chapter  15
54 Pages


As a student teacher it is inevitable that you will be involved in assessment during your teaching practice. Assessment can be a major contributor to raising standards in schools1 in terms of teaching, learning and student achievement. Properly handled, with consistency, reliability, validity and rigour, it can have a positive effect on learning and can improve students’ own understanding of how they can learn more effectively and improve. It provides information to all stakeholders – parents, teachers, learners, on learning, performance and improvement. All those involved in education are learners – students, student teachers, teachers, parents – and assessment is a powerful tool for all parties to learn in order to improve teaching, learning and achievement. Ofsted2 argues that ‘the quality of assessment has had a significant impact on attitudes to learning and on attainment in the schools by stimulating and challenging pupils to work hard and by encouraging teachers to focus on how to improve the learning of individual pupils’. Assessment is ‘the process of gathering, interpreting, recording and using information about pupils’ responses to educational tasks’;3 teachers have to respond to, and use, the data acquired for assessment, to make judgements, for planning, for selection, for decision making, and other matters. It comprises formal assessments, as in tests and examinations, and informal assessments, including ongoing observations, questioning, marking work and listening to students. Its scope is vast and this part addresses some of the key features of assessment.