Caroline Armour

Primary Teacher

St Joseph's Primary

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

The use of two stars and a wish as a Self-Assessment Strategy


COVID-19 has had an impact on the way children are learning. Learning and teaching is now being provided remotely through digital platforms. However, this does not change how important feedback and Assessment are in helping children to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Feedback, whether remotely or in the classroom, is still important in order to support pupils in achieving their goals. 

Building the Curriculum 5 states that assessment is an “integral part of learning and teaching and supports pupils within their learning helping them to recognise their achievements and identify next steps in learning”. (Scottish Government, 2011).  The purpose of Assessment is for Learning (AifL) is to provide meaningful feedback and to help all learners progress forward in their development.  It encourages pupils to become more active in their learning.  

Scotland has been seen to be moving more towards formative assessment since the introduction of a Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in 2010.  Formative assessment is a wide range of methods used on a day-to-day basis by both the teacher and the pupil in order to develop and evaluate individual learning needs. Black and William (2001) believe that “formative assessment is at the heart of teaching” and they argue that this method of assessment supports all learners. The purpose of formative assessment is to collect information that can be used to improve lessons impacting on the students learning while it is happening.  Formative assessments are seen to help raise pupils’ achievement levels by guiding teachers in the decisions they are making and adapting their practice as it is required. Formative assessment can increase better attainment levels if performed properly.  Self-Assessment is a strategy aimed to motivate pupils in their own learning and identifying areas of development.  The strategy chosen to focus on through the enquiry was Two stars and a Wish where the child will provide two comments of what they see is good within their work and one comment of an area that they can improve on. 


Shirley Clarke believes for formative assessment to take place it is important for teachers to have children’s learning as their priority and set out clear learning intentions. This provides clear aims for the child and encourages children to be more motivated. The aim of the enquiry was to see how using two stars and a wish would help to motivate pupils and their ability to identify areas for development within their own learning. 

Download Practitioner Enquiry