1.2 Summarise the Difference Between Formative and Summative Assessment

1.2 Summarise the difference between formative and summative assessment

Assessments within a school is the process of gathering data/evidence on a student’s learning. This can be in the form of observations, tests and exams. The two most common types of assessments used within a school are formative and summative. Both of these assessments measure a student’s learning but in different ways.
Formative Assessment – Supporting learning
The purpose of a formative assessment is to identify where the students are currently at with their learning. By using formative assessment a teacher can see if the students have a knowledge and understanding of what is being taught. The figure below shows the framework for looking at the role of formative assessment.

To ascertain what understanding a student has a teacher can simply ask a series of questions or prompts to gather data for these assessments. A teacher can then review the evidence, see where the students learning is going and what progressive steps are needed to get them there. This gives the teacher the opportunity to be able to reflect on lessons and maybe adapt future lessons to meet the needs of students. This could mean a teacher might need to provide addition resources or going over information for students progression to be made.
A teacher being able to provide good quality feedback and support to students about their learning is essential in ensuring progression.
'Meaningful and appropriate guidance and extension to the cognitive structuring and skill development arising from the child's initial experiences. This supports the child's attempts to "make sense" and enables them to cross the zone of proximal development.’
(Pollard, 1990)
It’s important a teacher’s feedback is as accurate as possible for a student to be able to gain confidence and the ability to self-assess themselves. Students tend to improve with their learning when they have the knowledge, understanding and what the aim of their...