Shirley Clarke’s latest book, following her hugely popular Formative Assessment in Action, puts formative assessment within the context of active learning-pupil engagement, effective dialogue and reflective thinking – and is packed with practical advice and examples from early years to secondary.

Central to the whole process of using assessment for (and as) learning is the way in which pupils become involved in all learning and assessment processes: the expectations and classroom examples in this book demonstrate why and how to do it. Drawn from across the age range, and all subjects, they exemplify effective learning objectives, clear success criteria, talk partner techniques, effective questioning, quality discussion with pupils, and self- and peer evaluation of work.

New themes include how to develop a ‘growth mindset’, so that pupils enjoy challenge rather than avoid it for fear of failure; how popular strategies such as ‘thinking skills’ and ‘building learning power’ complement formative assessment; advice on current national expectations for summative assessment; and planning with ‘key skills’. Shirley also explains how to set up your own action research ‘learning team’ – in an individual school, a cluster of schools or any other educational setting – and how best to support classroom teachers in their journey through the culture and practice of formative assessment.

Down to earth, practical and direct, this book gives busy teachers the essential ‘how to’ information they need, with clear principles and theory to underpin the wealth of practical advice and examples.