Assessment and reporting are two important processes in the learning and teaching cycle at St Joachim’s. Often new parents ask how do we assess and report student learning outcomes. Below you will find a synopsis of assessment and reporting processes at St Joachim’s.
Assessing student learning is an integral part of the school classroom. It improves learning and informs teaching: it is the process through which teachers identify, gather and interpret information about student achievement and learning in order to improve, enhance and plan for further learning. Teachers use achievement standards when planning for, assessing and reporting student learning and achievement. This involves teachers making ongoing professional judgements against the curriculum about students’ knowledge, understanding and skills.
Teachers at St Joachim’s use a range and balance of assessment techniques e.g. work samples, teacher observation, self-assessments, pencil and paper tests, assignment work, reading records, student/teacher consultations. These tasks, together with other assessment techniques, allow teachers to cater for all learners and learning situations.
Reporting is a process, not simply a format for a printed report card. At St Joachim’s our current reporting practices include summaries of student achievement in a printed report card; teacher/parent interviews about learning achievement and progress; and student portfolios incorporating overall statements of achievement and assessment samples. Reporting involves a professional judgement made on a body of evidence about a student’s progress and achievement against the curriculum. These judgements are made against the achievement standards of the Australian Curriculum. A teacher’s professional judgement is at the heart of reporting student achievement.
The purpose of twice yearly written report cards is to provide parents/caregivers and students with a summary overview of achievement and progress for the current reporting period. This report summarises evidence of student learning about how the student is achieving, provides feedback about the quality of this achievement and provides direction about where to next. The report card is supported by parent/teacher meeting opportunities throughout the year.
In addition to the formal school reports, students in Years 3 and 5 take part in annual National Assessment Program Literacy And Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing. Students receive individual reports that allow parents to identify aspects of achievement and some comparative information with their children’s peers across the nation (though it should be remembered that interstate comparisons need careful consideration until such time as a national curriculum is implemented by all states in all year levels). To the extent that the tests are based on only a small part of the overall curriculum, they may indicate some individual strengths and areas that require further development.
In the interim, it remains the case that the best indicator of each student’s achievement is the school’s own assessment program, designed to assess the student’s ability in relation to the curriculum taught in our school.