Assessment for learning is of pivotal importance within the everyday classroom – not only does this play a fundamental role in informing the teacher, but it has also become widely recognised that assessment should ultimately help to inform the learner’s next steps (Gardner, 2013). In order to enable this to happen, Williams (2011) outlines the importance of two key features of assessment. In addition to identifying the potential for improvement, he argues that it is important that instructional guidance is also provided with regards to the steps that can be taken towards achieving an improved outcome. Further, in addition to the role of the teacher, it is encouraged that children become agents of their own learning by engaging in a process of self-assessment and developing strategies for ‘learning to learn’ (OECD, 2008:2).
This inquiry set out to establish a better understanding of how children engage with the commonly used ‘two stars and a wish’ method of self-assessment. The intention was to assess the extent to which engaging in regular self-assessment improved children’s ability to identify and inform their next steps within their learning. In addition to establishing whether children were able to identify their next steps, consideration was also given to whether or not these steps were then applied to their future learning activities.