Assessment for Learning (AfL)

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					Assessment for Learning (AfL)
Statement of policy:
AfL includes all written and oral assessment of students and feedback about their
progress. It can:
• motivate students
• help them to progress
• help them to understand what and how they are learning
• boost their self esteem through ownership of their learning
• inform students and parents of that progress
• help the teacher to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching

We wish to secure these benefits for students while keeping the time demands of marking
reasonable for teachers.

The aims are:
For students:
• motivate and encourage students and celebrate their effort and achievement
• give students feedback about their specific achievements and the way forward
• actively involve students in the learning process

For teachers:
• clarify the responsibilities of teachers with respect to marking and feedback
• allow teachers to influence the style of marking and feedback in their subject
• encourage respect for students’ work
• encourage effective use of valuable teacher time

For outside agencies:
• show parents that work is being monitored and is valued
• satisfy the requirements of the examination syllabuses

Procedures for AfL:
All departments will maintain an AfL policy which includes guidelines on assessment of
learning, marking and feedback. The policy will be reviewed annually by the Head of

Departmental AfL policies and procedures will ensure that:
• learning in lessons is made explicit so that students understand the learning objectives
  by the end of a lesson; learning objectives should be differentiated where appropriate
• differentiated questioning is used to build student confidence and assess individual
• accessible and appropriate assessment strategies are used in each Key Stage
• students are aware of specific criteria for success prior to each assessment
• students are actively involved in assessing learning by the evaluation of their own work
  and progress and the assessment of each other’s work

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•   students set long and short term targets to improve the quality of their work
•   time is made to discuss student’s progress individually or in small groups
•   learning objectives and AfL activities are built into our SOWs for each lesson or short
    series of lessons; these also include suggested learning activities for students of
    different abilities
•   for coursework, learning is broken down into manageable sections; this will include the
    negotiation and advance notification of interim deadlines and direction about use of
    homework time

In particular, policies will ensure that with reference to marking and feedback:

•   oral comments are used and students also receive regular written feedback
•   any criticism will be constructive
•   comments will tell students what they have done well
•   comments will tell students how to improve
•   the recommended frequency of marking is identified within the Department and is such
    that at any given time, both student and teacher are fully aware of the student’s current
    level of achievement including national curriculum levels or likely examination grades
    as appropriate
•   marking and feedback can be comprehensive or is focused on selected, critical pieces
    of student work
•   coursework is marked with strict adherence to exam board criteria – departments must
    be clear about the level of support that is acceptable in specific exam board guidelines
    and ensure that all guidance is appropriate
•   marking draws attention to the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of work in a way
    which shows respect
•   general spelling, punctuation and grammar are marked sympathetically in order to
    improve students’ general literacy and to encourage development of subject specific
•   incorrect spellings are marked with an ‘S’, and incorrect words with a ‘W’
•   the Head of Department will arrange for marking and feedback to be monitored at least
    twice per year with the aims being to:

         ensure work is being marked
         ensure that Department policy is consistently followed
         share good practice
         improve teacher effectiveness

    To this effect Departments will carry out one marking scrutiny and one work scrutiny
    per year. Work scrutinies can be carried out at the time of standardisation / internal
    verification as long as explicit qualitative evaluation of teaching and learning takes

•   teachers will receive annual feedback on the quality of their marking and assessment,
    this may be formally or informally, via discussion at department meetings or using other
    appropriate methods identified by the HOD
•   marking and feedback will be monitored by the Senior Team on an annual basis
Responsibility for Review: Director of Teaching & Learning
Date of Next Review: September 2009

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