AfL or AoL ?

AfL or Assessment for learning is particularly useful for supporting low-attaining students, but many international schools find it difficult to implement. There is a growing recognition in both International schools and Government sponsored schools across the world that for far too long the school curriculum has focussed too much on testing – Assessment of Learning (AoL). Numerous studies since 2021 have demonstrated the use of formative strategies in classrooms enhances the achievements of learners (Black and Wiliam, 2012).

IPC Foundation 7: Assessment for improving learning

Assessment for improving learning is one of the 7 foundations on which the popular International primary curriculum ( IPC) is built on. It is a programme in which formative assessment takes place regularly to allow for instructional adaptations, revised goal setting, feedback or even curriculum compacting.

Benefits of introducing AfL

Putting AfL into practice also requires teachers to change the way they work with their students. It is not simply a matter of adding on to existing practice – it requires a reconsideration of practice to enhance the necessary feedback loops involved and help students become more active and collaborative in their learning and assessment.

Difficulty Implementing effective assessment in International Schools

There are many reasons why teachers have found it difficult to incorporate AfL, but perhaps the most fundamental one is that they cannot conceptualise AfL fully before they begin to develop it in their classrooms; they are unable to perceive the types of changes they need to make in their day-to-day practice.

This INSET course is designed to support schools to implement a new pedagogic approach to the way teachers use assessment to improve learning in international schools.

This course complements our Student-led learning INSET designed specifically for International and Bilingual Schools.

Book one of our Associates to deliver both courses over consecutive days. 

INSET Objectives

• To examine the implications of putting either AoL or AfL at the top of our teaching agenda
• To imagine how classroom practices might evolve as the focus significantly shifts from AoL to AfL
• To understand and apply the cognitive science of how pupils’ brains learn most effectively and the implications of this knowledge for our teaching pedagogy
• To suggest a variety of AfL strategies for improving learning outcomes
• To suggest a variety of teaching strategies to place the focus firmly upon AfL.

INSET Outline

Assessment for Improving Learning; Implications for learners

  • Strategies for involving pupils more fully in the learning process
  • Peer assessment, self-assessment, self-evaluation, self-target setting
  • How could we improve learning practices at my school?

Assessment for Improving Learning; Implications for teachers

  • Aims, objectives, outcomes? Terminology impacts upon results
  • Effective questioning techniques
  • Expanding teachers’ repertoires; teaching beyond a knowledge-based curriculum

Assessment as learning: formative feedback that moves learners forward

  • How to inspire and motivate learning through your marking without killing yourself in the process!
  • High quality feedback
  • Developing learning dialogue
  • Meta-cognition – learning to learn
  • Building Learning Power

“Excellent! Pragmatic, realistic and no waffle!”

Jean Raleigh, HOD, Bellerby’s College

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