Maria Caggiano

Primary Teacher

Ravenswood Primary School

  • Assessment For Learning

How do different plenary approaches affect learning outcomes?


Formative Assessment (FA) is an integral part of the learning and teaching process and is inextricably linked to Curriculum and Pedagogy as illustrated in Building the Curriculum 5 document A Framework for Assessment (BtC5), Scottish Government (2011, p.6). Plenaries are the final part in the lesson where learners come together and reflect on the learning that has taken place. Their purpose is mainly to allow teachers to assess how well the learning intentions have been met and to help inform the next steps in learning. We can therefore argue that plenaries are a tool for Formative Assessment. Plenaries can be carried out in many ways, they can be teacher led or pupil led. Curriculum for Excellence (CFE) highlights the importance of pupil voice in learning and outlines in Btc5 that learners should be actively involved in the assessment process, through self-assessment and peer-assessment allowing children to take ownership of their own learning (The Scottish Government 2011).


The aim of this practitioner enquiry is to find how different approaches to plenaries can affect the learning outcomes. It will look specifically at the role of the teacher and whether or not there is a difference in the learning outcomes when the plenary is teacher lead or pupil lead. I expect this enquiry into my practice to deepen my understanding of how different approaches to plenaries can be more or less effective in informing next steps in learning.

Further questions that have risen from this line of enquiry are given below:

  • How are the learning outcomes affected when a plenary is teacher led?
  • Is there a difference in the learning outcomes when the plenary is pupil led?

For the purpose of this Practitioner Enquiry, this assignment will examine the use of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) as an assessment tool during the plenary part of the lesson.

Download Practitioner Enquiry