Accurate and comprehensive assessment and reporting of student performance and behaviour informs teaching and learning programs, aids in establishing open communication, guides student learning, assists in establishing future directions, and helps to identify areas of exemplary performance, as well as those in need of support and assistance. Source: St Mary’s Assessing and Reporting Policy
The 3 main uses for assessment are;
- Assessment For Learning – to inform learning and teaching in classroom, to find out where student needs are.
- Assessment Of Learning – To measure how much a student has learnt in a given unit, topic, term, semester.
- Assessment As learning – To empower students in their learning by teaching them skills to enable them to assess their learning and set goals about their future learning.
Assessment data is used for reporting purposes, to inform teaching and learning programs and the future directions of the school. This information is collated and communicated to the school and wider community through School Board Reports, School Improvement Plans, Annual Action Plans, External Validations and Annual Reports to the Community.
St Mary’s has a schedule of formal assessments that are conducted over a year, for each level. It is reviewed and updated each year to ensure that it;
-provides consistency in sets of data to allow for analysis of school trend data
-provides sufficient information for classroom learning and teaching
-provides early information for identification of special learning needs
-is based in current educational theory and practice
Each year the school is involved in the NAPLAN assessments for Years 3 and 5. At times, schools are also randomly selected to take part in trialling of new national assessments or completing international and national assessments including Reading, Science, Civics and Citizenship and ICT. In 2014, a cohort of students were involved in NAP Science and in 2015 Years 3 and 5 were involved in trialling of the NAPLAN online assessments.
Parents can elect for their students to be involved in other assessments such as; ICAS, Australian Maths Competition, Maths Olympiad and others.
Reports to parents provide a picture of their child’s development, over time. The reporting process is an ongoing, flexible process and includes students, parents and teachers communicating regularly about student learning. Reporting can be as informal as ongoing feedback, a conversation after school or could be more formal such as; 3 way interviews, written reports, evidence of learning folders, student led conferences, communication diaries and student learning exhibitions.
The purpose of reporting is to ensure that parents, teachers and students have a clear understanding of a child’s strengths and needs across different areas at school and in their own lives. From this sharing of information, strategies are devised in the classroom to take the learner to the next stage with the necessary supports. This process is most successful when approached with honesty and respect and is a truly collaborative process. All parties need to be as actively involved as possible.
Formal Written Reports
Formal student reports are sent home to families twice per year at the end of each semester. Students are assessed against the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards and reports communicate student learning and development in relation to the standards for their year level. Reports also include comments for each student based on their progress compared to expectations for them. The grading against the standards of the Australian Curriculum is mandated by the State and Territory Educational Authorities and follows the A-E ranking, providing parents with a clear picture of where their child is in relation to year level expectations;
Assessment grades are awarded to students based on their achievement as follows:
A = Evidence of learning demonstrates outstanding achievement at this year level
B = Evidence of learning demonstrates high achievement at this year level
C = Evidence of learning demonstrates sound achievement at this year level
D = Evidence of learning demonstrates limited achievement at this year level
E = Evidence of learning demonstrates very limited achievement at this year level
N = Not Assessed
Each semester Evidence of Learning Folders are sent home to parents showcasing their child’s learning across the curriculum. Evidence of Learning folders are used to provide evidence of student achievement, support the formal academic reports and to give parents a broader insight into their child’s learning. Where possible, students are involved in the selection and sorting of their work samples and are encouraged to share their achievements with families.
Twice per year, Three-way Goal Setting interviews are held. Students accompany their parents to these interviews where they can showcase some of their learning and discuss their individual learning strengths and needs. As the students’ progress through the year levels they are encouraged to take on more responsibility and control of these meetings, matching the maturing approach to their learning. Learning goals are developed and agreed upon and suggested strategies to meet these goals are discussed.
In May, all Year 3 and 5 students across Australia take part in the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy). This involves 4 different assessments across these learning areas and provides a snapshot of student achievement. Parents receive a report of their child’s achievement in comparison to the school and Australian average levels of achievement.
At St Mary’s we analyse and consider this achievement data along with other assessment data we collect, and use it to inform our decisions about individual, cohort and whole school areas of strength and need so that we can be responsive at all 3 levels and best meet the needs of our students.
At any time, parents or teachers may arrange a meeting to discuss the needs of a child. We encourage parents and teachers to be proactive and keep each other informed of their concerns so that developments can be responded to promptly. We work in partnership with parents to ensure their children are engaged and learning to their full potential.