Cheryl Bennett

Primary Teacher

St. Michael's Primary

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

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


Assessment has a major impact on all forms of learning and teaching. Hayward (2013: 60) suggests that if the curriculum determines what learning must take place and pedagogy sets out how that leaning is facilitated in the classroom, then the function of assessment is to “gather evidence to support learning”. Pollard (2014: 352) states that when assessment is used to support learning it “is referred to as ‘Assessment for Learning’ (AfL), a term interchangeable with ‘formative assessment’” and this way of working amalgamates learning, teaching and assessment. Various methods of formative assessment are utilised within the classroom to support learning and progression (Scottish Government, 2011) and Wiliam (2011) believes that the impact on pupils’ outcomes is likely to be informed through formative assessment. Through the use of assessment, in particular, self-assessment, the child is able to reflect upon their own work and use their assessment to inform their next steps, taking responsibility for their own learning (Clarke, 2005). It is therefore, the responsibility of teacher to use and apply assessment in a way that will enhance learning by informing next steps as well as highlighting any areas that may need more attention (Scottish Government, 2011). We decided to introduce the self-assessment strategy of two stars and a wish. This strategy gives pupils the opportunity to make judgements about their work against success criteria, making suggestions for next steps and helps the pupils take responsibility for their own learning. There are many benefits associated with this strategy and may be particularly helpful for primary pupils preparing for high school.  It could be argued that the strategy improves the pupil’s ability to be both positive and critical when self-assessing their own work. 


The aims of this enquiry were to: 

  • establish how confident pupils are with self-assessment
  • explore whether pupils use of self-assessment helps to progress their learning. 
Download Practitioner Enquiry