Compare and contrast the roles of the teacher and the learning support practitioner in assessment of learners achievements.
Effective assessment plays a vital role in demonstrating how a teacher teaches and how pupils learn; it also allows a teacher to reflect on the quality of their own schooling as well as meeting with other teachers to share examples of pupil’s progress and discussing why they think that child is working at that particular level. One of the main responsibilities of the class teacher is to monitor and assess pupil achievement in order to observe how all children in the class are progressing, assessing a pupil will also enable a child to recognise their own achievements in order to make progress in their own learning and allow teachers to shape and adapt their teaching to a child’s individual needs.
The teacher is responsible for following the curriculum, planning lessons and providing the necessary resources for the children, she will also develop and adapt learning activities to suit the requirements of individual groups of children who will need them that sets out a clear learning objective so that learner progress can be measured and to make the children aware of their learning intentions, this will decide whether that particular child requires more or less responsibilities in their learning and targets will then be set for the child, if pupils have not made any advancement towards their learning objective, either the learning objective needs to be modified or adapted or the teaching tactics improved. A teacher’s responsibilities towards the children in their care also involve;
• Deliver an on going record of each child’s progress in class.
• Inform children about their individual performances and achievement’s.
• Update parents to identify their child’s strengths and areas for development.
• Identify individual educational needs of all the children in their class.
A teaching assistant’s role can also play a vital part when it comes to assessing a child’s progress in class, not only do we supervise children in outside areas and support children in groups but are also involved in assessing a child’s literacy and numeracy performance as well as other subjects in the school curriculum. Teaching assistants provide help and support to both teachers and pupils, as well as supporting children within the classroom in a variety of different areas within subjects, on entering a class that morning teachers should discuss with the teaching assistant about what daily activities will be taking place that day in order for the TA not only to prepare and organise resources but also to have a clear understanding of the learning objective for each activity and to know what they should be doing in order to help the child achieve this. TA’s responsibilities within the classroom also involve helping with teaching provisions, maintain records and liaise with parents.
One of the main roles of a teaching assistant’s job is to relay, explain and support the children in how to do the work correctly and if we find that they are struggling then we must help them to find an easier technique in order for them to reach their targets.
As part of my job role I am part of a ‘Five minute box’ intervention strategy that is made up of a group of teaching assistants who work with a particular child who requires extra assistance in phonic or numeracy work, the child is supported in whichever area that is needed in order to enhance their education and their developments written on a progress sheet each lesson as feedback to the teacher.
1.2 Summarise the difference between formative and summative assessment.
Formative assessment is a variety of informal and formal assessment measures that are used by teachers during the learning process in order to adapt teaching and learning activities to improve a child’s attainment in school, it is designed to give pupils feedback in order to improve in their learning and help a pupil understand what is expected of them in relation to their educational success and give ideas as to how to develop their work.
In order for formative assessment to be effective, there must be a whole school approach which includes teachers in each year group assessing with subject leaders to ensure consistency within year groups in order to maintain high individual pupil progress.
Informal/Formative teacher assessments are carried out by teachers throughout the course of their teaching by using assessment opportunities such as;
• Small group discussions in the situation of a practical task.
• Specific projects that are aimed at individual children.
• Observations of children separately and in groups.
• Holding discussions in which are encouraged to judge their own work.
• Entire class question and answer sessions.
A formal/Summative teacher assessment is the formal testing of what has been learned in order to create results which may be used for reports of various categories and are carried out as part of a termly programme of individual student assessments in the core and foundation subjects and all students in year 1 and 2 are evaluated yearly in core and foundation subjects. All assessments are marked, explained and placed in an individual assessment folder.
I am aware that a record of the stage of spoken English language for every child who is bilingual in my school is maintained and kept by the teacher who has responsibility for that child who uses English as an additional language.
1.3 Explain the characteristics of assessment for learning.
Assessment for learning focuses on the learning process and how to improve a child’s academic progression, finding out where pupils are within a learning range, where they need to go and how best to get there. A variety of assessment for learning strategies can be used to aide children in their learning and these can be adopted by teachers to gain an understanding of what has been achieved and what next steps will be required to take a child’s learning forward.
Typical characteristics of assessment for learning are;
• Enable teachers to plan the next stages in a child’s learning to ensure individual progress.
• Provide a consistent whole school approach that encourages teaching and learning.
• To make sure that pupils are actively involved in lessons from the very start.
• Helping pupils understand and know the standard of work that they are aiming for in class by asking questions of themselves i.e. “what have I learnt?” ~ “what could I have done to improve on that piece of work?”
• Providing constructive feedback that will help pupils identify improvement and by also educating pupils in self assessment methods in order to ascertain areas for development.
• In order for teachers and pupils to play an important role in facilitating learning experiences then there must be an element of active listening from both child and teacher.
• Have faith that every child can progress in contrast to earlier achievements they had made.
• By recognising that enthusiasm and self esteem which is vital for effective learning and progress will be increased by using effective assessment methods.
• In order for pupils to understand where they are in their learning they should be encouraged to think, ask question and work together in groups as this will allow them to evaluate their own understanding.
• Pupils should be encouraged to connect their learning to other lessons, topics or life outside of school.
1.4 Explain the importance and benefits of assessment for learning.
Assessment for learning is an essential part of education as it defines whether or not the objectives of teaching are being met, assessments affects decisions about grades, educational needs of children and in some cases funding.
Assessment for learning is a significant way to raise a pupil’s academic achievement and is centred on the belief that in order for children to progress in school then they must understand the purpose of their learning, where they are in relation to this purpose and how they can achieve their goals. Assessments will help a pupil reflect on their own development which in turn will help them recognize and appreciate their own strengths as well as developing an insight into themselves as students. If a pupil is given the opportunity to discuss their learning either with a teacher or one of their peers then they will develop a deeper understanding of their learning which can build confidence and motivate them as students.
Effective assessment will identify individual educational needs of all children as well as informing them about their specific performances and achievements, this will then allow teachers to utilise approaches that are personalised to the needs of a child. Assessment can be used not only to measure learning but also to promote learning by teaching pupils how to ask questions as well as answering them, by emphasising to a child that it is acceptable to ‘have a go’ and that by giving the wrong answer is still an opportunity to learn.
1.5 Explain how assessment for learning can contribute to planning for future learning carried out by;
a) The teacher
b) The learners
c) The learning support practitioner
Day to day assessment is a crucial phase of effective teaching, it comprises of teacher and the teaching assistant in the class focusing on how learning is progressing in that particular lesson, defining where improvements can be made and recognizing the next step for the child, as a TA you should be working in partnership alongside the teacher who will help, support and work collaboratively with you as this will result in a valuable exchange of ideas and joint problem solving to enhance the learning of the children we work with. Assessment is a fundamental factor in contributing to future planning for children, as well as a teacher being able to assess their own personal skills it can also be used to determine what is successful, what approaches to take, what may work and what does not work when planning learning activities for children; this can be done by adapting work to suit the needs of individual children and modifying tasks to match a child’s identified abilities. These are decided once the teacher has measured what the children can do and what they know, she will then decide what the child will require next in order to allow growth and the development of their skills.
During learning activities tables are categorised into different capabilities and needs, one table will be proficient enough to work independently and another table will be supported by a teaching assistant who will be able to support the children and help clarify the learning objectives for the lesson by asking questions such as;
“What are we learning about today?” ~ “I will write out the learning objective for but I want you to highlight the words you think are really important” ~ “Tell me why you think we are learning about this today?” Towards the end of the lesson a pupil can be asked about what they have learned, this will help them to identify the progress they have made throughout that lesson By repeating them the questions that you asked them at the start of the lesson and reminding them of what they said they were going to do and whether they think this has been accomplished. Through asking and reminding children of the learning objectives of the lesson we have then assisted not only ourselves in future planning but also the children as they should ideally ask themselves these questions in every lesson. In some subjects the children are encouraged to work in pairs or small groups as this will allow them to reflect on their work and share learning objectives, this will ultimately help children to take responsibility for their own learning. Younger children can contribute to their own learning by thinking about how to improve on their own work such as using finger spaces after each word, using word boards and sounding out words. With older children they can be reminded about capital letters at the beginning of sentences and not forgetting to use full stops.
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