Rachel McClelland

History / Modern Studies

St. Maurice's High

  • Assessment For Learning

Using Traffic Lights as a Form of Self-Assessment to Inform the Next Steps in Learning & Teaching


Pupils’ progression can be assessed and supported in a variety of ways, especially through formative assessment principles. Formative assessment is an integral part of the learning process and it allows the teacher to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of the learner. Assessment is for Learning (AifL) has become a lot more prominent within the Scottish curriculum since Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) began (Bryce, 2013). Formative assessment is comprised of feedback, questioning and peer and self-assessment (Taras, 2010). Formative assessment helps pupils and teachers to gauge a pupil’s understanding and more importantly to track the pupil’s progression. This can then influence the next steps in learning and teaching. According to Black and Wiliam (2010) assessment becomes formative when the teacher uses the evidence to adapt their teaching to meet the needs of the student. Self-assessment allows pupils to take ownership of their own learning. They can reflect on their learning at the end of each lesson and they can track their progression. There are many different forms of self-assessment, the Traffic Light method is just one approach and it can be implemented in both the primary and secondary school sector.


The aim of this enquiry was to find out what impact the traffic light self-assessment method had on informing the next steps of teaching and learning in the classroom.

Download Practitioner Enquiry