SSAT’s Embedding Formative Assessment programme

What is the Embedding Formative Assessment (EFA) programme?

This programme will embed formative assessment in your classrooms and across your entire school by changing your teachers’ habits and behaviours.

Designed in collaboration with Professor Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy, this cost-effective, two-year programme – which is suitable for primary, secondary and special schools – will:

  • positively impact on learner outcomes, as evidenced by the EEF’s report (February 2019) which found that learners in EFA schools made the equivalent of two months’ additional progress in their Attainment 8 GCSE score
  • improve teaching and learning across your entire school by empowering your teachers to develop their practice through trialling and refining formative assessment strategies
  • increase engagement in your learners who will support each other and take responsibility for their own learning through peer and self-review techniques.

How does it work?

The programme builds on over 10 years of research by Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy who originally designed the Embedding Formative Assessment resource using evidence to show that formative assessment can improve students’ learning. We know that many schools already prioritise formative assessment, but realise that it can be challenging to implement and difficult to effect a long-term change in teacher behaviour.

Through monthly workshops, known as Teacher Learner Communities (TLC), groups of teachers focus on key formative assessment strategies and techniques that could be implemented in their classroom and feedback on the impact of techniques previously experimented with. Plus, in between the workshop sessions, teachers are encouraged to conduct peer lesson observations and provide feedback to each other regularly.

Over a sustained period, this leads to whole-school impact as the TLC model provides support and accountability, and the regularity of the meetings supports a change in classroom habits which permeates throughout the school with conversations in staff rooms, classroom drop-ins and regular peer observation and review.

SSAT Support

SSAT will support your teachers to implement the programme effectively and ensure your school strategically maximises its impact so it becomes a sustainable feature of your school. Our expertise will ensure that the programme is effective in improving student outcomes, fostering a positive change in school culture, teacher practice and student engagement and responsiveness. This support includes in-school visits, telephone calls, emails, and access to additional resources throughout the duration of the programme.

Why introduce the Embedding Formative Assessment programme in your school?

  • positively impact on learner outcomes, as evidenced by the EEF’s report (February 2019) which found that learners in EFA schools made the equivalent of two months’ additional progress in their Attainment 8 GCSE score
  • improve teaching and learning across your entire school by empowering your teachers to develop their practice through trialling and refining formative assessment strategies
  • increase engagement in your learners who will support each other and take responsibility for their own learning through peer and self-review techniques
  • support your teachers by giving them ownership over their learning and offering professional development and leadership opportunities
  • develop your teachers’ and learners’ feedback, metacognition and self-regulation skills
  • build a stronger sense of community in your school with teachers and learners collaborating and supporting each other with common goals.

Free download – Working collaboratively workshop

Download a sample of one of the Teacher Learner Community workshops

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) project

In 2015, the EEF funded SSAT to implement the Embedding Formative Assessment programme in 140 schools over a two-year period. Research findings showed that:

  • learners made the equivalent of two additional months’ progress in their Attainment 8 GCSE score
  • learners in the lowest third for prior attainment made more progress than their classmates in the top third
  • teachers were positive about the Teacher Learning Communities. They felt that these improved their practice by allowing valuable dialogue between teachers, and encouraged experimentation with formative assessment strategies.

See the impact of the programme

Read case studies from schools that have implemented the programme.

Ricards Lodge High School

Assistant head Annabel Taylor reports on one outcome of the EFA programme at Ricards Lodge High School: ten staff members aspiring to become leaders of learning.
Read now

Skipton Girls’ High School

Claire Black, Curriculum Leader, Biology with TLR3 for teaching and learning, Skipton Girls’ High School, shows how formative assessment can inspire staff and students alike.
Read now

Visit a school to see embedded formative assessment in action

Schools in the SSAT EFA Ambassador Network host regular open days where you can see the impact on the programme on the school, teachers and learners.

What do schools say about the programme?

Since launching the EFA project, there has been a far wider focus on what matters – what goes on in the classroom.
Adele Klitou, Vice Principal, Holy Family Catholic School

When we asked what the best thing about our school was, our students said, ‘I think our school is better this year’ and when we asked why; ‘The lessons seem better structured… they help us because they know what it is we’re doing and how to help us.
Angela Wallace, Assistant Vice Principal, Green Springs Academy

Without question, the greatest achievement has been the development of staff relationships and the willingness to discuss, critique, analyse and support colleagues in developing formative assessment approaches. The structure of the TLCs will remain far beyond this programme and have already been embedded as a feature of our growing teaching school alliance CPD programme.
Gareth Butcher, Assistant Head, Wilmington Grammar School for Girls

Cost

Costs depend on the type of consultancy and the level of support provided. To discuss costs for your school, academy or multi-academy trust, get in touch with our dedicated team.

The Embedding Formative Assessment resource

This pack contains all the materials you need to hold a professional development day in your school, plus a complete set of materials for running monthly follow-up workshops.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or need additional information on SSAT’s Embedding Formative Assessment programme, get in touch with our dedicated team or call 020 7802 0955.