Enhancing student voice through formative assessment practices

CPD Nr.: 
Developed by: 
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, (NCCA) Ireland

Assessment Reform Group (2002). https://www.aaia.org.uk/content/uploads/2010/06/Assessment-for-Learning-10-principles.pdf

NCCA, Focus on Learning Toolkit.


Wiliam, D., & Thompson, M. (2007). Integrating assessment with instruction: what will it take to make it work? In C. A. Dwyer (Ed.), The future of assessment: shaping teaching and learning (pp. 53-82). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Purpose of the material: 

To deepen teachers understanding of how embedding formative assessment in teaching and learning is a means of activating and developing student voice in the classroom


Overhead Projector, screen and speakers

Prompt slides, including video and audio stimulus (see attached)

Exemplar material (eee.curriculumonoine.ie)

NCCA Focus on Learning Toolkits (https://www.ncca.ie/en/junior-cycle/assessment-and-reporting/focus-on-learning)


Step 1: Activate prior understanding of formative assessment

Use a stimulus video and prompt questions for teachers to reflect on teaching and learning practices in the context of student voice and formative assessment.

Step 2: Deepen understanding of formative assessment

Use the definition from the Assessment Reform (2002) group to clarify understanding and Wiliams and Thompson (2007) 5 pillars of formative assessment to flesh out how formative assessment works in the classroom space, in the context of student voice.

Step 3: Provide assurance that formative assessment is a journey

Play an audio clip of teacher testimony sharing their journey of changing classroom practice

Step 4: Learning Activities

  • Use exemplar material to discuss where learning intentions and success criteria come from, how they might used and who they are for (www.curriculumonline.ie)
  • Analyse sample of student’s work with peer feedback comments attached as a prompt for discussing what makes feedback effective
  • Use the check-in reflection tools in the NCCA focus on learning toolkits to identify where individual teachers are in their current practice and set a target for them going forward

Step 5: Planning next steps

Teachers use the ‘Getting Started’ planning template to plan their next steps.

How you can use this material in your practice: 

Once teachers have had an opportunity to to consider the rational for student voice and the different ways that students can have their voices heard in the classroom and in the school, this workshop provides an opportunity for consider how formative assessment pracitcies can support greater student voice in the classroom for every student.


This material reflects only the author’s view; the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.