The Assessment for Learning: 8 schools project was an action research project (July 2005– October 2006) initiated by the Education Department which sought to identify what helps pupils develop as motivated and effective learners and how AfL can be successfully developed whole school (through professional dialogue and collaborative working with teachers, school leaders and LAs). The project yielded evidence that assessment for learning improves pupil progress over the short and medium term and impacts on standards in the longer term.
Download the report here.
Here are two of the key findings:
AfL practice is most successfully developed where teachers work collaboratively within and across departments, share their practice and learn from what they and their peers do well. Change is most effective when there is a sustained professional dialogue between teaching staff and between staff and their pupils. In planning change, consideration needs to be given to establishing mechanisms for encouraging and facilitating this dialogue.
A secure and shared understanding of what effective AfL practice ‘looks like’ is essential for teachers to be able to reflect and develop their practice and for leaders to be able to help them do this. Isolated pockets of good practice can be developed by individual teachers but, for AfL to have significant impact, development needs to be whole school. Everyone, especially senior and middleleaders, must continue to develop a more insightful understanding of AfL.