Assessment is For Learning – secondary style

I had a very interesting and rewarding day yesterday visiting Dunbar Grammar School and Musselburgh Grammar School, concluding with a visit to Ross High School to meet a group of teachers from the cluster.

I know the common perception is that secondary schools are significantly behind primaries in the implementaton of formative assessment but I saw enough today to suggest that the gap is closing – and closing quickly. The Learning Team approach is bearing great rewards at DGS where a group led byLiz Layhe, a Chartered Teacher, who is having a remarkable impact on the quality of learning and teaching in the school.  What I found particularly interesting was the role of Gavin Clark, the Depute Head, who acts a a faciltator to the group as opposed to being its leader -if  there was any strategy I would recommend to schools in this area – it’s that such group is led by a teacher.

At Musselburgh I saw some very innovative practice and a real desire to actively engage children in their learning. I’m convinced that one of the ways in which we can consolidate good practice in our secondary schools is to pick up on the Learning Team approach.

Onto Ross High School where we had a wide ranging discussion. One of the points we focused on was the need to improve the links between primary and secondary staff with a focus on learning from each other.