Ailsa Bryden

Primary Teacher

Auchinloch Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

Using Traffic Lights in the Classroom


Assessment is a crucial part of the teaching and learning which takes place within a classroom. Assessment is the fundamental way of telling where a pupil is within the curriculum. One area this research looks particularly close at is the area of self-assessment. Pupils marking their own work and giving themselves feedback on how they have done can be pivotal to their overall understanding of a task. By assessing work, pupils are looking much closer to the success criteria and the learning which is taking place. Research shows that pupils prefer to self or peer assess their work rather than being teacher assessed and so this assessment could lead to a higher engagement from pupils (Hanrahan, 2001). This piece of research will specifically look at formative assessment.

Formative Assessment is defined as: “…a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes” (S. Clarke, 2018)

Formative assessment which is the assessment which takes place throughout a lesson and Assessment is For Learning strategies (AiFL) allow for interventions to take place throughout a lesson and allows for teachers to support pupils throughout a lesson rather than always at the end. AiFL strategies will be the focal point of this enquiry. It will look at a traffic lighting system as a means of self-assessment. It will look at how this system of colour coding pupil work can improve overall success of the pupil’s understanding or whether it even makes no difference at all.


The aim of this enquiry was to investigate whether the use of traffic lights as a self-assessment tool would improve pupil understanding of their learning and help inform their next steps.

Download Practitioner Enquiry