Focus on Learning

Supporting a whole-school approach to professional development and capacity building in developing effective, ongoing assessment practice which supports students' learning.

The workshops are designed to be used in a flexible manner around five topics:

  • Learning intentions and success criteria
  • Effective questioning
  • Formative feedback
  • Students reflecting on their learning
  • Learning outcomes

You will find the Facilitator’s Guide a useful starting point. We value your feedback/views on how you use these materials. Please take the time to complete this short evaluation form and return it to the NCCA.

The material is intended to be used with a whole staff and aims to encourage reflection and discussion about how teachers can improve their practice in assessment. The workshops give teachers an opportunity to engage in their own learning. This approach is supported by research that teachers are much more likely to change their practice if they have genuine engagement with the process.

There is successful practice in schools already, with teachers using a range of approaches to facilitate ongoing assessment in their classrooms. We hope these materials will help support continued assessment practices that support student learning.


Embedded Formative Assessment

In this short video Dylan Wiliam explains 5 things teachers can do to improve student learning.

(6 mins 20)

This unit focuses on helping students take more responsibility for their learning. To do this, students need to know

  • what they are going to learn
  • how they will recognise when they have succeeded
  • why they should learn it in the first place


This is why learning intentions and success criteria are important.

This unit looks at how to establish a classroom culture that promotes effective questioning and examines the purpose of and strategies for effective classroom questioning.

Research shows that feedback is one of the most powerful ways to help students improve learning. This unit looks at how to provide students with meaningful and effective feedback that can help them take the next steps in their learning.


Introductory videos



This unit explores how developing student reflection can allow students to take more responsibility for their own learning and progress. It presents lots of strategies that you can use or adapt when helping students to reflect on their learning.


Introductory Video

This booklet examines the following questions:

  • What are learning outcomes?
  • Why use learning outcomes?
  • How learning outcomes link to learning intentions and success criteria?
  • How to plan using learning outcomes?


Workshop 05: Learning Outcomes Booklet