Assessing Students: TS6

As part of our CPD for trainee colleagues, Clara presented on TS6,

Make accurate and productive use of assessment.

This vital area of teaching was broken down into the following areas that matched with the teacher standards:

  • To know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements.

Each subject bar PSHE is teaching pupils content to lead to a qualification in most instances. Knowing your Exam Board’s Specifications is the key to success. Most exam boards have afternoon or training online training available. Also invaluable are local exam hubs or Teaching and Learning meets which are subject specific as these provide staff with lots of ideas outside of the school and its great way to share with other staff exam successes or struggles and strategies.

  • To make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress.

Looking at formative and summative assessment areas for teachers to assess where pupils are at in different stages of their learning. Formative assessment can be used throughout the lesson to check on students understanding of learning. Formative assessment can be used as a gauge to see where they need to improve, as well as providing pupils with useful feedback on where they need to improve.  How can this be achieved? If the Teacher sets out clear objectives, then this helps set goals. There are a variety of ways of getting the formative assessment through questioning in the classroom, RAG or dot marking and redrafting of work.  Other ideas could include drawing a map to see where students identify their strengths and weaknesses or simply writing an exit ticket based on their understanding of a topic.


Summative assessment is used to gage progress after a series of lessons and at set benchmarks of learning. It provides pupils with feedback and it’s an opportunity to evaluate areas of weakness. Examples of Summative Assessment can include end of Unit tests, a final project, mock exams, or course work. The data and information from these assessments can help Teachers know how to plan and structure future learning.


  • To use relevant data to monitor progress, set targets, and plan subsequent lessons.


Data can be collected from Summative Assessment testing cycles to help support teachers to monitor and evaluate a half term or terms progress and see where there are gaps in the classes knowledge for learning about the pupil. The Summative Assessment information can see where the progress is going well and where topics need to be revisited. Spare a thought for the pupils who may struggle to retain information or find tests stressful and difficult. They may need to be supported with useful strategies to revise.


  • To give pupils regular feedback, both orally and through accurate marking, and encourage pupils to respond to the feedback.

super man

Feedback is part of everyday life. We are asked for feedback from companies all the time after having purchased a product or been on a holiday. Feedback is just as important to our pupils and during this session we explored firstly the different forms feedback could take. Teacher to pupil and vice versa; peer to peer; self-reflection; group to group; and ultimately external examiners feedback our examinations.

Feedback in the classroom is immediate and relevant and can aid learning by helping Teachers adjust their lesson or provide further feedback. Student planners or a traffic light cards can be turned over by pupils in class to show understanding or needing help in a lesson by showing red, amber or green. Equally the use of voting by showing the number of fingers or prearranged hand signals can provide teachers with valuable insight into how the class is doing.

Feedback sheets can also provide pupils with an opportunity to show where they have understood or an opportunity for peer assessment. Feedback sheets for GCSE pieces of work can be an opportunity to share the mark scheme with pupils also.

Feedback can be made more interactive and fun by using various websites, including Kahoot!, Socrative, and Plickers. These provide staff with useful information about how well a class knows a topic and Kahoot quizzes often create a buzz in the classroom with eager students aiming for the top.

Question boxes are a good way of getting pupils to feedback through questions they might have on a topic. This can be anonymous and can be helpful in some PSHE lessons if the topic is sensitive or embarrassing for some pupils.

At the end of lessons, it is useful to get pupils to feedback to staff about what they have understood in class. The spinning wheel which can be found on TES resources is a fun and interactive way to close a lesson gain valuable insight into how the lesson has gone. The wheel spins and whichever icon it lands on the pupils need to feedback with that style. Eg The Twitter bird means pupils will create a ‘Tweet’ to close the lesson.


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