The first letter of BOFA stands for Baines, after the founder Andrew Baines, who created the website in 2007, after teaching for 15 years, in state secondary modern, state grammar, international and independent grammar schools. In 1999, Andrew started writing the best-selling Bond Assessment books, which are used widely by pupils aged 8-12 years old.
Being a teacher since 1992, Andrew wanted to create an automated system for marking questions, supplying explanations, creating tailored practice questions, then progress to bespoke retest questions which then supply the teacher with individual pupil formative assessments. There was nothing suitable available so Andrew spending 4 years trying to persuade his publishing house to create such a product but he was unsuccessful. So, Andrew set about creating his own online formative learning platform.
Formative learning allows teachers to help students learn by picking out particular areas where they are struggling, then modify subsequent learning activities and experiences. More traditional teaching methods assume that all pupils need to be taught and practice exactly the same topics, assume no prior knowledge and do not differentiate the learning. Every BOFA question comes as a triplet, three slightly different versions, each with its own explanation and answer. This allows teachers to pick up where BOFA left off, solidifying a pupil’s knowledge of each particular topic.
BOFA produces reports highlighting where further learning is required, which teachers use to assist with lesson planning, therefore helping pupils to progress more efficiently. These reports are available at the pupil, group, subject and difficulty level. BOFA acknowledges that all people involved with the learning journey require access to this information; so all pupils, parents, class teachers, subject teachers and administrators can have access to the reports.