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Introductory session


How can we assess pupils' use of the Key Processes?

Pupils enjoy the challenge of tackling tasks that develop Key Processes, but attempting to assess and describe their progress is difficult. Processes are less well defined than content, and pupils' success in applying them will vary considerably from problem to problem.

In this module, three teachers, Amy, Andrew and Dominic, explore how the Bowland assessment tasks may be used to help assess pupils' progress and provide feedback that promotes learning.

  • If you are leading a session, or working alone you may wish to print a copy of the module handbook.
  • Session leaders should make copies of the handouts for all participants.

(At the end of this short scene-setting video, pressPlay again to see the first activity).

Activity 1

Consider principles for assessment

Handout 1 presents some principles that have been found helpful in assessing processes.

  • Which of these principles do you most frequently use?
  • Which of these principles do you neglect? Why is this?

Activity 2

Analyse pupils' responses to an assessment task

Handout 2 presents three Bowland Assessment tasks together with pupil responses. Choose one task suitable for a class you will soon teach.

Consider the four pupil responses.

  • What does each pupil's response tell you about his or her capacity to use each of the Key Processes?

Handout 3 offers some comments on pupils' responses to each of the tasks.

  • If you were the teacher of these pupils, what feedback would you give them? What questions you could ask them in the classroom? Handout 4 suggests some generic questions.

Activity 3

Observe formative assessment in action

In this activity, you are provided with video extracts of Amy, Andrew and Dominic exploring how formative assessment may be used to promote pupils' learning. They are using the three tasks from Activity 2.

Watch the video Assessment approaches and consider:

  • What different kinds of assessment can you see?
  • What is the purpose of each kind of assessment?
  • What do both the teachers and pupils learn?

Activity 4

Plan an assessment lesson

You may now like to plan your own lesson using one of the problems.

  • Plan a time for pupils to tackle the problem on their own without help.
  • Plan how you will assess this work, give feedback and conduct a follow up lesson.
  • Collect samples of pupils' work to show how their thinking has changed. These will be discussed at the follow-up session.

To help you plan your lesson, you may find it helpful to watch the video clips and refer to the lesson plan provided.