Formative Assessment (Low)
This strand of our assessment strategy typically takes the form of retrieval tests and quizzes that happen every lesson.
These tasks are designed to provide students and teachers with live feedback on learning.
KIC activities at the start of lessons are skilfully designed to activate learning, promote deeper thinking and make increasingly complex connections between core knowledge from previous and current units of work.
Further recall and retrieval is then interleaved throughout lessons. Through strategic ‘pause points’ students may be asked to ‘KIC again’ and then guided through ‘reflect and review’ activities at lesson ends.
These activities are typically short and sharply focused and the use of whiteboards and/or visualisers may be utilised to secure 100% participation. Questioning of students is crucial.
Feedback to these tasks and activities is immediate, given at the point of teaching. This is typically live and verbal.
Teachers provide answers/information/models to the whole class and students respond by making corrections and improvements to their work. If they are working in books this ‘uplift’ will involve the use of purple pen.
These frequent ‘snapshots’ are then used to plan and adapt subsequent lessons and tasks throughout the current unit.
Interim Assessment (Mid)
This second strand of assessment involves the setting of suitably challenging independent tasks which students complete a minimum of twice per unit of work.
These are designed to provide students with the opportunity and time to practise and develop subject specific skills. This enables teachers to make more accurate judgements about how secure students are in their learning and to assess the strength of connections being made between prior and current core knowledge taught.
The same standalone ‘My Time’ tasks are shared with and completed independently by all students.
Depending on the subject/lesson context and the stage of the learning journey, students may be challenged to write, talk, create or perform. These tasks are preferably completed in lesson time and in books to ensure a consistency in approach; they may address a ‘big idea and/or enquiry question. They could require students working individually or collaboratively.
Personalised feedback is given to students close to the point of teaching, either at lesson ends or shortly following the completion of these longer, independent tasks.
This feedback, from either the subject teacher, a peer or the student themselves, is often written and identifies strengths and targets for improvement. Students reflect and respond to the feedback they receive, uplifting and/or ‘purple-penning’ their work, again in their books.
Subsequent ‘re-shaping of the learning’ now addresses the gaps, misconceptions and inaccuracies that have emerged. Teachers provide additional models and scaffolds if necessary and build in further opportunities for students to practice and improve.
Summative Assessment (High)
This final strand of our assessment strategy involves students completing more formal, cumulative tasks. They take place a minimum of twice a year.
These are designed to allow teachers to evaluate the extent to which students (1) have learned/ remembered core knowledge and therefore committed it to long term memory and (2) can now use and apply this core knowledge in increasingly complex ways.
They are strategically placed at key points throughout a student’s longer-term journey through a subject curriculum, when enough knowledge, concepts and skills have been taught.
Testing of (1) will check core knowledge over time, drawing on key skills and concepts taught and are typically designed through the expert use of short answer test strategies such as multiple-choice questions. This aspect of the assessment is likely to generate a mark or score. (2) Depending on the subject, this may require a separate task to assess students’ written communication, reading, oracy and/or practical skill.
Feedback is given away from the point of teaching but still close enough for this to have meaning and impact. Whole class/cohort feedback strategies are most likely to be used here.
This feedback is ideally delivered through a standalone lesson that ensures all students understand what they have done well and the specific steps they need to take to improve. They reflect and respond to the feedback they are given, taking increased ownership of their own learning, uplifting their work.
Teachers reflect on, and respond to, the performance of their students, re-shaping subsequent learning to address gaps, misconceptions and inaccuracies. Reteaching may be necessary before moving on, as well as providing further formal opportunities for students to improve.