Jonathan Grier

Primary Teacher

Greengairs Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Children Set the Success Criteria?


This Practitioner Enquiry investigates what happens when students are active participants in their learning and generate their own success criteria. The enquiry focuses the lens on the role of pupil voice within learning and teaching, in the hope that this will positively influence and improve both attainment and the quality of peer assessment in class. The enquiry hones in on the comprehensive work of Wiliam (2006) and the Assessment is for Learning (AiFL) approach (Assessment Reform Group, 1999), expanded upon by Clarke (2014). The principles outlined within both the Growth Mindset approach and current Curriculum for Excellence documentation are also key influences on the enquiry. By allowing children to be active participants and responsible for creating success criteria, students will set targets that are pupil friendly, achievable and which motivate them to be successful within their learning.

My interest in this area occurred naturally, around my first experiences of peer assessment in writing. This was a notable area where I observed learners were finding difficulty, as unless clear guidelines and targets were in place to assist learners during peer assessment, the quality and purpose of feedback was at times lost. Additionally, I observed that children were not always aware of, or driven by, the success criteria, therefore undermining its relevance to them as learners. Thus, it is imperative that ways to overcome this are investigated.


The aim of the enquiry was to find out what influence students creating their own success criteria at the planning stage within writing, has on their learning, particularly in relation to attainment and peer assessment.

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