E4I Focus on Embedding Formative Assessment

Posted on 17 April 2019

We have added the intervention Embedding Formative Assessment to Evidence4Impact, after it was evaluated in a study funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. Embedding Formative Assessment has been rated on E4I as moderate for secondary maths.

Developed by The Schools, Students and Teachers network (SSAT), Embedding Formative Assessment (EFA) is a two year professional development intervention which aims to improve pupil outcomes by embedding the use of formative assessment strategies across a school.

The intervention is based around a pack, which includes materials schools need to deliver 18 monthly internal workshops known as Teacher Learning Communities. Formative assessment involves teachers using evidence of pupils’ understanding and learning to make decisions, minute-by-minute and day-by-day, about the next steps in teaching and learning. This evidence could also be used when planning lessons or differentiating activities for individual pupils. When assessing formatively, the feedback given by teachers moves learners forward. Pupils are developed to be owners of their own learning and support each other to progress.

The Education Endowment Foundation ran a project in 2018 evaluating EFA. A randomised controlled trial was used to test whether the intervention worked under everyday conditions in a large number of schools. The study involved 140 secondary schools located across the country. 29% of pupils in the trial were eligible for free school meals. Teachers were positive about the Teacher Learning Communities, they felt these improved practice by allowing dialogue between teachers and encouraged experimentation with formative assessment strategies.

The project was independently evaluated by a team from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The study found a mean effect size of +0.10 for secondary maths.

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