Aidan O’Brien

Primary Teacher

St. Teresa's Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when live assessment is used in the classroom?


The Curriculum for excellence (CfE) is driven by the four capacities: Effective Contributors, Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals and Successful Learners (The Scottish Government, 2009). The capacities give teachers a degree of flexibility in the different methods and techniques used to assess learning. It is key that both “summative and formative assessment must be in harmony with the procedures of formative assessment and should be designed to minimise the burden on teachers and pupils” (Assessment Reform Group, 2006). Research shows that teaching is more effective when it assesses and uses prior learning so that the teaching may be adapted to the needs of students (Black & Wiliam, 1998). This enquiry will be conducted on live, formative assessment in the curricular area of Literacy.

CfE, Principles and Practice (2008) defines Literacy as “the set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society and in learning through the different forms of language, and the range of texts, which society values and finds useful”. This must be reflected in the way which literacy is assessed. Across the curriculum, practitioners need a variety of assessment methods to assess the many kinds of achievement. Due to the various types of assessment used in education today, learners have an opportunity to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do (Scottish executive, 2011). I will be using a combination of written and verbal feedback during Literacy. The feedback will be given to children when they are on task, allowing the teacher to assess if the learners are meeting the success criteria or need more support.

As a probationer teaching, midway through my induction year, I undertook this enquiry to support me in continuing to build my knowledge and understanding of CfE and exploring ways of successful implementing and developing it.


The aim of this study is to investigate the question “What happens when live assessment is used in the class room?” The impact of using written and verbal formative comments, within the curricular area of literacy, will be explored in this enquiry. The study was conducted over the course of four weeks. Having established the basis for theoretical outlook for this enquiry, it is necessary to reflect upon and discuss what methods were used to collect the information.

Download Practitioner Enquiry