Assessment for Learning

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7 March 2016

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What is assessment for learning and how does it relate to a teaching assistant? In this essay I am going to compare and contrast the roles of the teacher and the learning support practitioner in assessment of learner’s achievement. I will also explain the difference between formative and summative assessment. I will say what the characteristics of assessment for learning are and explain the importance and benefits of assessment for learning and I will explain how assessment for learning can contribute to planning for future learning when carried out by the teacher and the learners and the teaching assistant. The differences between a teacher and the learning support practitioner are, the teacher is the lead role model in the classroom. The learner’s will take their lead from the teacher. He or she will set the lessons and the goals for learning. He or she is deemed as the role model. The lessons are planned by the teacher and planned in such a way that will help the learner’s progress and meet their targets. Once the target shave been met the lessons will move onwards.

The teacher will set class assessments to find out where the learners are in terms of meeting their targets, and will continually assess the learner’s abilities be it through classwork, homework or end of term assessments. The learning support practitioner will support the teacher in the classroom. They should take their lead from the teacher. If the teacher wants the learning support practitioner to assess the children they may be asked to take small groups or individual children, and follow an assessment plan set for them. The learning support practitioner should also assist in the classroom and then feedback to the teacher on what he or she feels the learners did well or what they need help with. This will then help the teacher to plan the next lesson and set next steps for the learners. The difference between formative and summative assessments are:- Formative assessment is assessing as the learners learn, for example using open ended questioning to encourage the learners to give their ideas. Observing learners this gives a lot of knowledge as to how the learners work and it is usually done daily.

Listening to learners this shows that the learners understand the work, and we can hear their ideas and methods, we can check their understanding by questioning them this shows what the children know and finally self-evaluation let the learners think about what they have learnt and encourage them to evaluate their own progress against their targets and learning outcomes. Summative assessment is the formal assessments used by teachers to show where the learners are exactly and what has been learnt, for example end of term SAT’s or assessments. The results of these may be put onto the learners report and shared so that their new teachers, head teacher and parents will see how the learners have progressed. The characteristics of assessment for learning are, it informs and promotes all learners achievements. The students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning. This starts with giving the learners learning outcomes, making sure the learners receive feedback this in turn helps them to develop the skills needed to evaluate and self-assess their work.

They will be able to recognise their own progress and achievements. This will start with students doing peer assessments, this is where learners will assess in order to gain the skills to assess themselves. The importance and benefits of assessments for learning are that there is a proven link that a learner who is more involved in their own assessment is more motivated to reach their targets. The learners want to reach the goals set and put in the more effort to do so. This is turn boosts self-esteem and motivation in learners. It also gives feedback to the right people, the teacher, the teaching assistant or the learning mentors, on how to best support the learners whether they be more or less able. Assessment for learning enables the learners to understand what they are doing, what they need to do, and how to go about doing it. How assessment for learning can contribute to planning for future learning carried out by:- The teacher, it will help the teacher to be able to plan for the individual learner.

It will help the teacher to pass on responsibility to the learner for their own learning and make sure that the learner is involved with their own learning goals. The learner will be more informed about their own targets and goals. It will help them to reach their full potential by getting them extra support where it might be needed. Learners will be able to self-assess their work which is a life skill, as adults we constantly assess ourselves on the things we do, as the learners gain more awareness it will boost confidence and help them ask for help. The teaching assistant will be better informed this will help to assist the teacher and learners alike. It will help to develop questioning skills and find out where a learner needs support. It may help to plan for less able students so that certain topics can be done again with added support, which can then be fed back to the teacher. In conclusion assessment for learning is the ongoing assessing of learners, using a variety of methods. It helps the teaching assistant in many ways like how best to support learners. It gives teaching assistants the knowledge and capability to do their jobs to a high standard and support the class teacher with more or less abled learners.

Burnham and Baker. (2010).Support teaching and learning in schools (primary). (pp104-106).Malaysia. Heinmann The department for children, schools and families. (2008).The assessment for learning strategy. Department for education and skills. (2004/05).Working together: teaching assistants and assessment for learning. Black and William. (1998).Inside the black box. Kings College. London.

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"Assessment for Learning" StudyScroll, 7 March 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). Assessment for Learning [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 2 October, 2023]

"Assessment for Learning" StudyScroll, Mar 7, 2016. Accessed Oct 2, 2023.

"Assessment for Learning" StudyScroll, Mar 7, 2016.

"Assessment for Learning" StudyScroll, 7-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2-Oct-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Assessment for Learning. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 2-Oct-2023]

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