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‘Assessing Pupil Progress': transforming teacher assessment in Key Stage 3 history
England's Qualification and Curriculum Development Authority (QCDA) has been working on a new way of trying to support teachers in handling interim assessment during Key Stage 3. It is called Assessing Pupil Progress (APP).
Jerome Freeman of QCDA and Joanne Philpott, an Advanced Skills Teacher and teacher member of QCDA's Exemplification of Standards project, explain how APP is designed to address the much reported problems surrounding misuse of National Curriculum ‘Level Descriptions' (see, for example, those discussed by history teachers in Teaching History, 115, Assessment Without Levels Edition). APP, by contrast, will foster holistic assessment, fully integrated into normal, everyday teaching, learning and assessment. In this two-part article, the two authors challenge the now widespread practice of ‘levelling' individual pieces of work.
They each share insights, gained from their respective institutional positions and experience, into ways of building a more rigorous, integrated approach. Freeman explains the rationale behind the development of APP and how its principles could be applied to teacher assessment in history.
Philpott argues that the experience of piloting assessment using the APP criteria has wrought fundamental changes in her department's thinking, culture and practice - changes which have arisen from an increasingly collaborative and in-depth reflection on history's concepts and processes.