S.A.L.F : Self Assessment Folders For Learning
Self Assessment and Learning Folders, SALF was produced in Ireland to provide teachers with a structured framework that bridges teacher-led learning and assessment with child-led learning and assessment.
SALF is based on socio-constructionist principles of learning and provides a framework for teachers that enable children to become more active in their own learning and in the assessment of that learning. SALF outlines classroom practices that support and enhance children’s assessment and learning using methodologies that best develop children’s competencies for peer and self-assessment.
Researched and piloted in Irish schools, SALF has been designed for Irish school children and their teachers, parents, guardians or carers. It clearly outlines the steps involved in creating, compiling and completing Self Assessment and Learning Folders with Junior, Middle and Senior Classes in the Primary school. It includes strategies for supporting the involvement of parents/guardians/carers and others in the process. SALF provides a framework for children to present evidence of their work and their assessment of that work across all curricular areas and beyond.
Over the course of the year the folder provides evidence of children’s achievements
in all curricular areas and importantly, confirmation of the decisions they have made
to identify this work as an achievement. In that sense the SALF folders are evidence
of children’s learning as well as providing a source of information that can be used by
them to make assessment decisions about that learning.
By engaging in the self assessment practices that are supported by the SALF process, it is possible for all staff to have both the language to discuss assessment together with the practical skills to ensure that children become fully engaged participants in their own learning.SALF provides concrete evidence of individual and class achievements. It is invaluable in ensuring that School Self Evaluation targets are underpinned by the reality of attainments of pupils and the challenges that they experience.The embedding of the reflective skills encouraged by SALF definitely raises a child’s ability to engage actively in their own learning and empowers teachers to tailor their teaching more effectively to best support the reality of the child’s experience.
Primary School Principal
In secondary school students have a self assessment piece that they fill in each week in their journals. Children who have experience with the language of self assessment find it easier.A large number of secondary school projects include this reflection piece. In fact the new Junior Cert English last year required the students to reflect on and compare two pieces of their work during the year. This type of questioning is very much in line with the questions we use with SALF. Secondary schools are embracing Assessment For Learning more and more although the points race is still very much part of the course. The thinking involved in assembling SALF folders is very much the thinking that students need in their reflective pieces in the new Junior Cert.
Secondary School Principal