Lauren Faulds


Calderhead High

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when I introduce the peer-assessment technique ‘two stars and a wish’?


Published in 2010, Building the Curriculum 5: A framework for assessment (BtC5) called for a national reflection and implementation of assessment strategies for the Scottish education body, in order to raise achievement. One form of assessment is formative. Formative assessment, or ‘Assessment is for Learning’ (AifL), is an idea branched out of ongoing summative assessment. And as Black and Wiliam (1998) found out through their extensive research, formative assessment, when done well, can raise the standards of achievement. In Scottish Education today there is an overarching focus on assessment so that each child has the same opportunities of achievement. The National Improvement Plan 2018 states:

‘assessing children’s progress plays a crucial role in addressing adversity at any point in a child or young person’s life, by recognising where barriers exist and putting in place action to address the issues identified.’

The formative assessment strategy two stars and a wish is just one formative assessment tool available to teachers. This strategy can be used by the teacher, as self-assessment or peer-assessment. This strategy works by identifying two positives about the piece of work and one thing that needs to be improved next time. As John Hattie’s (2012) meta-analysis into feedback states:

‘This is not a deficit, or deficit thinking, or concentrating on the negative; rather, it is the opposite in that acknowledging errors allows for opportunities. Error is the difference between what we know and can do, and what we aim to know and do.’

Hattie explains that assessment and feedback are applicable and beneficial to all. It is important that students know what they are doing well as well as where they can improve. Therefore it is of upmost importance that we understand how to constructively put this into practice in the classroom.


The aim of this professional enquiry was to calculate the success of two stars and a wish as formative peer-assessment tool and to measure its impact on learning in the classroom.

Download Practitioner Enquiry