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HMI guide to good practice;News;News amp; Opinion

Assessment is good where teachers:

* build it into the very start of their teaching;

* know their pupils' strengths and development needs;

* give pupils good feedback about their learning and progress during classwork;

* make good use of records, profiles and folders of work to record pupils' progress and attainment;

* use tests to confirm their judgements and to map out pupils' next steps in learning.

Assessment is weak in schools where:

* it is divorced from teaching;

* there are inconsistencies among teachers, including recording and reporting;

* teachers fail to set out clear learning objectives and ways of assessing pupils' progress towards them;

* there is no constructive feedback to pupils about their learning;

* no clear procedures exist for assessment outwith English and maths;

* records and folders contain haphazard samples of work;

* assessment evidence is not collated into clear summaries linked to 5-14 attainment outcomes;

* teachers make little use of assessment evidence to plan next learning steps;

* national testing is only partly in place, particularly writing;

* tests are used inappropriately to measure attainment rather than to confirm teachers' judgements.

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