As a high school teacher I planned lessons that I thought were interesting in the hope that it would help my students come to better understand the content we were studying. However, over time, I came to recognize that, despite these good intentions, another crucial shaping force which had an impact on my students’ approach to learning was assessment. Sadly, almost regardless of how I taught, if the assessment strategies I used did not reflect my espoused beliefs about my approach to teaching, then my efforts were blunted. This was never more obvious than in the senior years of schooling where external examinations were the driving force of the curriculum and, therefore, a major determinant of ‘school learning’. Although I wanted my students to understand the content I was teaching, the need for them to be able to cope with (and succeed in) the forms of assessment they would face at the end of the year eventually influenced their view of learning and their understanding of what was ‘important’ to learn, which also inevitably affected how they learnt.