Assessment Principles

Introduction

Assessment is inseparable from teaching, and the quality of the latter is - in many ways - dependent on the quality of information derived from the former. Assessment, as Dylan Wiliam says, is the bridge between teaching and learning.

Our assessments play a vital role in forming this bridge between teaching and learning but, of course, they are part of a broader assessment framework. Therefore, it is important to consider their value and purpose within your context, your curriculum, and your teaching and learning approach. 

That’s why we have teamed up with Evidence Based Education (EBE) to produce three videos that set the context for your use of the powerful information our assessments can provide. Anyone interested in obtaining a grounding in evidence-based assessment principles and support to put them into practice, should take a look at EBE’s Assessment Lead Programme (for Middle and Senior Leaders) and Assessment Essentials (for Classroom Teachers).

The videos cover:

  • What to consider when developing a school assessment framework, and where standardised tests sit within this 
  • Standardised assessments and their benefits for external benchmarking 
  • The effective use of indicators

Developing a school assessment framework

This video covers the four pillars of all great assessment: purpose, validity, reliability and value, which should be considered when developing any assessment framework for your school. The video goes on to elaborate on how standardised assessments can be used appropriately to fulfil these four pillars. 

The benefits of external benchmarking

This video covers how standardised assessments can help you reflect on your school and students against a wider context. They can help you validate teacher judgements and help identify specific learning needs. The video also touches upon the importance of standardised assessments at key transition points in a child's educational journey. 

The effective use of indicators

Many standardised assessments provide some indicative grades for students taking public examinations, but these are a far from exact science. This video helps inform you about how indicative grades should be used to help set effective and achievable goals for your students.