John McMillan


St. Aidan's High

  • Assessment For Learning

What is the Effect of Using Traffic Lights on Pupil Learning in the Classroom?


I have always been interested in self-assessment. As a developing practitioner, this has been at the forefront of my progression since being a student. In order to continuously develop throughout my career, it is absolutely vital that my abilities to self-assess are strong. Boud (2016) discusses the link between different forms of assessment. The academic writes about the importance of self-assessment, Boud (2016) explains the importance of teacher and peer assessment in order to give value to self-assessment. The idea that assessment types of all nature are intertwined is reinforced by Airasian (1997) who discusses the fact that all types of assessment within the classroom reinforce one-another and help to elevate them. This has encouraged me to incorporate self-assessment and self-evaluation into my lessons where possible. Ensuring that pupils can understand their own strengths and areas for development is fundamental to their learning and progression throughout high school and further.

Further to this, the pupils in the chosen class were not particularly forth coming in regard to asking for help. This, in particular, reinforced the need for this enquiry, in order to build the class’ confidence in their progression in their learning.

I believe that introducing and developing a pupils’ ability to self-assess at the earliest stage possible, can only help to benefit them in regard to their learning. Furthermore, I feel it would develop their abilities to problem solve and take responsibility for their learning. This is reinforced by the writings of Black and Wiliam (1998). The academics discuss the link between formative and self-assessment and explain that the only way a pupil can truly self- assess is when they have a clear and well-defined view of their own progress and their own targets.


The aim of this enquiry was to understand and investigate the impact of using a traffic light system in the classroom.

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