Understand the purpose and characteristics of assessment for learning AC1. 1 Compare and contrast the roles of the teacher and the learning support practitioner in assessment of learners’ achievements. The main responsibility of the teacher is to monitor and assess how each pupil is progressing and report this information back to other staff and parents or carers. The teacher will plan the lessons and schemes of work that will set out clear intentions so that the childrens’ progress can be monitored.
At RAAS our teachers always have the lesson title and learning objective on the board and this enables both the children and LSA to be aware of what the content of the lesson is and also what is expected of them. In some instances teachers will advise the LSA in advance and may give them a copy of the lesson plan. As the LSA is clear on what is expected this enables them to offer assistance to any pupils who require it. It is the responsibility of the LSA to ensure that the pupil with which they are working is able to meet the learning objective and if they are struggling to ask the teacher to differentiate the work for them.
If a situation arises where the pupil has been unable to achieve the learning objective then it may be necessary for the LSA to report this back to the teacher. AC1. 2 Summarise the difference between formative and summative assessment Using ongoing methods of assessment within the lesson is known as formative assessment and this enables both the teacher and LSA to determine if the pupil has been able to achieve the learning objective. Some of the methods used in formative assessment are as follows: Using open-ended questions
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Observing pupils Listening to how pupils describe their work and their reasoning Checking pupils’ understanding Engaging pupils in reviewing progress The other method of assessment used by teachers is known as summative assessment and this is usually done at the end of a scheme of work or end of term. Generally it will be in the format of an end of topic test or may be at the end of a Key Stage. At RAAS, for the majority of year groups, both interim and full end of year reports are sent home to parents and carers.
Parents’ Evenings also occur once or twice a year at which time the teacher is able to give more in depth feedback. AC1. 3 Explain the characteristics of assessment for learning Assessment for learning informs and promotes the achievement of all pupils and inspires them to take responsibility for their own learning. This involves learning objectives being explained to pupils’ and they are then given feedback on their progress which in turn aids them in developing their self-assessment skills so that they are able to reflect on what they have been able to achieve.
At RAAS many teachers use peer assessment as this is a good way to get the children to build up these skills and, in some cases, the LSA may also be involved by asking the student what they think has gone well during the lesson and what could be improved upon if they feel that they have not achieved the learning objective. AC1. 4 Explain the importance and benefits of assessment for learning Research has shown that there is a clear association between being part of the process of assessment and pupil motivation.
Pupils who are actively involved with their progress will feel invested in their work and therefore will want to improve their performance, as they will feel that they have more ownership of their learning. This will help to boost their self-esteem and motivation. Students who feel that they are not part of the learning process are more likely to become disengaged and this will, in turn, lead to them losing interest in their learning. Effective feedback also ensures that adults are supporting more able as well as less able learners by giving them the tools to achieve to the best of their potential.
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Assessment for learning is a method which enables pupils to understand the aim of what they are doing and what they will need to do in order to reach their aim. In most cases SEN pupils are more likely to receive lower grades than their peers and this can be disheartening for them and could lead to a dip in their self-esteem. LSAs can be of great benefit in the assessment for learning process by giving the pupil continuous positive support and helping them to set an achievable goal. By doing this the pupil’s self-esteem will grow when they see themselves achieving the results they want to achieve and will continue to work positively.
Explain how assessment for learning can contribute to planning for future learning carried out by: a. The teacher – effective assessment for learning enables them to pass on the responsibility to the pupil over time for managing their own learning, so that they will become more actively involved in the process. As the pupils move up the school it becomes imperative that they take this on board, particularly from Year 10 when the GCSE courses begin and through to Years 12 and 13 where much of the learning is done independently. b.
The pupil – the process will inform them about how they approach learning and tackle areas on which they need to work. They will be able to consider areas for improvement by looking at the assessment criteria and develop their ability to self-assess. By taking this on board the pupils will also begin to realise when they need support and in turn ask the relevant member of staff to assist them. c. The learning support practitioner – assessment for learning informs the LSA how to approach pupil questioning based on how the pupil learns.
When an LSA works closely with an SEN pupil they are usually able to see where the pupil needs support and prompt them so that they ask for support themselves. The LSA may need to pace the progress of the pupil depending on their needs, so that they are given the opportunity to return to areas that may not have been clear to them before. Be able to use assessment strategies to promote learning AC2. 1 Obtain the information required to support assessment for learning When we talk about assessment opportunities and strategies this refers to the occasions, approaches and techniques used for ongoing assessment during learning activities.
Description, use and evaluation of two different assessment activities. Assessment is the process of checking what the learner has learnt against what has been taught. Assessments are used as a diagnostic tool to establish entry level behaviour / academic ability, to help diagnose any addition learning disabilities and to determine the learners preferred learning styles. Assessments acts to ...
The information that is required is as follows: The learning objectives for the activities The personalised learning goals for individual learners The success criteria of the learning activities The assessment opportunities and strategies relevant to own role in the learning activities Pupils will need to be clear about what they are going to learn and how they will be assessed, at the start of any activity.
The learning objective will be clearly displayed on the board by the teacher at the beginning of the lesson and if they are to do an assessment this will also be explained to the pupils. The LSA will ensure that the pupils who have SEN assistance have written down the learning objective and that they know how to go about completing the task. As well as the learning objective, pupils will need to think about their own personalised learning goals, which can be found on IEPs for SEN children, so that they can include them in this process.
As pupils take on more responsibility for their learning they will also find it easier to look at the learning objectives to see whether they have been able to achieve them during the lesson or assessment. The majority of subjects do have target/achievement sheets which are put in to the pupils book so they are able to record all this information in one place. This is extremely beneficial to the student as they have everything in one place and are able to see what they may need to do to improve. AC2.2 Use clear language and examples to discuss and clarify personalised learning goals and criteria for assessing progress with learners As previously mentioned, most children in secondary school will have target sheets that are fixed into their exercise books which enables them to keep track of how they are progressing. Where an LSA is working with a child who requires additional assistance, they will make sure that the child understands what is required of them and what the outcome of the activity should be.
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Should they still be confused then the LSA will give further explanation or the teacher may give differentiated work for them. Targets will normally be updated half termly. AC2. 3 Use assessment opportunities and strategies to gain information and make judgements about how well learners are participating in activities and the progress they are making To be able to keep track of how pupils are progressing, it would be useful to have a checklist which might include the some or all of the following.
Ensure pupils understand the learning objectives and any individual learning targets so that they can assess their own progress to meeting these as they proceed. Talk to pupils about what they have to do and if they are required to hand any work in. Inform pupils how they will be assessed and ensure that they understand. If you are able to, give examples of work completed by other students so that the learner is able to see what format the assessment will take. Give individual support and positive feedback all the time that the pupils are working.
Make sure that there are opportunities for self-assessment or peer-assessment. Encourage the learner to reflect and comment on their work before handing it in or discuss it with their teacher. Often, during the maths lessons at RAAS students will have a regular times’ tables test and this is a prime example of a good opportunity to monitor a student’s progression. Depending on the result they have achieved one week the LSA is able to encourage them to aim for a higher mark the following week. Should they achieve a better result in that following week, this should be met with lots of positive feedback.
If they have not achieved the result that they wanted then the student should be encouraged to look at where they went wrong and then offer them suggestions as to how this could be rectified in time for the next test. AC2. 4 Provide constructive feedback to learners to help them understand what they have done well and what they need to do to develop So that assessment for learning is effective, it is vital that children receive useful feedback from adults which focuses on strengths as well as supporting and guiding them through any difficulties they may have.
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Feedback should give them information concerning their performance, is delivered in a positive manner and is factual. There are different types of feedback which should be given to pupils during and after learning activities. Affirmation feedback – this should be delivered as soon as possible: “Well done, you have remembered to include all the points we discussed! ” These positive comments boost the learner’s confidence and will help to motivate them.
Developmental feedback – this lets the pupil know what they will need to do next time, for example: “Try to remember to get all the equipment you will need before starting the activity. ” Both types of feedback can be written or oral, but it must be given as soon after the activity as possible for it to have the most benefit to the child. If it is fed back to the child after a long period of time the child will find it more difficult to apply to their learning, and they may even have forgotten what was said.
AC2. 5 Provide opportunities and encouragement for learners to improve upon their work An important part of assessment for learning is that student’s progress will be measured against their own previous achievements rather than being compared with those of other students. Their learning should be set at a level which makes sure that they are building on what they learn. They should be starting from a point of previous understanding and then expanding their learning to take in new information.
It will be beneficial for students to discuss previous learning experiences to amalgamate what they know and reinforce their understanding before moving on to take in new concepts and ideas. The LSA is in the perfect position to encourage and motivate pupils, especially if they are struggling to understand. It is also vital that you show that you believe in them and that you are there to support them in everything they do. The LSA may need to differentiate what the pupils have been asked to do in order to help them if they have low self-esteem, or need to learn in a way which has been adopted previously and worked for them.
Be able to support learners in reviewing their learning strategies and achievements AC3. 1 Use information gained from monitoring learner participation and progress to help learners to review their learning strategies, achievements and future learning needs It is assumed that reviewing of learning will be done at the end of the lesson or scheme of work, however it is more beneficial if this can be more of an ongoing process and done throughout the learning sessions.
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Obviously, depending on how the teacher has planned the lesson it may not be feasible for the LSA to review the work with the student during the activity. Additionally, the LSA may have more than one child to support during the lesson and this is where timing difficulties can arise. Pupils need to become independent learners as they reach years 7, 8, 9 and upwards and so must be able to check their work against the learning objectives. Open ended questions are also a great way for pupils to recognise their progress in relation to their own previous achievements.
AC3. 2 Listen carefully to learners and positively encourage them to communicate their needs and ideas for future learning There are several methods that can be used to check on pupils’ learning, and some of these are listed below: Traffic light system – for children who have special educational needs this system works well, and we encourage children at RAAS to use it. Our students are all given a prep diary and within it are pages coloured red, orange and green and depending on how the child is getting on they will display the relevant page.
This is most useful as it means they can alert the LSA without disturbing the teacher. Foggy bits – students are given the opportunity to write down or express the parts of the lesson which they have struggled with. Write a sentence – pupils are able to put a summary sentence together at the end of a learning activity or scheme of work that contains all the key points that they have learned. Some children at RAAS will struggle with this and therefore the LSA will assist with this.
Talk/partner review – pupils talk to their partner about their learning and parts of the work that they enjoyed or found challenging. They can also do this at the beginning of the lesson to see what they already know. Post-it Notes/whiteboards – pupils can write down on Post-it Notes or whiteboards what they have learned, what they have found easy and what they have found hard. AC3. 3 Support learners in using peer assessment and self-assessment to evaluate their learning achievements If pupils are aware why they are doing something it is far more likely that they will want to learn.
The learning objectives must be clear and written in language that is age and ability appropriate. Older children can find self-assessment challenging, however it is important that they understand that assessment is part of a process which they need to be involved in. It is beneficial to start using peer assessment to encourage learners to think about their learning aims. It is important that the LSA makes it clear to the pupil why they are taking part in the peer or self-assessment and they should be asked what they think they are doing and why it will be beneficial to them.
This often takes place at RAAS, mainly in English lessons, and the children have to write a “what went well” statement followed by an “even better if….. ” statement. This is of great help to the student as they are able to get a picture of whether they are in line with their peers and also if they are achieving what the class teacher is asking of them. AC3. 4 Support learners to: AC3. 4a reflect on their learning – pupils will need to be encouraged to think about and reflect on their learning while it is taking place and not just when they have completed their work.
This is due to the fact they, and also the LSA, need to be aware of how they are to tackle the activity at hand in the best way. By using effective questioning the LSA is able to check that the pupil understands what the objective is and the best way in which to achieve it. AC3. 4b identify the progress they have made – it is important that the LSA or class teacher check that the pupil is able to recognise the progress that they have made and this can be done by using peer or self-assessment, as already mentioned, or they could question the child on what they feel they have learnt.
It may be a good idea to set aside a few moments at the end of the lesson where a discussion can take place with the child about this or to look back to previous assessment results to see what improvement has been made. AC3. 4c identify their emerging needs – if the peer and/or self-assessment process takes place then the child should soon be able to see what areas they need to work on in order to achieve better results, however it may be evident to the LSA that they need some support to realise this and a helping hand should be given in these situations. AC3. 4d identify the strengths and weaknesses of their learning strategies and plan how to improve them – strengths and weaknesses can be discussed with the pupil by looking at incorrect ideas and asking them how they decided upon this method and what led them to the answer that they gave. This can be challenging for some and by taking a more positive approach the child will hopefully see it as more of an opportunity as to what they can do next time rather than thinking that they will never get it right. Where the child has not struggled and achieved well, positive feedback must always be given.
Be able to contribute to reviewing assessment for learning AC4. 1 Provide feedback to the teacher on: AC4. 1a learner participation and progress in the learning activities – at RAAS we are able to work quite closely with the majority of the teachers, and so have opportunities to talk to them about how best to present the learning activities to the children. I have had very recent experience of this with a PSHE lesson whereby both the teacher and I realised that the activity that was planned for the next week’s lesson would not be suitable for them and so the teacher amended the activity to something more appropriate.
When the next lesson took place the children responded brilliantly to the activity. Being able to have this dialogue with the teacher is so valuable and means that we are both supporting the children in the best way possible. Some LSA’s at RAAS do take children out of lessons for a 1 to 1 session on a regular basis and being able to see how the child works within this time, for example what works and what doesn’t work, can be fed back to the teacher to help them with their planning.
This is generally with statemented children and so is valuable when that statemented child is present in the mainstream lesson as it will enable them to achieve more within that lesson. AC4. 1b learners’ engagement in and response to assessment for learning – as mentioned above in 4. 1a this can be achieved by the LSA having a discussion with the class teacher at the end of the lesson to advise on how well the child engaged in the activity. It may not be possible to speak directly with the teacher after every lesson so; perhaps, a quick email as soon after the lesson may suffice to advise on any difficulties encountered.
AC4. 1c learners’ progress in taking responsibility for their own learning – in due course children will be expected to be responsible for their own learning, however this does not come easily to all in the early years of senior school. You will find that in year 7 children will find it a lot more difficult and require a lot more support, from both teachers and LSA’s, than a child in year 11 or 12/13. At RAAS the LSA’s run a “prep support” club every afternoon once school finishes.
This enables those younger students, who may be struggling to get their work done at home, to spend time with LSA’s who are able to support them and guide them in the right direction to achieve their tasks to the best of their ability. As the students’ move up the years it is found that they require this assistance less and less until they are able to organise themselves independently. Use the outcomes of assessment for learning to reflect on and improve own contribution to supporting learning
Once the learning activities have been completed it is vital that the outcomes of assessment for learning are reviewed so that you can judge whether the way in which the process has been approached was successful. You should be able to check that it has helped pupils to become more independent in their learning and has had an impact on what they have learned. This is also a good point at which the LSA should look back on what has been learned whilst supporting pupil learning, so that their approach can be amended, if necessary.
If it is deemed that some changes should be made then the LSA may wish to think about the following points: How the pupils were questioned and encouraged them to look closely at the assessment criteria How feedback was given to the pupils How the LSA supported the pupils with both peer and self-assessment It is also a good idea to discuss the pupils’ responses to the process with the teacher to see how they have managed, as some will have found it easier than others: the teacher may have some ideas as to how this may be developed. Depending on the ages and needs of the learners, the use of peer or self-assessment may need to be changed.