Getting to grips with assessment: primary

A series of leaflets for teachers and others interested in assessment

Many people assume that ‘assessment’ means taking a test, but assessment is broader than that. There are two main types: summative and formative (also referred to as assessment for learning). It is likely that both happen at some level in most classrooms. The key to good assessment practice is for teachers to understand what each method contributes and to build their practice to maximise the effectiveness of each. Good assessment practice allows teachers and schools to use assessment data to best effect, to move teaching and learning forward, and to maximise student achievement.

These leaflets provide information about this high-profile area of teaching and learning, and give advice from practitioners. Among other things, they address formative and summative assessment methods, how to handle performance data and teacher assessment of performance, and how to make best use of test and other data. Wider issues such as how to put together and implement an assessment policy for a school and how to communicate assessment information are also covered.

These leaflets were last updated in May 2012.

The Getting to Grips leaflets

Starting out in assessment
Assessment as part of the learning journey


Policy into practice
How to reflect what is going on in your school and in education more widely


Assessment for learning
Developing assessment for learning in your school


Self and peer assessment
Important aspects of assessment for learning practice


Interpreting information from different sources
Guidance on how to interpret differences in a meaningful way


Moderation of assessment judgements
Moderation can be described as a dialogue


Making the most of assessment data
Data can be easy to collect but hard to interpret


Assessment information and different audiences 
Sharing policy and results with parents, governors and other stakeholders


Understanding assessment information
A leaflet for parents


Understanding tests
Using tests wisely and interpreting their results


Glossary of key assessment terms


Resources and useful weblinks


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NFER Reception Baseline Assessment | NFER Tests | Assessment at NFER