Look and Learn

On my train journey to London to attend a training course at the National Theatre, I’m taking the time to re-read the critical works by Black and Wiliams on assessment. Fifteen years after publication, their five critical messages still ring loud and true.

How to improve formative assessment:

1. Feedback to any pupil should be about the particular qualities of his or her work, with advice on what he or she can do to improve and should avoid comparisons with other pupils.
2. Pupils should be trained in self assessment so that they can understand the main purposes of their learning and thereby grasp what they need to do to achieve.
3 Opportunities for pupils to express their understanding should be designed into any piece of teaching, for this will initiate the interaction whereby formative assessment aids learning.
4. The dialogue between pupils and a teacher should be thoughtful, reflective…

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