Assessment for Learning: Embedding excellence and consistency

Assessment for Learning: Embedding excellence and consistency

Feb 2012


Assessment for Learning: Embedding excellence and consistency teaches you how to use AfL consistently in your school to help trainees, teachers and assistants teach well, and in turn help students learn well.

This comprehensive resource looks in detail at what makes AfL work and provides real examples of techniques and strategies you can apply in your teaching to deliver a consistent approach.  The package includes training materials covering AfL leadership and practical implementation and exercises around development planning to help you embed practice in your school.


Assessment for Learning: Embedding excellence and consistency will enable you to:

  • develop a consistent, effective approach to AfL across your school
  • encourage students to become autonomous, reflective, and critical learners
  • nurture evidence-based practice by encouraging teachers to share experience and expertise
  • enhance learning by engaging students in new ideas and methods
  • meet individual students’ needs by understanding how to adapt AfL methods to work for different learning styles
  • improve classroom practice by using AfL as part of conscientious and effective teaching
  • build on existing strengths to achieve significant results by making small adjustments.

Summary of contents

This practical resource is suitable for anyone responsible for developing teaching, learning and assessment in your team, across your school, or with colleagues from different schools.

As well as chapters explaining how AfL works and how to use it consistently, Assessment for learning: embedding excellence and consistency contains:

  • 22 lesson observations across 10 subject groupings, showing teachers and students using a range of AfL methods according to circumstance and capacity
  • a training session for the leadership of AfL that helps you engage your leadership team in considering strategies for embedding AfL across your school
  • a training session for teachers that helps you work through activities designed to extend and enrich teaching, and can be used by individual teachers or teams on their own.

Chapter Breakdown

Section 1 – Approaches to AfL

  • Background
  • Examples of lesson activities involving formative assessment
  • What it means to highlight standards and criteria
  • Answering common objections

Section 2 – Leading development in your team and across your school

  • What do you want to achieve by developing formative assessments?
  • What will you do to monitor and evaluate developments?
  • Who will perform what roles?
  • What will be done to change ethos, policies and systems?

Section 3 – Examples of Assessment for Learning across the curriculum

  • English and media studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Information communication technology
  • Physical education
  • Humanities and religious education
  • Modern foreign languages
  • Art and music
  • Design technology
  • Vocational and business education

Section 4 – Teaching towards autonomy

Section 5 – Things to work on

  • Decide ground rules and know what to expect
  • Be clear about purposes and standards
  • Answer questions, ask questions
  • Reflect critically on lessons
  • Recap and mind-map
  • Use criteria
  • Use templates and models
  • Use feedback and decide how to improve
  • See rationale and relevance
  • Develop resilience
  • Work towards autonomy
  • Be a coach, be a mentor

Section 6 – Helping your students learn to learn

Section 7 – Further research

Section 8 – Training resources for leadership of AfL

Section 9 – Training resources for teachers

About the expert

John Blanchard is a consultant and researcher in teaching and learning. His areas of particular expertise include assessment, creativity, action research and professional development. He teaches on initial teacher training, CPD and master's courses.


  • A4 Ringbinder, 208 pages.
  • CD-ROM containing PowerPoint presentations and accompanying resources.


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