Teacher Standards

Prior learning assessment TS2b TS6c

TS2b: be aware of pupils’ capabilities and their prior knowledge, and plan teaching to build on these

TS6c: use relevant data to monitor progress, set targets, and plan subsequent lessons 


My professional practice 1b setting had a policy of providing “differentiated input” for Maths, informed by a prior learning assessment at the start of the week. To begin a new topic, the children would complete a short  independent assessment without any input or guidance from which they would be grouped (not fixed groups) by their understanding and needs for the week’s teachings.

The data I recorded from a prior learning assessment on coordinates.


My reflections:

I have found this system of prior learning assessments to be highly effective in providing a basis for lesson planning and ensuring that all children receive teaching that is targeted at their personal needs.Whilst it occupies one session of the week’s allocated maths teaching time, it does ensure that children begin learning at an appropriate level and eliminates the potential for some children to be repeating work they are already secure in. I divided the aspects of the prior learning into 4 key skills and was able to quickly assess whether children were insecure, secure or showed some understanding of each. Subsequent lessons could then be planned effectively with the aim of every child progressing through each of the skills.


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