APP in history: where are we now? Some key questions answered

Q1. What is APP? An old idea with a new name?

A1. At present, 2014, the plans to roll out APP across subjects have been stalled, even at KS3 let alone KS4 but it is still worth considering its intentions, which I think were sound.It was badged as the new national approach to assessment that equips teachers to:

• make periodic judgements on pupils’ progress,
• fine tune their understanding of learners’ needs, and
• tailor their planning and teaching accordingly

Comment: I would not call that ‘new’, would you? Aren’t we doing this already when we assess formatively and summatively? If not, what has all the millions spent on AfL been for? I see the whole APP as an attempt to rationalise what is already there and to bring consistency across subjects.

Q 2. What will APP history materials consist of?

A2. There will be:

• guidelines for assessing pupils’ work related to national curriculum levels
• standards files that offer annotated collections of pupils’ day-to-day work that exemplify national standards • a handbook to help teachers use the materials and implement the approach.

Comment: Your initial reaction is probably ‘Not more guidelines!’. We have been assessing pupils’

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