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Teachers’ Standard 6: Make accurate and productive use of assessment in geography

The headings on this page are the statements in the Teachers’ Standards that all new teachers must meet. The series of questions for each statement are prompts for new geography teachers to think about. They should use these prompts to discuss their training with their geography mentor and evaluate their progress. These questions are not intended to be a further set of ‘standards’ to be met.


To make accurate and productive use of assessment in geography, you must do the following:


Know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements

  • Do I understand the expectations for students’ attainment in geography at 11, 14, 16 and 18?
  • Do I know ways in which progression in geography can be assessed?
  • Do I understand, and can use, the assessment criteria and marking schemes for GCSE and A level examinations?
  • When I compare my assessments with experienced geography teachers, are mine accurate?
  • Can I use day-to-day assessment in geography to make an ongoing assessment of students’ achievements?
  • Can I keep records in line with the practice followed in my department?


Make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress

  • Do I regularly use formative assessment to develop students’ geographical learning?
  • Do I think ahead about what would indicate understanding and plan formative assessments linked to learning objectives in my lessons?
  • Do I use a variety of formal and informal assessment methods?
  • Can I use of a range of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies?
  • Do I monitor students’ work in lessons and check for misunderstandings?
  • Do I understand the purpose of ‘hinge questions’ and regularly make use of them?
  • Can I adapt my teaching within lessons in light of assessments of students’ responses?
  • Do I provide opportunities for students to reflect on their work?
  • Do I use marking constructively to secure progress?
  • Can I judge from formative assessment where intervention is needed to impact on the quality of learning?


Use relevant data to monitor progress, set targets, and plan subsequent lessons

  • Do I see assessment as essential to provide information about students’ understanding and needs?
  • Can I set students appropriate geographical targets based on my assessments?
  • Do I always consider assessment when I plan?
  • Can I make effective use of assessment data to ensure that my teaching is both supportive and challenging?
  • Do I adapt lessons based on the assessments of learning I have made, as well as responding to the reaction, engagement and feedback of students?
  • Do I know different ways in which geography departments track students’ progress?
  • Am I aware of the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches?
  • Do I understand how school- and student-level summative data can used by geography departments to set targets to improve geography in a school?
  • Can I use assessment outcomes to evaluate the impact of my teaching on the progress of students?


Give students regular feedback, both orally and through accurate marking, and encourage pupils to respond to the feedback

  • Do I always strive to provide students with high quality feedback, both verbal and written?
  • Do I prompt students to elaborate when responding to oral questions to check their level of understanding?
  • Does my feedback focus on areas that students need to improve?
  • Do I give students time to respond to feedback?
  • Do I make sure that students know their strengths and ways to develop any weaker areas?
  • Do I discuss assessments with students so they know how well they have done and what they need to do to improve?
  • Do I use whole-class feedback when it is appropriate?
  • Can I give effective oral and written feedback to students and parents?
  • Do I involve students in assessment? Have I explored the use of peer- and self-assessment in my lessons, or involved students in setting success criteria for tasks in geography? Did I evaluate the outcomes?
  • Do I strive to make feedback and assessments manageable without compromising their effectiveness?


Where to find support?

For support in achieving this Standard, start with Assessment in geography.

Discuss assessment in geography with your geography mentor. Discuss your professional responsibilities with the person who leads ITE training in your school and a senior teacher with oversight of assessment and progress.

Teachers’ Standard 6: Make accurate and productive use of assessment in geography