James Quinn

Primary Teacher

St. Monica's Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Exit Passes are Used in the Classroom?


Assessment of learning is critical in helping get it right for every child’s education. Various types of assessment can help to evidence a pupil’s stage of learning and is recognised as playing a pivotal role for raising standards and achievement in children’s learning (Black & William, 1998). One area which is vital to pupil’s learning is that of the teacher’s assessment techniques and their ability to adapt to the results. Williams (2001) believed that the first fundamental principal of effective classroom feedback is that the feedback should be more work for the recipient than the donor. This self-assessment and feedback should be beneficial for both teachers and learners. This is supported by Black and William (1998), who state that in order for teachers to adequately support learners, the learners have to take responsibility for part of their own learning, including highlighting to teachers how they are coping with their work and where they are finding difficulties. As a newly qualified teacher this was a particular personal interest, analysing and improving my own skills as well as those within my classroom to help improve attainment at such an early stage in my career would be extremely beneficial as I continue my professional learning. Another point of interest was for to see if these changes would help pupils want to actively assess their own work and build an enthusiasm to lessons in which their opinions were taken seriously.

Two CfE principles considered during planning maths lessons were ‘challenge and enjoyment’ and ‘personalisation and choice’. Ainley et al (2002) discuss that interest is a core component in learning. Both pupils’ cognitive and affective functioning are positively impacted when they are actively interested in their work, with effort tending to be enhanced. Therefore, when assessing the effectiveness of lessons, pupil voice should play a pivotal role, based around their enjoyment and choice. The benefits to pupils actively participating in evaluation of learning allows for them to take ownership, it also allows for practitioners to understand pupil motivation which can help identify next steps in the learning process (Pollard, 2008; Scottish Government, 2011). 


The aim of this enquiry is to evaluate what happens when exit passes are used within the classroom, with a focus on pupil feedback regarding the teaching and learning involved.

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