Pupils have their say

21st May 2004 at 01:00
Bishop's Hatfield School, Hertfordshire, has put considerable effort into developing a pupil-led approach to assessment. Sue Carter, who leads citizenship in the school, believes assessment is integral to effective teaching.

Citizenship is taught as a discrete subject by a specialist team, and aspects are also taught in humanities. A pupil-led record-keeping system has been devised. Assessment is continuous and pupils regularly take part in activities in lessons and make self-assessments. They also provide feedback to their peers if they have worked in groups.

A number of assessment tasks are used that relate to specific units of citizenship work. One of these involves work on the community and the local council. Pupils surveyed family and friends about their views and went on to find solutions to problems. Their ideas were presented to the council.

An approach where pupils play a part in end-of-key-stage assessment is also being trialled. Pupils are given a double lesson to review their work and select pieces to demonstrate their understanding. Teachers and pupils discuss the work and the judgment. The process supports learning and involves pupils as partners.

Sue Carter says: "We believe this is the way forward as it encourages them to take responsibility and view their achievements in a positive light."

* Bishop's Hatfield School: www.bishophatfield.herts.sch.uk

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