Perfect Assessment for Learning

Perfect Assessment for Learning


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781350027
Publisher: Crown House Publishing
Publication date: 03/19/2013
Series: The Perfect Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Claire Gadsby is a freelance education consultant, trainer and keynote speaker. She has more than 15 years of teaching experience and was Head of English at her last school. She prides herself on being very close to the realities of life in the classroom and regularly team-teaches or delivers demonstration lessons for teachers to observe and critique.

Jackie Beere, Head teacher at Campion School, Northants until 2006, is now a consultant, trainer and School Improvement Partner. She spent three years as an Advanced Skills Teacher leading and implementing innovative teaching and learning initiatives including KS3 and 4 Learning to Learn and Thinking Skills programmes. She was awarded the OBE in November 2002 for services to education, having trained many teachers and school leaders in the latest theory and practice of learning to learn and emotional intelligence.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from The Perfect Assessment for Learning


Once upon a time there was a land where teachers went into school on a Monday with a couple of bullet points written in their diary with ideas of what they may teach that week. As the week progressed a few annotations may have been added to note what work had been completed and where the learning would go next. The names of children who needed to work a bit harder or could take the lead next lesson may even have been added. Occasionally, an interesting idea about homework tasks may have found its way in. And this, my friends, was my planning diary in 1979.

My results were good and getting better each year I taught. However, I look back in amazement at how random and anecdotal teaching was in those early days. ‘Teach one of these texts and let the work grow from there’ my Head of Department told me. How different teaching is now – and how much more rigorous is our planning and assessing to ensure our pupils learn effectively. Much of that essential rigour is now delivered through using Assessment for Learning.

If Assessment for Learning is the answer, what is the question?

How can every teacher ensure that every pupil makes progress?

Every child making optimum progress in every classroom in the land is the hope and dream of all those involved in education from Ofsted and the Minister for Education, to the teacher slogging away planning their lessons on a Sunday afternoon. Consequently, teachers ensure that lessons have clear objectives, build in self and peer assessment and include a plenary which measures progress. They also plan their next lesson to ensure progression for all abilities. So what’s not to like?

Well, like all prescriptive models of great practice, this can become just a ticklist of ideas to be included in lesson plans. But teachers rarely engage effectively with formative assessment as a learning process in the lesson. To really engage with formative assessment you have to be a teacher who has your metaphoric antennae tuned in to what is really happening in your classroom. Are those kids really engaged with that objective or just writing it down out of habit? Do they actually know what progress is in your subject? Or do they just
have the customary target sheets stuck in the front of their books with little or no understanding of what they need to do to improve? Do the pupils find that peer assessment really gives them feedback that helps them move on – or does it
just give the class know-all an opportunity to remind them how inadequate their handwriting is? Does the plenary really tell the teacher whether every individual child has ‘got it’?

How can it if the quiet child at the back holds up their whiteboard with the answer on so that the teacher can’t properly see it? Is your ‘marking’ really making a difference to the progress being made over time for every child? Or do
they glance briefly at the grade you give them and move on to the next thing?

Just planning to use assessment for learning strategies will not give you an assurance that your lesson is outstanding. You need to really care and get curious about what is happening in your classroom and relentlessly go on a quest to find out – by getting feedback from the pupils and noticing what they are doing. The great strength of this book is that it suggests a huge range of ideas and methods to measure progress and empower pupils to take ownership of their own progress. If you use the myriad of strategies in this book you will grow your instincts about the learning happening inside your classroom. As Claire says, progress happens in their heads – if you can tune in using her techniques you will be helping every child make the most of their ability and using assessment as learning.

And that is what I call a happy ending.

Jackie Beere, Tiffield 2012

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jackie Beere
1. Beware the AfL ‘Buffet’
2. Sharing Learning Intentions
3. Success Criteria: The ‘Cinderella’ Aspect of AfL
4. Engineering Effective Classroom Discussions
5. Formative Feedback
6. Activating Learners as Resources for Each Other
7. Activating Learners as Owners of their Own
8. Demonstrating Effective AfL Progress to Ofsted and
Other Stakeholders
9. How to Work Effectively with Parents
10. Winning Hearts and Minds: How to Successfully Embed AfL across the Whole School
11. Key Messages: Moving Forward
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