Best Practice

Pupil Progress Pitstops: Formative assessment in action

Pupil Progress Pitstops are formative assessment checkpoints built into lessons to help teachers understand where students are in their learning and what they need next. Jessica Richards explains
Image: Adobe Stock -

The word “formative” comes from the Latin “formare” meaning “to form” and within education formative assessment should help teachers to form a better understanding of their students’ learning and progress.

Simply put, assessment should be used for learning – learning for the teachers and learning for the students.

Professor John Hattie’s ground-breaking Visible Learning research (2008) emphasised the importance of assessment for learning as a key strategy for improving educational outcomes.

He defines it as a pedagogical approach that seeks to not only gauge students' understanding but also to provide actionable feedback to enhance your teaching and students’ subsequent learning.

Most teachers agree that assessment for learning should happen in every lesson, but often this is planned as a summative task, often in the form of a plenary saved for the last activity before the students depart.

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