“Without effective assessment for learning strategies, which involves high-quality feedback to learners being embedded within every teaching and learning session, the personalised learning agenda is a dream that will never be realised.”
Personalised Learning can be described as:-
High expectations of every child, given practical form by high quality teaching based on a sound knowledge and understanding of each child’s needs. It is not individualised learning where pupils sit alone. Nor is it pupils left to their own devices — which too often reinforces low aspirations. It means shaping teaching around the way different youngsters learn; it means taking the care to nurture the unique talents of every pupil.
At Isebrook, a personalised offer depends on really knowing the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. We believe a key means of doing so is Assessment for Learning [AfL] and the use of evidence and dialogue to identify every students' learning needs.
The rationale is always the same:
- Clear evidence about how to drive up individual attainment;
- Clear feedback for and from students, so there is clarity on what they need to improve and how best they can do so; and a clear link between learning and lesson planning.
Personalised learning has five key components and Assessment for Learning is at the heart of its philosophy.
The personalised learning model — the five key components
- Assessment for learning
- Effective teaching and learning strategies
- Curriculum entitlement and choice
- School/college organisation
- Strong partnerships beyond the school/college
Assessment as part of classroom activities is a fundamental process required to promote learning and ultimately achievement. Learners need to know and understand the following before learning can take place:
- What is the aim of the learning?
- Why do they need to learn it?
- Where are they in terms of achieving the aim?
- How can they achieve the aim?
When learners know and understand these principles, the quality of learning will improve. Sharing this information with learners will promote ownership of the learning aims and a sense of shared responsibility between the teacher and students to achieve those aims. Improving students’ confidence and self-esteem reflects positively in their work and their motivation is also improved.
To promote effective assessment, teachers need to:
- Explain the learning aims to learners and check their understanding
- Demonstrate the standards learners are required to achieve and help them recognise when they have achieved that standard
- Give effective feedback on assessment decisions, so that learners know how to improve
- Demonstrate high expectations and make it obvious to learners that they believe that they can improve on their past performance
- Provide regular opportunities for teachers and learners to reflect on the last performance and review learners’ progress
- Develop learners’ self-assessment skills, so that they can recognise what aspects of their own work need to improve.
At Isebrook, Assessment for Learning is all about informing the students of their progress, to empower them to take the necessary action to improve their performance.
Teachers create learning opportunities where students can progress at their own pace and undertake consolidation activities where necessary. Assessment for Learning strategies are implemented in such a way that quality feedback provided to the students will help to challenge both the less able and the more able learner, in order to reach new levels of achievement and, in doing so, reach their full potential. We believe the individuality of feedback, by its very nature, has the facility to support and challenge more able learners.