This section contains resources and links relating to Teacher Standard 6 and ECF Section 6, around productive and accurate use of assessment. You can read the detail of the teacher standard and ECF section by expanding the sections below.

Make accurate and productive use of assessment

  • know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements
  • make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress
  • use relevant data to monitor progress, set targets, and plan subsequent lessons
  • give pupils regular feedback, both orally and through accurate marking, and encourage pupils to respond to the feedback.

From the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Standards

Learn that:

  1. Effective assessment is critical to teaching because it provides teachers with information about pupils’ understanding and needs.
  2. Good assessment helps teachers avoid being over-influenced by potentially misleading factors, such as how busy pupils appear.
  3. Before using any assessment, teachers should be clear about the decision it will be used to support and be able to justify its use.
  4. To be of value, teachers use information from assessments to inform the decisions they make; in turn, pupils must be able to act on feedback for it to have an effect.
  5. High-quality feedback can be written or verbal; it is likely to be accurate and clear, encourage further effort, and provide specific guidance on how to improve. 
  6. Over time, feedback should support pupils to monitor and regulate their own learning.
  7. Working with colleagues to identify efficient approaches to assessment is important; assessment can become onerous and have a disproportionate impact on workload.

Learn how to:

Avoid common assessment pitfalls, by:

  • Planning formative assessment tasks linked to lesson objectives and thinking ahead about what would indicate understanding (e.g. by using hinge questions to pinpoint knowledge gaps).
  • Drawing conclusions about what pupils have learned by looking at patterns of performance over a number of assessments (e.g. appreciating that assessments draw inferences about learning from performance).
  • Choosing, where possible, externally validated materials, used in controlled conditions when required to make summative assessments.

Check prior knowledge and understanding during lessons, by:

  • Using assessments to check for prior knowledge and pre-existing misconceptions.
  • Structuring tasks and questions to enable the identification of knowledge gaps and misconceptions (e.g. by using common misconceptions within multiple-choice questions).
  • Prompting pupils to elaborate when responding to questioning to check that a correct answer stems from secure understanding.
  • Monitoring pupil work during lessons, including checking for misconceptions.

Provide high-quality feedback, by:

  • Focusing on specific actions for pupils and providing time for pupils to respond to feedback.
  • Appreciating that pupils’ responses to feedback can vary depending on a range of social factors (e.g. the message the feedback contains or the age of the child).
  • Scaffolding self-assessment by sharing model work with pupils, highlighting key details.
  • Thinking carefully about how to ensure feedback is specific and helpful when using peer- or self-assessment.

Make marking manageable and effective, by:

  • Recording data only when it is useful for improving pupil outcomes.
  • Working with colleagues to identify efficient approaches to marking and alternative approaches to providing feedback (e.g. using whole class feedback or well supported peer- and self-assessment).
  • Using verbal feedback during lessons in place of written feedback after lessons where possible.
  • Understanding that written marking is only one form of feedback.
  • Reducing the opportunity cost of marking (e.g. by using abbreviations and codes in written feedback).
  • Prioritising the highlighting of errors related to misunderstandings, rather than careless mistakes when marking.

From the Department for Education’s Early Career Framework

Early Career Hub resources about assessment

Other Chartered College resources about assessment

External links related to assessment

DfE references list for Early Career Framework Section 6

Resource completion: 6 - Assessment