Charlotte Mullen


Brannock High

  • Assessment For Learning

The Use of Traffic Lighting to Evaluate Pupil Progress


Any assessment, whether undertaken by student or teacher, is paramount in order to achieve within the four capacities of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). The Success of the learner needs to be measured and the type of measurement should be frequent, ongoing and meaningful. Assessment for Learning (AifL) incorporates many measures of success (Black, 2003) in the form of ‘Formative Assessment’ (Dylan Wiliam, 2004). Traffic lighting is method which has the potential to incorporate self-assessment and peer-assessment into a formative activity which focuses on feedback. Feedback is an invaluable feature in any classroom, in order to assess learning, there needs to be proof that it is taking place (Jones, 2009). Dylan Wiliam in Five Key Strategies for Effective Formative Assessment for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states an interesting point that when teachers are told that the responsibility of their pupils learning is theirs, the quality of their teaching deteriorates, as does their students. However, when students take an active part in monitoring and regulating their learning, then the rate of their learning is dramatically increased. By using self-assessment as a tool to promote personal growth and ownership, learning is maximised. (Wiliam, 2007) The actions of the teacher and pupil due to that feedback is important, which is why Traffic lighting has been chosen as the topic of this enquiry.


The aims of this enquiry are:

  • To introduce traffic lights as a self-assessment method
  • To use this self-assessment method to evaluate pupil’s learning and
  • To use the self-assessment method to decide subsequent steps in lesson planning.
Download Practitioner Enquiry