Secondary Assessment for Learning - Geography

TTV Geography Assessment

What the resource is:
A 15 minute video on Teachers TV on Assessment for Learning in Geography (with accompanying resources). The video shows a Geography teacher and her Head of Department in a London secondary school working with their classes on developing their AfL (Assessment for Learning) skills. We see a year 10 class using model answers to improve their exam skills and a year 8 class getting to grips with peer assessment and feedback.

The aims of the resource:
To demonstrate the use of model answers and peer assessment as elements of AfL in action in two secondary geography classrooms. In addition, to highlight two teacher's personal journeys with AfL, both of whom are extremely positive about its impact on themselves and their students.


Key findings or focus:
It demonstrates, clearly, the use of model answers, peer assessment and feedback in a practical way. The video highlights the need for pupils to be trained in using AfL.


The quality, authority and credibility of the resource:
This is a useful video for developing ITE students AfL practice. It is short, clear and to the point. The fact that this resource is Geography specific makes this resource very accessible to ITE students of Geography (though the content is easily transferable to all subject areas). The example lessons shown are up to date (although it is 2006, the content is relevant), and to both the current KS3 and 4 Geography curriculum. The teachers demonstrate a sound level of content and exam specific knowledge in their subject, which makes their activities very credible. A good follow up to the video would be some evidence which shows how the success of the techniques show is measured, especially in the case of the year 10 class.


The implications for ITE tutors/mentors:
The teachers' explanations of some of the elements of AfL (e.g. model answers) are clear and succinct and therefore very useful. In addition, the video highlights the need for all teachers to have an excellent level of knowledge regarding not only their subject but also the exam requirements for their subject. There could be a need for ITE tutors to raise a discussion on schools ‘teaching to exams'. Again, the earlier ITE students are made aware of this the better. There may be some confusion over the term ‘level 3' in the first classroom; ITEs may need to be made aware that this is not a reference to the NC (National Curriculum) Level 3, but is a reference to the three levels of answers used to grade GCSE ‘longer' questions.

It is also useful for trainees to witness experienced teachers actively participating in the process of self-evaluation, albeit on a Teachers TV video rather than a lesson plan form.

ITE Tutors could consider the following questions for reflection with their tutees:

  • Other than the AfL techniques focussed upon during this video, what other examples of practice do you notice?
  • How could you use what you have seen in this video in your lesson observations next week?
  • What, if anything, is there in the video which makes you question the effectiveness of AfL in the classroom?
  • How far would you agree that the use of AfL in the year 10 classroom shown supports the idea of ‘teaching to exams'? 
  • What teaching and learning must have taken place before these AfL strategies could be effectively used?
  • What are the wider implications of the AfL strategies you have witnessed?


The relevance to ITE students - how and why it has importance:
As we know, Assessment for Learning is not an ‘initiative', but is viewed by the Government as an integral element of good teaching. Indeed to be an ‘Outstanding' teacher ‘, as decreed by OFSTED, all students {in the lesson observed} must show progress. It is the use of AfL which allows this progress to be continuously measured and witnessed and built upon. It could be argued that the sooner ITE students are made aware of what AfL is, the better.

The second teacher's ‘piece to camera' is useful for raising ITE students' awareness of what else needs to be done to make AfL activities a success, for example, modelling what is meant by a ‘good comment'.

This is a useful video to be shown once ITE students have been introduced to AfL and want to see it in practice and evaluate it.


Reviewed by

Stacey McCabe


Secondary, assessment, geography, personalised learning, literacy

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Teachers TV

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Teachers TV

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