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On-going assessment of learning in inclusive settings - Finland

The Tasks and Principles of Pupil Assessment

The tasks of the assessment of studies are to guide and encourage studying and provide information on how well the pupil has met the objectives established for growth and learning. Assessment is to help the pupil to form a realistic image of her/his learning and development and to support the pupil’s personal growth. Therefore self-assessment by the pupil is very important. With the development of self-assessment skills the pupils learn to be aware of their own progress and learning objectives, establish objectives for their studies themselves, and regulate their learning process.  This process will reinforce the pupils’ self-esteem, their self-image as a learner, and sense of involvement.

Pupil assessment during the first seven years in basic education is very important. It is called “assessment during the course of studies”. During the last two years at comprehensive school, years 8 and 9, the assessment is called “final assessment”. At this point in basic education it is important that the assessment is nationally comparable and treats pupils equally. The criteria for final assessment in basic education are prepared for all core subjects. During the final phase of basic education the performance of the pupil is the main area to be assessed instead of the pupil’s progress.

The subjects, subject groups and behaviour are evaluated numerically or by verbal summaries, or by a combination of the two. The pupil and her/his parents or other guardians are to be informed in advance of the grounds for assessment.

The learning difficulties of a pupil are always to be taken into consideration in the pupil’s assessment. The assessment is seen as a process which begins with formative assessment and goal setting, continues during the learning process and ends with summative assessment. When there is a pupil with SEN the assessment process requires on-going assessment of the pupil’s learning difficulties and learning potential as well as assessment of the pupil’s progress, work skills and behaviour in relation to the curriculum’s objectives and descriptions of good performance. In making this assessment, methods are to be used by which the pupil is capable of demonstrating her/his performance as well as possible. Early recognition of learning difficulties and early commencement of support are crucial.

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