In its summative role, the purpose of assessment is to judge pupils’ quality and characteristics, summarising these in a clear and widely acceptable format.
Summative assessment is also known as assessment of learning (Threlfall, 2005; Arthur et al., 2006) and evidence for this type of assessment may come from formal testing of what has been learnt, aiming to produce marks or grades which may be used for different purposes, such as reports of various types (Pollard et al., 2008).
In other words, it is concerned with the type of learning pupils become involved with.
In addition, why and how we assess pupils has an enormous impact on their educational experience and consequently on how and what they learn (Wynne, 2007).
ASSESSMENT ‘ The assessment of children has to serve a variety of purpose, but it is principally to inform decisions made by the teacher about what work a child is capable of managing’.
Hayes (2006) Assessment means different things in different contexts and it is also carried out for different purposes (Arthur et al., 2006).
From reflecting in examples from theory and practice, it is possible to say that assessment in education involves making judgements about pupils’ attainments (Alexander, 2010; Preliminary Attachment, 2010).
In other words, it involves teachers deciding on how they will collect information, what information is relevant, how they will come to a judgement and then how to report and comment a judgment to those who want to know how pupils are achieving (Arthur et al., 2006; Aldgate et al., 2006; Hayes, 2006; Hughes, 2008).
Some of those strategies, which I have had the opportunity to observe and critically analyse during my preliminary attachment, are: feedback, self- assessment and classroom discussion.
FEEDBACK ‘Unless students are able to use the feedback to produce improved work, neither they nor those giving the feedback will know that it has been effective’.