Best Practice

Assessment: ‘Have I made a difference yet?’

Effective assessment is evidence-based and can demonstrate impact and inform teacher development. Greg Watson looks at some of the basic principles

Accurate measurement can sometimes seem quite pedantic and nitpicking, admits Daisy Christodoulou, head of assessment at ARK Schools.

But she continues: “We know from other walks of life that accurate data can be transformative: improvements in measurement brought about by microscopes and stethoscopes in the 19th century led to improvements in healthcare itself, while improvements in the measurements SmartPhones can make have transformed many people’s lives.

“Spending time ensuring our educational measurements are smart can help us work out what really works in the classroom, and ensure that no pupils are left behind.”

Schools are increasingly turning to evidence-led practice and, in these cash-strapped times, it is important to know what has the most impact for the least investment. Good assessment is a critical tool for both these things. If you do it well, you can understand and act on students’ strengths and weaknesses and you can help them and their parents to understand these too.

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