Assessment in England Schools3


TheName of the Class



Cityand State


Assessmentin England Schools

NationalCurriculum Assessment refers to a series of learning test used toevaluate the attainment of students undergoing education in England(Smithers, 2013, pg. 46). The series include a combination ofteacher-led and test-based evaluation depending on the age of thelearner. The tests were initiated around 1991-1999 with an objectiveof testing 6-14 year-olds according to the Nationally RegulatedEducational Standards. According to the current curriculum inEngland, this system purposes to motivate pupils to take part in thelearning process actively (Alexander 2014, p.356 ). In other words,assessment is the core value of practical approaches to teaching inEngland schools. As such, this mechanism provides valuable feedbackto both teachers and pupils. The methods of valuation and theframework of which it is accepted are the important features of thecurrent national curriculum (Alexander 2012, p.384). Nevertheless,assessment is closely linked to the socio-constructivist theory ofeducation. In this context, the psychological replicas andexpectations that the learner uses to apprehend a subject aremultifarious. These models are derived from previous experiences andassociations with people. Pupils and teachers, therefore, shouldcomprehend the concept. According to Board &amp Tinsley (2014,p.413 ), assessment in sectors of primary education takes variousforms with distinct purposes. In England, assessment is used byteachers to enable them form righteous and value judgments of thepupil’s progress and the curriculum improvement. The primarypurpose of evaluation is to appraise the attainment, of module goals(Hart, et al. 2012, p.53). For these reasons, much consideration hasfocused on the ways of generating statutory assessment data togetherwith its validity for both teaching and learning. In most occasions,there has been a debate concerning the existence of national tests. Most institutions have, therefore, regarded this aspect. However, thequestion that still emerges is whether the tests will be availablefor the instructors to mark (Hannon et al. 2013, p.580). Fundamentalconcerns also arise from the application of the criteria for theoutstanding teaching and learning reasons and using similar exams tohold primary schools accountable. England is the State where testsare utilized for high stakes accountability. For that reason,approach to schools responsibility has a distorting impact oncurriculum delivery in schools. Consequently, it has promotedsubstantial efforts to teach to the tests (Hart et al. 2012, p.50). This paper will examine the need for assessment in England primaryschools as per the current national curriculum.


Asstated above, assessment is essential to the learning process. Inschools, the most visible evaluations are summative. Theseassessments measure what the pupil has gained in class after the endof every unit (Smithers 2013, p.395). In so doing, they promotelearners by ensuring that their goals and their required standardsare achieved. Nonetheless, departments of education in England usesummative assessments and evaluation as a means to account publiclyfunded primary schools for providing value education. According toto Alexander (2014, p.368), assessments may also serve formativefunctions. In the classroom, formative assessments are the many,cooperative evaluations of the pupils’ understanding and progressto recognize the needs for education and adjust the level ofteaching. In this context, teachers who use formative assessmenttechniques are better trained to satisfy the needs of the learners(Alexander 2014, p.373). In addition, the principals of formativeassessment can be applied at both school and policy levels. Itsapplication identifies areas for advancement as well as promotingefficient and constructive evaluation cultures in the entire primaryeducation system.


Englandintroduced drastic transformations to its primary school system withthe education reforms act that was formed in 1988 (Cable et al. 2010,p. 210). Under this Act, the national government introduced acurriculum and standards for mandatory training and learning. Tosupport the idea, the state provided schools with the limited amountof independence and encouraged its quality through market-stylecompetition. This methodology encouraged pupils to apply foradmission to any primary school. During this time, children rangingbetween 6 and 14 years were required to sit for the tests (Smithers2013, p.324). Significantly, media also initiated the idea ofpublishing results as an indicator of individual school quality andmotivation. However, formative assessment was not new to thenational agenda when these changes were introduced. That is to sayvarious research projects had explored the ways in which assessmentscould improve learning before instigating the reforms (Alexander2012, p.381 ).

Evenso, efforts to incorporate formative evaluation into the nationalcurriculum were further complicated in the first five years followingthe inauguration of the national curriculum. However, the nationalcurriculum system was abolished in 2013 (Cable, et al., 2010, pg.210). The period since then has seen an affirmative shift towardsputting a formative conception of assessment. In this case, adevelopmental understanding has a primary focus on the potential forassessment to be used normatively to help pupils instead of measuringtheir attainment (Cable et al. 2010, p.221). However, one of thevisible features of the learners in the past years is the change inthe attention towards a better interest in the link betweenexamination and classroom erudition. The transformation has beencompromised with a lot of optimism that advancement in classvaluation will make a positive improvement in education (Hannon, etal., 2013, pg. 579 ).

Applicationand Implementation under Consideration

Anationally accomplished and structured system of assessment gives acollective prerogative for all pupils. It also stimulates vibrantdomestic expectations based on learning. According to (Carter 2015,p.330), approaches to assessment minimize the workload andbureaucratic burdens of instructors. Therefore, they should beorganized in institutions. In so doing, students and their teacherscan emphasize on their core values (Alexander, 2014, pg. 373). It isworth noting that most primary schools in England, notably, CambridgePrimary School,employ the use of ICT to support assessment arrangements. Insofar,the Information Technology application has a clear role to play. Itenhances evaluation by ensuring that all test arrangement in schools,and local authorities, as well as data, is properly stored andmaintained (Hart et al, 2012, p.54).

Secondly,CambridgePrimary Schoolhas tried to avoid the reduction of the curriculum (Smithers, 2013,pg. 101). When this decrease is allowed, teaching to the assessmentcan provide unacceptable results of the high stake accountabilitymethod where national tests and evaluations are organized. Theemphasis on overall levels of attainment also fails to take intocomplete account the progress. In this case, Hannon et al (2013,p.703), provides a clear perspective that replacement of externallymarked exams with externally moderated instructors is severelymisguided. In this setting, tests can promote critical summativeassessment data on the pupils’ progress. In contrast, theapplication of criteria to regulate data for performance has indeedcompromised the potential value of these tests. Carter (2015, p.444),supports the piloting of the previous government that additional workshould be performed to assess the achievability of this technique ina national testing arrangement.

PersonalPractice and View

Manyactivities that take place in the classroom situation can bedescribed as assessment events (Hart, et al., n.d, pg. 51). From mypoint of view, one approach to evaluation in the classroom is whenteachers and learners cooperate during erudition. For instance, ateacher may pose a question to the students. In the same way, thestudent must attempt to respond to the similar question. Even so, theteacher makes the judgment regarding the students’ acquaintance,understanding, and abilities based on the learner’s response. Thesedecisions on the students’ abilities occur logically in learningprocess (Hannon et al. 2013, p.705). Besides, they require two-wayconversation, decision making, and effective communication in theform of meaningful feedback. Another method of assessment is throughthe provision of examination after at the end of each study course.This tactic is common in England primary education. The importanceof giving sitting examinations over class assessment is that sittingexams tend to rate the individual performance and understanding(Cable et al. 2010, p.230). It is because summative assessment isbased on a reflective portfolio and a written take-home examinationafter the module unlike in formative test where evaluation is done ina class forum.


Theaspect of evaluation helps in assigning pupils’ marks and points.This valuation is significant in education because it rates thelearners understanding and performance in knowledge-based activities.From the piece, it is evident that nearly all primary institutions inEngland apply valuation technique to pupils after every term.Therefore, both students and teachers need to take this processseriously in their daily performance.


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