Main Article Content
Poor performance of learners in public primary schools in South Africa in the national, regional and international benchmarking assessments is a matter of concern for the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Literature suggests that inadequate and limited pedagogical knowledge of teachers to cope with the implementation of curriculum reforms and the interpretation of assessments contributes to this poor learner performance. The DBE has introduced four curriculum reviews in the basic education system of South Africa between 1997 and 2012. Subsequently, the Annual National Assessment was introduced and implemented in 2011 until 2014. Both these reforms prompted a need for strengthening the use of assessment feedback to support primary school teachers to improve the process of teaching and learning. This paper discusses the use of assessment feedback to improve teaching and learning in public primary schools in a South African school district. A qualitative approach, located in an interpretative paradigm, was adopted for this study while the requisite data was gathered by means of individual and focus group interviews, as well as documents analysis, observation of meetings and a cluster workshop. The finding of the study is that poor reading, inability of learners to answer questions due to lack of critical thinking and problem solving skills are the main causes of poor learner performance in public primary schools in South Africa. It is recommended that the use of assessment feedback for supporting teachers to improve learner performance should focus on enhancing the teacher content knowledge, the choice of teaching strategies, the setting of quality tasks, and improving the feedback practices.