“Excellent! Pragmatic, realistic and no waffle!”

Jean Raleigh, HOD, Bellerby’s College

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 summative assessment – Assessment of Learning (AoL). 

Education Reform in China

There is a growing interest in formative assessment strategies in China. 

“Parents’ views on education also appear to be shifting. There is more appreciation of the importance of well-rounded learning, life skills and creativity”.

Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International Examinations

These changes in popular perception are in tune with the Chinese authorities’ thinking with regards to education reform in Chinese state schools. However, whole-system reform takes years and parents want solutions for their children today and are increasingly turning to International and Bilingual Schools.

India’s Education system lags behind

“In the Indian education system… memorization of facts is given precedence over abilities and skills.. In effect, the real potential of the student is not assessed”.

Dr Tapas Kumar Sarkar, Itachuna Government Sponsored Primary Teachers’ Training Institute

University entrance in the UK & USA

The combination of more progressive teaching and assessment methods such as AfL are helping Chinese students get into a range of respectable universities in the US or the UK. Formative assessment methodology has also been shown to create more independent and reflective learners who generally perform better in the longer term in these foreign universities.

Benefits of introducing AfL

Putting Assessment for Learning 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 AfL 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 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 Learning; overview and implications for the near future

  • Assessment for Learning? – some definitions, some principles
  • AfL versus AoL – the consequences of putting either first
  • What are schools for; learning or performance?

Assessment for 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 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


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