Unit 3.7 Embedding formative assessment


There is extensive international research into the impact of formative assessment on student progress and attainment. If students are provided with clear learning objectives and criteria for success they are able to take responsibility for their own learning and make increased progress. There are key researchers such as Professor Dylan Wiliam, Professor Paul Black and Shirley Clarke who have provided powerful evidence of the impact of formative assessment. These researchers have also provided practical strategies and classroom approaches to enable teachers to include formative assessment in their classroom practice.

Although we know a great deal about the application of formative assessment in the classroom, teachers still find it challenging to manage on a daily basis. As a Head Teacher or School Principal you can support your teachers and enable them to embed formative assessment approaches into their classroom practices. In this unit we will explore the research base and practical strategies to ensure that formative assessment is embedded throughout your school.


By the end of this unit of study you will be able to:

  • understand the power and importance of formative assessment
  • know about the key findings of the research into formative assessment and how this can be implemented practically in classrooms

Learning and practice outcomes:

You will:

  • be able to support your teachers to develop confidence and competence with the use of formative assessment approaches in their classrooms
  • have clear strategies to embed formative assessment throughout your school

Implementation Task:

Design and implement an action plan to embed formative assessment throughout your school.

Card sort activity

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Questions to extend students’ thinking in Maths

Assessment for Learning activities

Assessment for Learning Toolkit

Appreciative Enquiry Questionnaire

8 steps and tips

Audit of formative assessment practice