Formative assessment

Formative assessment is a small insight of children’s learning. Teachers will have a  toolkit of strategies to support in this style of assessing. Examples of formative assessment are: thumbs up, smiley faces, colour coded cards, traffic light systems, questioning. 

Formative assessment supports and measures learning. Summative assessment usually takes place at the end of terms or the academic year to show a final grade. Both forms of assessment support teachers in reflecting and also planning future lessons.image

Assessment should be used regularly in the classroom. Children can assess their own work or peer assess so they can then take ownership of their work which then supports teachers standard 2. When assessing it is important to give children feedback so they can then understand their work and learning more. 

Key factors of formative assessment;

  • offers children feedback
  • teachers can adjust their teaching in relation to the results of assessment 
  • supports meeting the needs of children for example supporting them in knowing how to improve 
  • impacts motivation and self esteem – then impacts learning 
  • Children have an active involvement in their own work 

Through assessment teachers can gather information about children’s learning as well as encouraging them to review their own work. Assessment for learning should have a focus when teaching children. 

The different between formative Assesment and summation assessment is that formative assessment is carried out on a day to day basis, were as summation assessment is done at the end of terms or models. Summative assessment will gather a summary of what children have learnt during a a module or term. 

I feel that formative assessment is an useful skill that supports both the teacher and the pupils. End of module/term tests may cause discomfort or panic in children which may then impact their results. Consequently I feel that formative assessment can be more beneficial as it may give a clearer view on the children’s learning. 


When I was on professional practice I used formative assessment. The strategies I used varied from traffic light systems and also 2 stars and a target. As well as this I carried out peer assessment within sessions so the children could take responsibility for their peers work as well as their own. 

When on practice I also observed the techniques the teacher used. He used: thumbs up, observation, discussion, peer/self assessment and questionnaires during plenaries. I feel that this teacher used discussion as a main assessment strategy and this benefited the children and also reflecting on his pedagogy. 


*this information is taken from observation and session notes and independent study readings : inside the black box and beyond the black box (on BB)* 



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