Nicola McCardie

Primary Teacher

St. John Paul II Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when I introduce the traffic light system of self-assessment to my pupils?


In Scotland the Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) agenda is committed to promoting the overall wellbeing of children part of this is encouraging a child centred approach to teaching and learning. With this in mind Curriculum for Excellence produced a document Building the Curriculum 5 with a focus on the Framework for assessment (Scottish Government, 2011) this highlights the responsibility of a teacher to apply assessment strategies in the classroom particularly self assessment. The purpose of this enquiry is to allow pupils to self assess their own work in order to form the ability to become reflective and independently inform their next steps. Through this process pupils will in turn be able to begin to take responsibility for their own learning. This is supported by the work of Black and Wiliams (1998) who suggested rethinking how young learners are assessed in order to make it a process which supports along with reflects on the process of learning. Education Scotland’s (2005) Assessment is for Learning (AifL) framework highlights the importance of assessment in the classroom with the purpose of promoting positive change which in turn will improve children’s life chances. This one of the many reasons why the Aifl approach is an important context used in the classroom.


The aim of this enquiry was to investigate what impact the traffic light system of self assessment has on pupils when introduced into a classroom during maths lessons.
Self assessment strategies investigated were:

  • The use of traffic light coloured finished work trays
  • The use of a blank traffic light teacher stamp
Download Practitioner Enquiry