A great deal of literature associates assessment with learner progression and development. Curriculum documentation: Building the Curriculum 5 proposes that the purposes of assessment are to: assist learning that progresses the knowledge, skills, understanding, attributes and capabilities that support the four capacities of the curriculum; to reassure parents/ carers/ guardians, learners, and others that learners are progressing in their learning; to summarise what learners have attained; to help plan next steps in learning and help learners continue into higher education; and inform future progresses in teaching and learning (Scottish Executive, 2011). The key goal of assessment is thus to support learning, and it is believed that this is best achieved through both formative and summative assessment.
Choosing Assessment is For Learning (AiFL) as the general focus for research, the group narrowed the focus down to plenary activities to base the enquiry on. Plenaries were decided upon after the group agreeing that they are part of daily teaching and learning however finding adequate time to do a meaningful plenary was difficult. The group also agreed that pupil responses and feedback were not always effective or acted upon, it was just something that was done at the end of the lesson. Formative assessment is currently a subject of contest within educational enquiry, where many propose it is an ambiguous defined idea (Dunn & Mulvenon, 2009). Moreover, Black and Wiliam (1998) advise assessing the knowledge or skills of the learner comes to be formative when feedback from the learner’s work is utilised to later influence learning and teaching strategies. The research group thus wished to investigate how plenaries influence teaching and learning.
The aim of this Practitioner Enquiry was to investigate how plenaries impact subsequent teaching and learning within a Primary 7 class of 28 children.