Assessment for Learning

Assessment for Learning

How do we know children have learned?

The IPC is a learning-focused curriculum; designed to help children learn and to enjoy what they are learning. To be learning-focused means that we have to be assessment and evaluation-focused too. Both assessment and evaluation matter because they are ways in which we find out whether children are learning.

Knowledge, skills and understanding are learned differently, therefore taught differently and assessed or evaluated differently:

  • Knowledge is about facts. Facts are right or wrong. The easiest way to find out whether children have learned facts is a regular test – we all know how to do that.
  • Skills are practical and experiential. Skills aren’t right or wrong; they are developmental and so the IPC talks about beginning, developing and mastering when it comes to skills learning. The boundaries between these three levels are not clear-cut and different people have different ideas of what each stage looks like. That’s why the IPC Assessment for Learning Programme is created the way that it is – built around rubrics.
  • Understanding is personal and fluid; it comes and goes. Finding out about children’s developing understandings is almost entirely a matter or judgement.

The IPC Assessment for Learning Programme

Skills cannot be assessed by tests and they can’t reliably be assessed in one single assessment. They need time, and a consistent and simple evaluation process to support teachers. This is where the IPC Assessment for Learning Programme will help you.

The Assessment for Learning Programme provides:

Assessment for Learning in nine subjects.

The IPC AfL Programme provides assessments of skills for art, geography, history, information and communication technology, music, physical education, science, technology and international mindedness.

Three stages of assessment.

The AfL Programme provides assessments of a range of skills from all the foundation subjects for children aged 6-7, 8-9 and 10-12.

Three developmental levels of performance.

The AfL Programme enables each child’s skills learning to be assessed and progressed through ‘beginning’, ‘developing’ and ‘mastering’ stages.

Performance descriptors for teachers.

The AfL Programme provides performance descriptors (or ‘rubrics’) that help teachers identify actual performance of each skill in each subject at each level of development.

Here is an Example of the Teachers’ Rubic:

Beginning Developing Mastering
The child uses more than one type of material and process to produce a piece of art with teacher help. He/she may need help to choose the materials and processes for his/her work, e.g. suitable materials to make a collage, etc. The child chooses more than one type of material and process and successfully produces a piece of art. The child understands that materials are suited to different processes and chooses accordingly, with some help from the teacher. The child uses a variety of materials and processes in his/her work with success. The child understands that materials are suitable for different processes and chooses accordingly. The child needs little or no direction from the teacher.

Performance descriptors for children.

The AfL Programme provides the same performance descriptors for children, written in language that’s easy for them to read and follow. These children’s rubrics help children take an active role in the assessment of their own learning and that of their peers.

Children’s Rubic:

I’m Getting Used to it I’m Getting Better I’m Really Getting it
I know how to use some art materials. I’m not sure when I should use each material and my teacher helps me with this – e.g. when I make a collage my teacher helps me collect all the materials I need and helps me make my collage. I know how to use some art materials and I can choose the right materials for a process, e.g. to produce a painting, I need paints, brushes, etc. I check my choices with my teacher and sometimes I need help with this. I can produce a piece of art using the materials and processes I have chosen. I know many different ways of doing art and can use different materials without any help from my teacher. I can make different types of art and decide for myself what I need to do this.

Specific teaching and learning advice.

The AfL Programme provides advice to teachers to help children progress from beginning to developing to mastering at each stage of each assessed skill of each subject.

A complete teachers’ manual,

A comprehensive teachers’ manual explains clearly how and when to use the Assessment for Learning Programme.