Natasha Shreenan

Primary Teacher

St. Barbara's Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

The Use of Traffic Lights to Help Children Identify Success


It has been largely agreed by professionals and researchers that assessment is crucial in education and should be carried out to determine what children know, what they understand and what they can do (Education Scotland, 2017). According to Dylan Williams (2014) self-assessment allows children to take ownership of their learning and encourages pupils to become more involved in their learning. It highlights individual needs and informs next steps for teachers to ensure children reach their full potential.

The General Teaching Council Scotland indicates that teachers must be reflective practitioners. Standard for provisional registration states that newly qualified teachers must “engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career long professional learning and practice.” (GTCS, 2012).

This enquiry is set out in the hopes children will be able to self-assess their work accurately, using traffic lighting, to understand their learning and identify success. Implementing this formative assessment strategy will hopefully improve children’s motivation and help inform next steps.


The aim of this enquiry was to introduce self-assessment, focusing specifically on traffic lighting to determine the impact formative assessment strategy “traffic lights” has on children identifying success. This enquiry was carried out in the curricular area of literacy. The three main aims were:

  • To introduce traffic lights as a self-assessment method.
  • To use this self-assessment method for children to identify success in their learning.
  • To use self-assessment to inform next steps for pupils and teachers.
Download Practitioner Enquiry