Claire Brocardo

Primary Teacher

St. Barbara's Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Pupils Set Their Own Targets in the Classroom?


According to the Scottish Government’s Assessment is for Learning (AifL, 2005) policy, assessment should be at the forefront of everything educators do to ensure that every child reaches their full potential. Formative assessment can provide learners with the opportunity to look at their progress whilst also giving them an understanding of how they can improve, allowing them to be actively involved in their success. Black and William (1998) and the Assessment Reform Group (1999) highlighted five important factors for learning to be improved through formative assessment; two of which will be focused on within this enquiry. The first of which is pupils being actively involved in their own learning, and the second the importance of pupils being given opportunities to assess their work and find out how to improve. This is in support of the Standards for Full Registration (The General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2012) which highlights the importance of educators developing children’s understanding of self-evaluation in order to advance their learning. Additionally, recent research such as that of Wanner and Palmer (2018) have highlighted the importance of learners developing skills in self-assessment in order to help them succeed in Higher Education. This shows the importance of developing skills in assessment to ensure educators are preparing every child for later life experiences and the world of work.


The focus of this practitioner enquiry was to investigate whether there would be an improvement to the quality of self-assessment when pupils set their own targets. These targets would be in the form of the success criteria within a specific part of the curriculum. The aim of this enquiry was to compare the quality of self-assessment when:

  1. The teacher provided the success criteria; therefore the target for a given lesson
  2. The children created the success criteria; therefore setting their own targets for a lesson
Download Practitioner Enquiry