I’m sure that up and down the country there were sighs of relief as the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) confirmed what every practitioner already knew – what’s important is knowing where your pupils are and where they need to go next; data drops provide an essential high-level overview of attainment and progress but need to be used for quantifiable impact.
Effective formative assessment needs to take as little time as possible, but still be meaningful. It is also useful to remember that we are delivering a mastery curriculum – making sure we always build on secure foundations, favouring extension over acceleration.
Some basic principles will help you with this, starting with a model for teaching in a mastery curriculum:
- Identifying Learning Objectives
- Previous Formative Assessment
- Learning and Extension Activities
- Assess Against Learning Objectives
- Record Outcomes
Over the next few months we will explore each of these steps in more detail.
So, a formative assessment strategy will prepare you for Ofsted’s ‘three I’ judgements:
- Intent: The curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage
- Implementation: How the curriculum is taught and assessed in order to support pupils to build their knowledge and to apply that knowledge as skills
- Impact: The outcomes that pupils achieve as a result of the education they have received
… but more importantly will help ensure the best outcomes for your pupils.
Finally, bear in mind that all the data in the world doesn’t beat what actually happens in the classroom, as Amanda Spielman said when launching the new inspection framework:
When you tell inspectors that your internal data and information helps you to know about progress and attainment, inspectors’ reaction should be: “that’s great, let’s go and see it in action”.