What is the MARRA Cycle?

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The MARRA cycle is a management cycle that allows practitioners to track the progress of their students. It is based mainly on assessment although it comprises of various elements; these are namely – monitoring, assessment, recording, reporting and accountability. Assessment serves two fundamental functions: it can be used to improve teaching and learning (classroom assessment) and to fulfil official requirements such as those set out in the Education Act 1998.
The MARRA cycle was developed from the initial version of the National Standards DfEE 1998. The purpose of the MARRA cycle is to ‘enable learning, teaching and accountability through the effective use of assessment’. Headington (2003, p.2).
For this reason, assessment is a core element of the cycle; all aspects relate back to this element. Nonetheless, each area of the cycle has its own significance in maintaining the National Standards. The first area of the cycle is monitoring. Monitoring is a continuous process not a one-off operation. ‘Monitoring allows the practitioner to look for patterns and changes in patterns of attainment, approach or attitude’. Headington (2003, p.9). This is vital for the teacher as it allows them to not only understand the needs of the children but also how they might better their teaching or planning in order for the children to benefit. For example changing the learning style or using a range of learning styles if children do not comprehend the learning by using simply one learning
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