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The 10 principles: Assessment for Learning in ICT


1 EBI:
This stands for ‘Even Better If’ – a fantastic way to focus teacher and student feedback.


2 Hands up but not yet:
Ban hands-up for a few seconds after you ask a question. It will lead to more students having a go, and to more thoughtful answers.


3 National Curriculum levels:
Get students to translate the descriptions of the National Curriculum levels that they’re aiming at into their own language. This will help them understand how they can improve.


4 Thumbs up:
After posing an open question, insist that all hands are raised, with students putting their thumbs up, sideways or downwards, depending on how confident they feel about their understanding. The teacher receives a pretty accurate picture of where everyone is.


5 Grades aren’t always necessary:
Don’t always provide grades when marking work. They can lead to loss of confidence for some students and complacency for others. More importantly, without a number or letter to focus on, the student might actually take in your carefully chosen comments on where improvement is needed, and how it can be achieved.


6 Dialogue:
A one-to-one conversation can achieve so much more that written comments. It is an effective way to give instant, real-time feedback.


7 Modelling:
Before starting a task, students find it helpful to see what a finished product might look like. It can also generate discussion about how examples could be improved.


8 Learning objectives:
This is a very important first step to a great lesson and needs to be put in a language that students can understand.


9 Peer assessment:
Students often like, and benefit from, assessing each other’s work. To aid the process, discuss with the class what success criteria they think is appropriate for the task in question, then get them to summerise these in a marking template.


10 Sharing good work:
After you have done a pile of marking, why not begin the next lesson by sharing some examples with the class? It gives you the chance to dish out some public praise, and allows the class to see what good work looks like, and to evaluate it themselves.



Assessment policy using the Newham Assessment Guidance


With national testing and public exams almost upon us, many schools will be thinking ahead to the post examination period with a mind to reviewing existing school policy. If you intend to review your assessment policy the Newham Assessment Guidance provides useful background information.


Section 1: Introduction
This provides an overview of the many activities that come under the heading of “assessment” and how they link together. This should be read in conjunction with the poster “Newham Assessment Guidance – at a glance”.


Section 2: Close up, day to day assessment – Assessment for Learning
Here you will find an overview of classroom practices that promote AfL followed by detailed information on the five areas of AfL; sharing learning intentions (learning objectives and success criteria), formative feedback (written and verbal), promoting high quality classroom dialogue (questioning), activating students as a learning resource for each other (peer assessment) activating students as owners of their own learning (self assessment)


Section 3: Periodic Assessment – Standardisation – Summarising attainment using national
Standards. This section deals with the frequency of periodic assessment, sub levelling (using APP and other methods), links with AfL, rank ordering and sampling, and moderation


Section 4: Periodic Assessment – Student Level Target Setting and Tracking
This substantial section looks at the baseline for target setting, target setting models, teacher moderation of targets, tracking student progress towards targets, frequency of intermediate assessments and presenting tracking data.


Section 5: Transitional Assessment – National testing and Public Examinations
The concluding section of the guidance deals with those crucial aspects of examination and test preparation that everybody knows but can often be forgotten in the hectic run up to the big day.

Raw Marks

When an examination paper is marked by an examiner marks are awarded to the answers in accordance with the agreed mark scheme following an examiner’s meeting. Each paper will have a maximum number of marks than can be awarded to it which can be loosely translated as ‘ticks’. These ticks represent the raw marks for that paper. Examination awards that are made up of a number of papers may have different raw marks attributed to each paper.

Scale Marks

Some of the papers that make up an award may have a higher composite value than others (e.g. a coursework component may only have half the value of a written paper). To accommodate these differences the raw mark is ‘scaled’ up or down so that each paper’s ‘scale’ marks reflect the different value of each component (e.g. the coursework raw marks may be halved or the written component doubled).

UMS (Unified Marking Scheme)

Many modular examinations allow for students to take examinations at different times. This results in the likelihood that some students could take an examination in the same module during different examination sessions with each of these examinations being of different difficulty. To overcome the problems presented by these differences and those of scaling the UMS system has been introduced at GCSE and GCE levels.
Once a raw mark has been converted to a UMS mark it can be added to any other module mark to find the total marks gained in an award or its grade equivalent.

Grade Equivalent

Modular awards are made of two or more component modules, each with is own UMS. All examination boards have agreed that UMS marks will be allocated grades as in the table below, the system will work for individual modules and for awards which may be comprised of several modules. It is important that if a student wishes to calculate their performance in an examination and attempt to predict outcomes they use the UMS marks and not work with grades.


% of UMS

UMS for 120 mark module

UMS for 180 mark award

































A & AS level modules are only allocated grades up to a maximum of an A grade. However, the AS or A level award includes the A* grade, this could result in a student achieving 3 A grades in their AS modules but gain an overall A* grade in the AS award.

Grade Boundaries

A grade boundary is the minimum mark required to gain that grade (e.g. 84UMS marks are required to gain a B grade in a module worth a total of 120 UMS marks). Once the conversion and scaling of a module has been done it is possible to directly relate a raw mark to a grade equivalent. It is this system that your teachers will most probably use to allocate grades to past papers such as mocks.

Further information on this can be found.