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What should assessment look like in implementation?
• Evidence points to high quality formative assessment leading to the greatest learning gains.
• We provide opportunities and guide teachers in asking questions that will reveal learners’ understanding of a concept.
• Most importantly we provide opportunities for meaningful dialogue to take place in lessons. It is by giving learners opportunities to talk, and by listening carefully to what they say, that we gather some of the richest data on their understanding, in order to influence teachers’ next moves.
• We recommend that schools are cautious when using the results of summative assessments. This is because the domain from which test items are sampled is usually much larger in a summative assessment compared with a formative assessment.
• This makes it impossible to make a reliable inference about a student’s learning within a subcategory of this larger domain. We also urge caution when linking the results of summative assessments to any future performance in public examinations.
• Due to their low impact on future teaching, we recommend that the number of summative assessments in a year should be relatively low and to thoroughly interrogate the quality of the assessment that is used.
What does it mean to know more, remember more and be able to do more mathematics?
• In order for learners to make sense of a new idea or relationship learners need to incorporate it into their current understanding and see how it connects with ideas and relationships they have encountered previously.
• The greater their understanding of what has been taught previously, the more sense-making they will be able to do in the future with increasingly complex mathematics. Therefore, we believe that the key to knowing more mathematics lies in understanding.
• We also believe that learners who make sense of the mathematics they are learning have more memorable and enjoyable experiences that are more likely to be remembered in the long term. They will also be able to do more as they understand how to push the boundaries of what they know and apply it to solve problems.
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