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National Curriculum

Developing assessment beyond the classroom

One of the key themes in the revisions to the programmes of study is a commitment to a more outward-looking curriculum that offers pupils real contexts and purposes to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding. Many of these learning experiences will produce valuable assessment evidence that it would not be possible to gather in the classroom or record using more traditional methods. This could include:

  • in geography, using hand-held devices during fieldwork to gather data and geographical information systems to analyse spatial patterns in the data

  • in English, recording pupils’ speaking and listening skills when interviewing residents in local care homes for a project on attitudes towards old age.

Using ‘third party’ assessors

Another way of recognising what pupils have learned from their experiences and activities outside school is to explore using parents, carers, peers and other relevant adults such as sports coaches as 'third party' assessors to contribute evidence of relevant knowledge, skills and understanding. This has the advantage of helping learners to connect the skills and aptitudes they show outside school with those needed to succeed in the classroom and encourages parents and carers to engage directly with the assessment process.

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