The CRAFT of assessment
The new 9-1 GCSEs have created a challenge for teachers to develop students’ ability to think deeper and recall a wide range of concepts and processes at the end of their two- or three-year course. Regardless of their starting point, the ability for all students to retain and recall knowledge effectively across their GCSE consistently is something that we as a department have developed.
This has led to the evolving of an approach called the CRAFT of assessment, which involves teachers creating learning opportunities for students to do the following:
C – Condense
R – Review
A – Assess
F – Feed-forward
T – Target-driven improvement
The CR – Condense and Review
Condensing is all about the students taking ownership for their classroom notes, using their own preferred method of breaking down the concepts and processes into smaller chunks for revising. For example, in our department over the last few months, students have been creating revision clocks, flash cards and mind maps. The emphasis is on the student doing the condensing as homework and the teacher checking for completion and factual accuracy.
The role of teachers has been to introduce a 5-question knowledge quiz at the start of every lesson to continually check retention of knowledge across different topics.
The A – Assess
Our new IFA (Interim Formative Assessments) have been written to test students’ ability to apply their understanding of the content every 2/3 weeks as demonstrated by the SOW planning schedule below. The new IFAs mirror the type of questions that students would expect to receive in their GCSE examination and typically last 20 minutes. These diagnostic tests allow teachers to use assessment for learning to provide students with feedback on their progress without the use of grades, percentages or total marks. This cycle of IFAs repeats every 2/3 weeks, with each one testing across the topics taught to date.
At the end of the 8/10 weeks, students then sit a summative assessment based on all learning from the previous weeks, allowing teachers to provide students with detailed feedback on their progress, along with a grade.
The FT – Feed-forward and target-driven improvement
Once students have completed their IFAs and received feedback from their teacher, there is specific learning time set aside for feed-forward tasks. These tasks are specific to an aspect of the topic students may have struggled with, enabling target-driven improvement.