The report from the Commission on Assessment without Levels, published in September 2015, offers guidance to help schools in designing their own assessment policies. In order to help schools to better understand what makes a good assessment policy, we’ve summarised some key points from the report below.
- Define your assessment principles.According to the Commission, the starting point for any assessment policy should be the school’s principles of assessment. It should be clear what the aims of assessment are and how they can be achieved without adding unnecessarily to teacher workload. In particular, schools should ask:
- Why are pupils being assessed?
- What will the assessment measure?
- What will the assessment achieve?
- How will the assessment information be used? (see also point 3. below)
- Consider dividing your policy into the three main forms of assessment.Schools may wish to divide their assessment policy according to the three main forms of assessment:
- in-school formative assessment– to evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly;
- in-school summative assessment– to enable schools to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period;
- nationally standardised summative assessment– provides information on how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally. The national curriculum tests at the end of KS1 and KS2 are an example.
To use each form of assessment to best effect, the Commission recommend that teachers and school leaders understand their various purposes.
- Outline the purpose of your assessment information.The Commission recommend that schools carefully consider the purpose of collecting assessment information and how the outcomes are intended to support teaching and learning. Continue reading →