FaSMEd: Improving Progress for Lower Achievers through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education


The project is focused on discovering how, working with partners and researchers across different countries, educational professionals can use technology in formative assessment to help raise student attainment levels. The ultimate goal is to help improve mathematics and science skills in Europe and South Africa.

In each country researchers will be working with a cluster of schools with a focus on the use of formative assessment and technology to improve interactions in the classroom and reduce the anxiety about performance which frequently limits learners’ development in these subjects.

The main objectives of this project are to:

  • Produce a toolkit for teachers to support their practice development.
  • Produce professional development resources that exemplify the uses of the toolkit.
  • Develop sustainable assessment and feedback practices that improve attainment in mathematics and science.
  • Challenge stereotyped attitudes and practices which raise anxiety in teachers and students.
  • Disseminate the outcomes of the project in the form of online resources, academic and professional publications, conference presentations, and policy briefs to government agencies at regional, national, European and international level.

Basic information

Country: France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom

Coordinator: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK – Coordinator www.ncl.ac.uk/cflat/projects/FASMED.htm

Programme: FP7

Project Acronym:

Target groups: primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, other

Topic: Maths, Other

Url: https://microsites.ncl.ac.uk/fasmedtoolkit/

Contact person: Fasmed fasmed (at) ncl.ac.uk

One of the first stages of the project focuses on establishing a baseline of data as a theoretical foundation on the approaches to low achievers in mathematics and science across the EU and South Africa.

The collection of data will comprise: collection of comparative data on the landscape for low achievers in mathematics and science in the partner countries; identification of “low achievers”; Identification of the typical trajectory and the typical outcomes (attainment, future path); review of EU-wide survey of systemic practices with respect to low achievers in mathematics and science and, finally, research on the use of tools and technology to support teaching and assessment.

In its further stages, the project includes a Work Package (WP5) on “Cross-comparison analysis of historical and intervention cases” where a common methodological approach will be proposed for the analysis of the theoretical and methodological foundations of the projects mentioned.

The project participants will comment on the adequacy of this cross-comparative methodology for their particular cases. Also, the methodology will be discussed with key members of the stakeholder groups to ensure a trans-disciplinary perspective in the analysis.

Country studies within their context will be conducted: In each country, the partners will produce an analysis framing the results from FaSMEd within the policy and practice of the country.

In the early stages of the project, a prototype toolkit for teachers to support their use of formative assessment in the classroom will be developed. It will include advice and support in using technology. The work to be done will be split into the areas of mathematics and science and four of the project partners will focus on its development.

This toolkit will be implemented by the project partners with teachers and students. All partners will have a cluster of about three schools to implement each of the approaches – depending on the focus of the partner and their chosen schools. The partners will also manage local cluster meetings (local groups of schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) to share practice and progress); Arrange classroom visits for HEI partners and evaluator(s) and develop case studies to feed into WP5 and feedback to WP3 about the impact of the toolkit.


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