Embedding Formative Assessment
Embedding Formative Assessment is a two-year professional development intervention on formative assessment. It is based around a pack, Embedding Formative Assessment (EFA), which includes materials schools need to deliver 18 monthly internal workshops known as Teacher Learning Communities. Formative assessment involves teachers using evidence of pupils’ understanding and learning to make decisions, minute-by-minute and day-by-day, about the next steps in teaching and learning. This evidence could also be used when planning lessons or differentiating activities for individual pupils. When assessing formatively, the feedback given by teachers moves learners forward. Students are developed to be owners of their own learning and support each other to progress.
The Teacher Learning Communities involves all teachers from across the school, working together in groups of 8-12.
Teachers can guide themselves through the materials, to run a carefully structured series of workshops focused on helping teachers change their practice and embed their use of formative assessment in the classroom. The project materials are based on the important work of Professors Dylan Wiliam and Paul Black, both leading academics in the areas of teacher professional development and feedback, and are provided by the SSAT. Tailored support is available from SSAT at additional cost.
The Education Endowment Foundation (2018) ran a project evaluating this intervention, the study found a mean effect size of +0.10 for secondary maths.
Teachers were positive about the Teacher Learning Communities. They felt these improved practice by allowing dialogue between teachers and encouraged experimentation with formative assessment strategies.
The Education Endowment Foundation trial evaluated the impact of a cost-effective and scalable route to implementing formative assessment in a large number of schools. The result had a very high security rating.