chapter  5.1
Assessment for Learning
Formative approaches
WithEleanore Hargreaves, Caroline Gipps, Alison Pickering
Pages 13

Assessment for learning (AfL) is a particular approach to assessment used by teachers in classrooms. It is not the same as the standardised tests or exams that you may give, but rather is a way of using informal assessment during ordinary classroom activities to improve learning. Here, assessment is seen as an integral part of the learning and teaching process, rather than being ‘added on’ for summative purposes. This approach brings with it a rather different relationship between teacher and learner than in traditional models of assessment, as the pupil needs to become involved in discussions about learning and assessment tasks, including learning objectives, the assessment criteria (success criteria), their performance and what they need to do to progress: the relationship is more of a partnership, with both pupil and teacher playing a role. We know that, with appropriate guidance, children as young as 5 can exercise considerable self-direction and benefit from doing so (Pramling, 1988).