Assessment for Learning Guidelines

Definition

Current thinking about learning acknowledges that learners must ultimately be
responsible for their learning since no one else can do it for them (Gilbert, 2018).
Therefore, assessment for learning must involve pupils, so as to provide them with
information about how well they are doing and guide their subsequent efforts. Much of
this information will come as feedback from the teacher.
This feedback is often through marking and verbal intervention to learners by the teacher.
This policy sets out the strategies that teachers at Springwell School will use in the
assessment for learning process.
In administering this policy, we recognise the duty not to treat a disabled child less
favourably and the duty to make reasonable adjustments. The Convention of the Rights of
people with disabilities (2006), defines a disability as:
“Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual
or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and
effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Rationale

There are different types of assessment for learning, each serves a different and distinct
purpose and each has its place. Assessment is a continuous process in the classroom, it is
rooted in self-referencing; a pupil needs to know where they are and understand not only
where they want to be but also how to “fill the gap”. This involves both the teacher and
the pupil in a process of continual reflection and review about progress.
• When teachers and peers provide quality feedback, pupils are empowered to take
the appropriate action.
• Teachers adjust their plans in response to formative assessment.

Responsibilities

Teachers are required to:
• Provide written and/or oral feedback (when appropriate) to encourage dialogue
and develop the self-assessment skills of learners.
• Expectations should be shared with learners as learning intentions (often these will
be linked to the criteria in the National Curriculum or Development Matters and
may require translation). These expectations will be reflected in the feedback
teachers give.


Parents are required to:
• Do their best to keep their child fit and healthy to attend school each day.
• Support children with their homework
• Engage in open discussion with teachers regarding support for their child, for
example parent/teacher meetings.
• Inform school if there are matters outside school that that are likely to affect a
child’s performance of behaviour in school.
• Fulfil the requirements set out in the home/school agreement.
• Promote a positive attitude to learning and school in general.


Children are required to:
• Engage with self-assessment to further their earning and understanding
• Participate in peer-assessment which provides valuable feedback and enables
students to support and learn from each other.
• View mistakes as learning opportunities as part of a growth mind-set.
• Identify and celebrate what they have done well.

Characteristics of Assessment for Learning

Research shows that effective assessment for learning is a key factor in raising pupils’
standards of achievement. At Springwell School we aim to ensure that teachers:
• embed this policy in the teaching and learning process;
• share learning intentions with pupils and process success criteria which help pupils
to know and to recognise the success criteria to aim for;
• provide feedback which leads pupils to identify what they should do next to
improve;
• have a commitment that every pupil can improve;
• involve both teachers and pupils reviewing and reflecting on pupils’ performance
and progress;
• involve pupils in being able to assess themselves;
• adjust teaching to take account of the results of assessment.


This will be done by:
• observing pupils – this includes listening to how they describe their work and their
reasoning;
• questioning, using open and probing questions, phrased to invite pupils to explore
their ideas and reasoning;
• setting tasks in a way which requires pupils to use certain skills or apply ideas;
• asking pupils to communicate their thinking through drawings, artefacts, actions,
role play, concept mapping, as well as writing;
• discussing words and how they are being used.

Classroom Practice

At Springwell School, assessment for learning will take place using the following strategies:
• By sharing the learning intention
• Developing and sharing the process success criteria
• Using rich questioning
• Using self-assessment and peer assessment
• Class observations
• By providing effective feedback and marking (see feedback and marking policy)

 

These strategies will be carried out by following the statements below:

Sharing the Learning Intention

The Learning Intention is what teachers hope children will know, understand or be able to
do by the end of the lesson or set of lessons.
Teachers will:
• Display the Learning Intention at the start of every lesson, clarifying into child friendly
language where appropriate to create a matched task that will fulfil the learning
objective.
• Share the Learning Intention to enable the child to know the purpose of the activity,
thus transferring much of the responsibility for the learning from the teacher to the
child.
• Where applicable Learning Intention should be displayed in book, once again
transferring the responsibility for the learning from the teacher to the child.

Develop and Share Success Criteria

To encourage children to take responsibility for their learning,
Teachers will:
• Explain and generate the process success criteria (key learning and teaching
points) for the task in hand and ensure that these are displayed in some way;
• Ensure the children have interpreted the expectations so they can apply them as
they are working, making their own judgements against the criteria before any
teacher assessment takes place;
• Describe what they are looking for in the lesson so that pupils know the standards
they are aiming for and have key areas of focus when carrying out the task,
enabling them to begin the process of self-evaluation.

Develop Rich Questioning

Teachers will develop rich questioning skills within the children by:
• Adopting a ‘no hands up’ strategy in conjunction with talking partners, ensuring
‘wait time’ of 3 – 5 seconds. (Children must know who their partner is in advance).
• Providing a high proportion of open questions
• Providing time for pupils to think about and discuss their responses to questions
• Providing supplementary questions to extend understanding
• Providing questions that encourage pupils to reflect on their thinking
• Providing opportunities for pupils to generate questions.

Self and Peer Assessment

There will be a variety of self and peer assessment.
If pupils are to learn they need to:
• Understand the criteria or standards that will be used to assess their work (through
teachers sharing learning intentions and criteria for success)
• Identify any gaps between their actual and optimal performance
• Work out why these gaps occur
• Identify the strategies and implications for future action that they might use to close
the gaps.
• Reflect on their own work
• Be supported to admit problems without risk to self-esteem
• Be given time to work out problems
To enable children to do this the interchange between teacher and child is crucial to the
child’s understanding of what needs to be done next. However, peers can often take on
this role and by acting as a critical friend to a fellow pupil they will almost inevitably
enhance their own understanding as well.
A ‘traffic light’ system, using coloured dots on work, cards on table or sorting trays,
encourages children to reflect on their performance both during and at the end of the
lesson and can provide further insights regarding self-esteem.

Effective Feedback and Marking

Please refer to the marking code in the staff handbook and the assessment policy.

To be reviewed in September 2022