to find relevant information.

Lesson 2

The teacher:

  • shared the success criteria, linked to the Levels of Progression, with pupils; and
  • modelled how to answer questions about a selected World War II job.

The class discussed this information and drew up their own success criteria.

Lesson 3

Using the information gathered from exploring the non-fiction books and pamphlets and the teacher’s modelled example, the pupils completed their own assessed activity. The teacher divided the class into three groups:

  • Group 1 used a range of non-fiction books about World War II.
  • Group 2 used a small selection of information pamphlets, more suited to their reading ability, which they read independently.
  • Group 3 was pupils working at Level 1 and the lower end of the range for Level 2. The teacher read to them an A4 page of information about two World War II jobs. The group then discussed this information and wrote simple sentences about their chosen job.

Lesson 4

During this plenary, the pupils presented what they had found out about their chosen World War II job and talked about the task. They self-assessed their work.

Myths, Legends, Fairytales and Novels (Character Study) - Communication: Reading, Levels 2–5

Lesson 1

The teachers shared the success criteria with the pupils. At Levels 2 and 3, this task focused on showing understanding of a chosen character. Level 3 pupils were expected to pick out the main actions or points about their character and paraphrase a part of the story.

Myths, Legends, Fairytales and Novels (Writing a Letter) - Communication: Writing, Levels 3–5

Lesson 1

The pupils read the first chapter of the novel The Angel of Nitshill Road in mixed ability groups. The teacher provided enlarged pictures of the characters and a short piece of text from the novel. Pupils could annotate the pictures with adjectives to describe their chosen character. They could also highlight the appropriate piece of evidence from the text to support their opinion.

The pupils then devised questions that they would like to ask their chosen character. The teaching focused on developing the use of open-ended questions.

Lesson 2

This lesson used the questions the pupils had designed. The teacher asked the pupils to Hot Seat their chosen character. The pupils selected someone from their group to take on a character’s role and took turns to ask the character questions. This encouraged the pupils to empathise with the character from the novel.

Lesson 3

In their groups, pupils wrote a letter to a chosen character offering advice and support for a problem that they had highlighted in chapter one. They then presented the letters for the whole class to review. The reviewing process enabled pupils to recap on the key components needed when writing a letter. The class drew up a shared WILF list on letter writing based on this review. They carried out a shared writing activity, using the success criteria from the WILF.

Lesson 4

Working in their groups, the pupils read chapter two of The Angel of Nitshill Road. They recorded all the information they had gathered about the characters from previous lessons. They recorded this information about each character on a shared learning sheet under the following headings:

  • Personality;
  • Character Traits; and
  • Problems Celeste needs to be aware of.

The pupils then created a shared planning page. They used this, together with the feedback from Lesson 3 (Shared Letter Writing Activity) and the WILF success criteria, to write their own letter to Celeste. This letter was the assessed piece. The pupils then proofread their work and made amendments, if required.

My Hero - Communication: Writing, Levels 3–5

Lesson 1

The teacher read a selection of biographies with the pupils. They commented on how the biographies were structured and how much information they had learned.

The teacher then modelled a biography of Barak Obama. Following this, the pupils discussed the structure of a biography and the level of detail required. They drew up success criteria based on this discussion.

Lesson 2

Using the internet, pupils researched their chosen character and recorded this on the quick facts and trivia planning sheet. The teacher reported a high level of engagement from pupils as they were researching their own personal hero.

Lesson 3

The pupils completed the biographies independently, using:

  • the modelled biography of Barak Obama;
  • the success criteria for the Writing Tasks; and
  • their own quick facts and trivia planning sheet.

Helpful Hints

  • Plan to integrate CCEA Assessment Tasks, where possible, into your existing planning and plan when to do them throughout the year.
  • CCEA Communication Tasks are part of a teaching process. Ensure that your pupils have had prior experience of the task you choose to do.
  • Good relevant opportunities for assessment activities are most likely to occur within your own practice. Adjust these assessment activities by building in key Assessment for Learning aspects such as:

The pupil outcomes will encourage you.