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Fais Review

FAIS Review

"Formative assessment is at the forefront of many initiatives and strategies in science education these days; so I was excited to get this resource for review (particularly as I was covering this with my PGCE trainees over the next few weeks).

This is a CD-ROM providing resources for staff development in formative assessment. It contains a series of videos, which give an introduction to formative assessment. There are guidelines on the use of best practice and many video clips showing how it can be put to use in the classroom. Some of the worksheets that are used in the video clips can be found in the resources section of the CD-ROM.

The resources section contains material linked to the Scottish science curriculum. The resources, however, contain familiar material for all curricula. There are topic plans, useful lesson plans and other materials such as concept cards.

There is a facility to evaluate classroom practice, which could be a useful focus for developing teachers’ practice and schemes of work. This evaluates how you are using formative assessment in practice. There is also access to web based materials.

The videos are some of the most useful materials in the package and can be used to introduce formative assessment ideas as sections within department training. There is over 30 minutes worth of material broken up into sections which could be focused on individually. They could also be used for trainee teachers, NQTs and teachers who need to be introduced to the ideas of formative assessment.

There is use of some terminology (learning intentions, instead of learning objectives) that could be confusing to some teachers and much of the video material focuses on work in primary schools.

However, for anyone involved in delivering the ideas behind formative assessment, it is a very useful resource. If you have many teachers who could benefit from an overview of formative assessment then it would definitely be worth buying."

Andrea Pearce - School Science Review (June 2005)