Effective assessment in foundation subjects

How well are children learning the curriculum in our school?

Assessment is a vital tool in ensuring that your curriculum is working well for your pupils. The next steps are to ensure that assessment practices are as strong in the foundation subjects as they are in core subjects. Jonathan Lear, author of the Monkey Proof Box and Guerrilla Teaching will work through a simple model for assessment that enables teachers to make effective judgements about how well the children are learning across the whole curriculum.


KS1 and KS2 teachers, Assessment leads, SLT, Headteachers.

Project Objectives

  • To share a practical model based on source analysis in order to create summative assessments in foundation/non-core subjects
  • To focus on securing a consistent approach to assessment in foundation/non-core subjects
  • To address the key questions relating to assessment design raised by this model
  • To develop practical strategies to embed a summative assessment model and support learning in foundation/non-core subjects
  • How to structure whole school moderation for foundation/non-core subjects.

Project Outcomes

  • Describe how the curriculum is structured as a progression model and how this links to assessment in foundation/non-core subjects
  • Describe how assessment aligns with important outcomes in the context of the subject areas taught
  • Apply the principles and practices of assessment to subjects across the curriculum.

Session 1

The nuts and bolts of curriculum design

In this session, Jonathan will explore curriculum planning and the implications for assessment. By identifying strands of procedural, disciplinary and substantive knowledge within non-core subjects such as history, geography and art and design, Jonathan will share how an effective curriculum is structured – from the development of schemes of work, to implementation in the classroom.

Session 2

Getting off the fence – the essentials of assessment design

In this session, Jonathan will build on the idea of a carefully crafted curriculum by exploring the challenges that assessment presents in non-core subjects. By identifying the key elements of assessment design, Jonathan will share an innovative and highly effective model that uses source analysis activities in order to make summative judgements about how well the children are learning the curriculum. With practical examples from subjects including history, geography and art and design, this session will give delegates a simple model to implement in their own schools.

Session 3

Assessment on the ground

In this final session, Jonathan will share his tips on embedding a source analysis assessment model across school. Based on the work he has done in his own primary school, Jonathan will explore how teachers can plan and deliver assessment tasks so that children have the very best opportunity to demonstrate what they know. From practical advice on how to structure assessment tasks, to moderation and tracking – the session will leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting assessment right.

Effective Assessment in Foundation Subjects Project


Jonathan Lear

Author of the Monkey Proof Box and Guerrilla Teaching

Apart from being a first-rate educator and leader, Jonathan is also making a name for himself as an entertaining and challenging speaker who never fails to entertain and enthral an audience. Drawing on his experience both in the classroom and as a deputy head, he is not only able to share with his audiences many practical ideas to improve the quality and nature of teaching and learning in the classroom, but also an understanding from a leadership position of how to make change happen – and what might get in the way.

From the application of Robert A. Bjork’s concept of ‘desirable difficulty’ and the teaching of self-regulated learning to getting lesson planning down to a fine art and proving how effective concept-based learning can be even in the most challenging inner-city environment, Jonathan’s work shows what can be done.

It’s a radical and inspiring approach to the primary curriculum that combines academic rigour and research, creativity, the bravery to trial new approaches and the confidence at leadership level to get rid of the things schools think they have to do to focus on embedding the stuff that really matters.

On top of that, Jonathan has also introduced the idea of Guerrilla Teaching to the world through his first book of the same name, encouraging teachers everywhere to take the fight for a decent curriculum to the hills, regardless of what the latest government edict is. He has followed this up with a brand-new book cunningly entitled The Monkey-Proof Box, detailing the whole-school curriculum development work that schools can employ in order to bring teaching and learning to life in their own classrooms.

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