Last September, Schoolstoreng and Rising Stars held two engaging Assessment workshops in Lagos. The events, which were hosted, by Greensprings and Grange Schools had the theme: understanding and using assessments to drive teaching and learning. 

Rising Stars Education Consultant Peter Oates was the main facilitator at both events but supported by outstanding Nigerian teachers from Greensprngs and Grange.  At the Greensprings School workshop, Dolapo Fatoki co-facilitated with Peter, while Ayoola Akinyeye and Kelechi Igbokwe co-facilitated at the Grange School workshop.   

A key question for schools to consider: Is there a framework in place to assess pupils’ work regularly and thoroughly and is information from such assessment utilised to plan teaching so that each pupil can make progress? 

A Key point to note: Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning: It must therefore provide evidence to guide teaching and learning while also give the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their progress. 

About Assessments: Assessments can either be formative or summative.     

Formative assessments allow teachers to understand individual pupil performance on a continuing basis – where pupils are struggling, where they need extra challenge, when they are ready to progress. Helps teachers to evaluate their own teaching of topics and concepts 

Two key principles to consider on Formative Assessments:  

  • What will this assessment tell me about pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the topic, concept or skill?
  • How will I use the information I gain from this assessment to inform my planning for future lessons? How could I improve, adapt or target my teaching as a result?

Summative Assessments are end of year exams or end of topic tests that enable teachers evaluate how well pupils understand the topic or unit tested and how effective their teaching has been. It also helps pupils understand how well they have learned a topic or unit over a period of time and can be used to give feedback on how they can improve in future. 

Two key principles to consider on Summative Assessments:  

  • How will the information provided be used to support broader progress, attainment and outcomes for the pupils?
  • How should the assessment outcomes be communicated to pupils to ensure they have the right impact and contribute to pupils’ understanding of how they can make further progress in the future? 

Quick policy design tips from the National Association Of Head Teachers (NAHT) 

Assessment Approach

  • Assessment is integral to high quality teaching and learning. It helps us to ensure that our teaching is appropriate and that learners are making expected progress
  • All staff are regularly trained in our approach to assessment and there is a senior leader who is responsible for assessment 

Assessment Method

  • The main purpose of assessment in our school is to help teachers, parents and pupils plan their next steps in learning
  • Assessment criteria for periodic assessment are arranged into a hierarchy, setting out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year
  • Each pupil is assessed as either ‘developing’, ‘meeting’ or ‘exceeding’ each relevant criterion contained in our expectations for that year.
  • Where a pupil is assessed as exceeding the relevant criteria in a subject for that year they will also be assessed against the criteria in that subject for the next year. For those pupils meeting and exceeding the expected standards, we provide more challenging work 

Use of Assessment

  • Teachers use assessment data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations. Teachers and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk in this school are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched

The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils on a termly basis through a structured conversation. Parents and pupils receive rich, qualitative profiles of what has been achieved and indications of what they need to do next