Assessment for Learning at Mudeford Junior School
What is Assessment for Learning?
‘Assessment for learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.’
(Assessment Reform Group, 2002a)
At Mudeford Junior School, we strive for our children to be active participants in the learning process, so that they understand the purpose of their learning. We want them to know how they can be successful and what they need to do next to improve. As a response to the only target recommended in our most recent Ofsted report (2008), we have been developing our use of Assessment for Learning (AfL) throughout the school. Because of this, we now use a range of AfL strategies to enhance the children’s learning and development.
What does AfL look like in our classrooms?
Much research has proven that pupil talk is central to active learning. Talking with a Learning Partner promotes thinking and participation during lessons whilst children develop their collaborative working skills. When working as a Learning Partner, the children are supported in considering their responsibilities and behaviour, in order to work effectively. In our experience, children enjoy the support of their partner, and know they have a responsibility to work hard in order for both members achieve. Learning Partners are changed weekly, on a random basis, and are displayed clearly in each classroom.
Self and Peer Assessment
At Mudeford Junior School, we aim for the Learning Objective of each lesson to be shared with the children in a way that ensures each child clearly understands what the focus of their learning is. When working on a particular task, the children are given ‘Steps to Success’ or a ‘Success Criteria’ which clearly details what they have to do in order to achieve. As the children become more independent in their own learning, they are encouraged to generate their own success criteria, this may be worded or pictorial. We support the children in ‘marking’ their own, and sometimes their partner’s, work against the success criteria. This allows the children to become an integral part of the learning process as they celebrate what they have done well and can identify what they can do to improve.
Pinking and Greening
‘Pinking and Greening’ is short for ‘tickled pink’ and ‘green for growth’. This is when pink highlighters, or coloured pencils, are used to identify the successful aspects of a piece of work and green highlighters, or coloured pencils, are used to show the areas for development. Both the teachers and the children may use pinking and greening to identify successes and areas to improve based on the success criteria. We find that it is a very visual way to celebrate successes and identify targets to improve.