Summative assessment is a dead duck. We all know this. Aside from a final examination, all of the assessment we do these days should be formative. It should enable the student to improve. Yet still we use written tests which give students a score, a grade or percentage. Now, of course a student can self-reflect on why they got the grade they did or the teacher can go through the test paper explaining errors but to do this on an individual, rather than whole-class basis is almost impossible. How then does a teacher give rich and detailed feedback to their students without it being a huge increase in workload? The answer is diagnostic testing, a technique which allows formative feedback to be generated from summative feedback.

As part of its ‘Learning Rooms’ approach, which addresses many aspects of the learning and teaching environment, STAGE’ modular systems manufacturers Gratnells is offering schools a variety of mini staging formats which can be easily used and stored in the classroom.

Rosemary Dewan of the Human Values Foundation returns to discuss the 5-star education system, and how it can help both teachers and students get the most out of the teaching process.

Learning is engaging when children and young people are stimulated and excited by it and see the relevance of it. They are constantly making decisions and it’s helpful for them to begin to understand and become aware of the drivers for their choices. Take for a moment, what it was that made you decide to get out of bed this morning! You will probably soon find that there were some key factors – things that you personally value and consider important. So, how can we help young citizens enjoy making connections while they are learning so that they can develop a consistent approach to their thinking, decision-making, choices and behaviour – and ultimately feel happy and achieve their full potential?

There has been a recent twitter exploration on deep understanding led by Peter Skillen, of www.plpnetwork.com. The thrust of the debate centred on the ways in which we can support pupils move from 'novice' learning to 'expert' learning. Skillen paints a picture of the novice learner as one that is unable to plan, monitor and reflect on their learning.

With respect to metacognitive strengths, this might be the pupil that has poor procedural, declarative or conditional knowledge. If we look at this in terms of the way pupils interact with SOLO, then we may be looking at pupils who fail to go beyond the pre or unistructural stages. Alternatively the novice learner may equally describe a pupil who moves too quickly to the relational stage without the requisite uni and multistructural development.

Photo credit: estoril

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