The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Competency-based Assessment: Let’s Take It Outside!

Sara Ratner, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)


Broadway Academy is a co-educational, non-selective school located in Birmingham, England. The school caters for approximately 1300 students and as at July 2022, 43.2% of the students were eligible for free school meals (Department for Education, 2022). The teachers, under the leadership of the Head Teacher, work tirelessly to engage and motivate their students and have achieved excellent GSCE results that demonstrate their effectiveness. Eager to ensure they were doing the best possible job of preparing their students to flourish in their future, Broadway felt it was important to ensure that beyond being able to successfully pass exams the students needed to be able to apply that knowledge in the real world. To this end, the school have embarked upon a new project to embrace competency-based assessment through the establishment of a working farm. By taking the classroom outside and on to the farm, teachers and students alike are grappling with situating learning and assessment in the real world. As we ‘take it outside’, this presentation shares the logistics, research and results arising from this ambitious project. Drawing on student interviews, focus groups and surveys alongside competency-based assessment tasks such as the OECD PISA-based Test for Schools, this paper demonstrates the importance of preparing students for their future by ensuring they are capable of applying the knowledge they have acquired in classrooms to novel, real-world situations as needed.


competency, assessment, outdoor education, interdisciplinary  


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