Fraser Eunson

Primary Teacher

St. Andrew's Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Core Targets are Regularly Referred to Prior to Literacy Lessons in Class?


The policy document Building the Curriculum 5: A framework for assessment highlights the importance of both learner and educator’s active engagement in the learning process (Scottish Government, 2011). The engagement of the pupil in assessing their own learning is vital in the cultivation of a more independent classroom environment. Clarke (2014) also identifies the importance of the teacher in promoting active engagement in the classroom through the co-creation of success criteria. An engaging discussion around the formation of success criteria in the classroom can encourage a clearer understanding towards pupil’s next steps and how they might independently achieve those targets.

The literature stipulates the importance of self-assessment. Fisher, Frey and Hattie (2016) believe that effective self-assessment is the pupil’s ability to confidently evaluate their own learning with the intent to act on mistakes and improve. Self-assessment, coupled with co-created success criteria, enables learners to become active participants in their own learning and work more independently.

Black (2001) found that self-assessment, if used in a formative way, encourages pupils to take ownership of their own learning and therefore promotes independent learners. Such claims are supported by the likes of Hutchison and Hayward (2005) who found that learners can become active participants in their own learning through engaging in self-assessment activities. However, it should be noted the efficacy of such activities relies upon co-created success criteria and the adequate time frame for learners to evaluate and review their work.

A number of children in the class were rushing through tasks, with little consideration for the active literacy core targets, such as spelling, punctuation and/ or genre targets. Through the introduction of self-assessment checklists in the jotters and referral to these targets at the beginning of every literacy lesson, I aim to increase the quality of pupil work and pupil autonomy. The purpose of the following enquiry is to increase pupil focus on the quality of their tasks and instil greater confidence in using the core targets for future co-creation of success criteria.


The aim of this enquiry is to discover if active literacy core targets, through the medium of self-assessment checklists, have an impact on pupil learning during taught writing.

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