Standards-based Assessment for Mastery Learning in Physical Education course

This standards-based assessment course in Physical Education is being run on:

Friday 12th May 2017 – Droylsden, Manchester

Friday 19th May 2017 – Garston, Liverpool

Wednesday 28th June 2017 – Wychbold, Worcestershire

Friday 30th June 2017 – Epsom, London


The cost is only £190+vat and you will also receive 50% off afPE assessment book available to purchase for £12.50 or £12.50 course fee reduction if you already have the book

Also included is a colour bound booklet with a 2GB USB (containing 70+ files), lunch and refreshments.


This course will answer the following questions:

  • Why were levels removed?
  • Why shouldn’t we reinvent our own levels?
  • What are the different functions of and theory behind system measures, summative assessment and formative assessment?
  • What is the difference between ‘judging’ activities and ‘judging’ learning, progress and standards in Physical Education?
  • Why are ‘I can’ statements and use of 9-1 grading systems to assess and track pupils’ progress in core PE a waste of our precious time?
  • How do we achieve more progress, higher standards and more inclusive practice in PE?
  • How do we evidence progress in Physical Education?
  • How do we reduce the administrative burden of assessment in PE?
  • What is mastery curriculum, mastery teaching and learning and mastery assessment in a Physical Education context?
  • What assessment practice does Ofsted look for?

Standards-based education

In education, the term standards-based refers to systems of planning, teaching, assessment and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating understanding or mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. In a school that uses standards-based approaches to educating students, learning standards—i.e., what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education—determine the objectives and outcomes of a lesson or unit, and teachers then determine how and what to teach students so they achieve the learning expectations described in the standards.

In English state schools, a standards-based national curriculum was introduced on the 1st September 2014.  Deep learning or ‘mastery’ is something that is expected for all learners, and to achieve this we must first design and plan a curriculum that allows for mastery, before we can teach for mastery and before we then develop an assessment system that is fit for an inclusive mastery purpose. The Programmes of Study for all subjects have been slimmed down to promote less content in greater depth and a focus on key skills, essential knowledge and concepts and vital behaviours that we can expect all learners to master by the end of the various key stages.  The removal of levels from the system was intended to ensure a child-centred standards-based improving approach that drives transformational change.


In most cases, ‘standards-based learning’, ‘standards-based instruction’ (teaching), or ‘standards-based education’ (and other similar terms), are synonyms for ‘proficiency-based learning’ or ‘competency-based learning’ (two terms that are themselves synonymous). Defining standards-based learning is further complicated by the fact that educators not only use a wide variety of terms for the general approach, but the terms may or may not be used synonymously from place to place. A few of the other common synonyms include mastery-based, outcome-based, and performance-based education, instruction, or learning, among others.

Standards referenced or standards based.

One of the things we will need to be clear about is whether we are moving to a ‘standards referenced’ or ‘standards based’ approach.  What is the difference?

In a standards-referenced approach we plan and teach a standards-referenced curriculum and may administer an assessment in the form of a written test.  A student may score 75% on the test and similar marks on future tests. This can be averaged out and at the end of a year for any given group, there could be a range of individual percentages from 45% to 85% which might be grade banded.  An issue with this approach is that a student with an average score of 75% has not mastered 25% of the standard and because of the average it is unclear as to what they should be targeting.

In a standards-based approach mastery is expected and students do not move on until they can demonstrate the full standard.  In a test this would mean attaining 100%.  In a physical education setting, this would mean demonstrating the application of a skill, a concept or a behaviour in a number of different activities a majority of the time (in a competitive games situation for example students are unlikely to attain perfection).