Gemma Henry

Primary Teacher

St. Mary's Primary Coatbridge

  • Assessment For Learning

The Use of Traffic Lights in the Classroom


In recent history an ongoing ambition towards social justice means we are pursuing an education fit to meet the needs of all children. A practitioner’s sole responsibility is no longer limited to developing pupil’s cognitive abilities, but to instead develop the “whole child”. This has significant implications for education professionals and their practice, particularly when it comes to forms of assessment. In order to be a successful practitioner, it is important that class teachers are able to maintain and demonstrate strong, consistent approaches to assessing children’s progress through the curriculum. Education Scotland (2016) have outlined that assessment is a priority for all local authorities in Scotland. With this in mind, practitioners today must consider how to successfully implement such strategies to create an achieving classroom

The General Teaching Council Scotland indicates that teachers must be reflective practitioners. This is set out in the standards for provisional registration, which states that newly qualified teachers must “engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career long professional learning and practice.” GTCS (2012) Practitioner enquiry is a way for professionals to continue their journey of ongoing reflection on their practice. Engaging in practitioner enquiry allows professionals to investigate an area of interest, in a manner that can be explained or defended through previous theory and research. (Menter et al. 2011). The focus of this practitioner enquiry will examine the use of traffic lights in the classroom.


The aim of this enquiry was to determine what impact the formative assessment strategy “traffic lights” has on children’s learning. This enquiry was carried out in the curricular area of numeracy.

Download Practitioner Enquiry