This policy has been developed so that teachers are aware of their responsibilities in the assessment and reporting process. The policy also informs caregivers and (older) students about their responsibilities in this process. The policy is based on the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) requirements.
At Providence Christian College all students in PrePrimary – Year 6 are assessed against the Achievement Standards defined by SCSA. Judging Standards is the tool teachers use when reporting against the achievement standards for each year of schooling; when giving assessment feedback; and when explaining the differences between one student’s achievement and another’s. The achievement standard describes an expected level that the majority of students are achieving or working towards by the end of that year of schooling. Some students will have progressed beyond the achievement standard; others will need additional support. The expected standard for each year is described as a ‘C’ grade or a ‘Satisfactory’ level.
Teachers develop and administer assessments in relation to the content of the Pre-primary to Year 6 Western Australian Curriculum as prescribed by the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline. For Kindy-Year 2, this is also based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
The Role of Assessment
Assessment has a number of roles:
- assessments form an integral rather than a separate part of the learning process.
- assessment provides useful feedback, which assists future learning. It provides the basis for students to monitor and reflect on their own learning, and informs the work of teachers
- monitoring the progress of students and recognising learning difficulties
- adjusting programmes to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve the intended outcomes
- developing data-driven subsequent learning programmes
- reporting student achievement to parents
- whole school and system planning, reporting and accountability procedures.
Assessments practices must ensure the following Assessment Principles as outlined by SCSA Assessment Principles SCSA :
- Assessment should be an integral part of teaching and learning
- Assessment should be educative
- Assessment should be fair
- Assessment should be designed to meet their specific purposes
- Assessment should lead to informative reporting
- Assessment should lead to school-wide evaluation processes
Types of Assessments:
A variety of assessments are used to ensure ongoing monitoring of student progress, reporting of students achievements and monitoring of school results. The types of assessments include formative, summative and standardised assessments.
Formative assessments are ongoing assessments that inform both teachers and students about the students’ progress and to allow for adjustment of the program and provide support or extension tasks for students where needed.
Summative assessments are usually administered at the end of a unit of work. These assessments should always be marked by the teacher. Students and parents (Years 3 – 6) should be informed about the results.
Standardised assessments are formal assessments that have been designed to measure a child’s ability compared to other children his or her age. Standardised assessments also provide the school with the opportunity to reflect on their standards and to identify areas for improvement. Standardised assessments currently used at Providence Christian College (Primary) include NAPLAN for Year 3 and 5; PAT – ACER/ OARS for Years 1 – 6; On-entry assessments for Pre-Primary.
The College uses a Standardised Assessment Schedule Which provides a full overview of all Standardised assessments currently used (see attachment).
Expectations About Engaging in Learning and Assessment
It is the responsibility of the teacher to:
- develop a teaching/ learning programme that meets the syllabus requirements and guidelines as prescribed by SCSA Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
- ensure that assessments are fair, valid and reliable.
- schedule sufficient assessment tasks for each learning area. Under-assessment and over-assessment should both be avoided. Scheduling assessments at the same time (such as at the end of the term) should be avoided.
- schedule varied assessment tasks which might include regular tests, essays, practical work, oral examinations, teacher observations, student reflections or combinations of some or all of these to enable them to provide a valid and fair assessment. No one technique can be identified which best suits all circumstances.
- prepare common assessment tasks that are the same across year groups for all assessments that count towards reports (at least all summative assessment tasks ).
- ensure that assessments that are graded are completed in class and not at home so that all students complete assessments under equal conditions (e.g. no parent support provided).
- mark all formal assessments that count towards reports (usually summative assessments) to ensure validity. Formal assessment tasks should not be marked by students.
- provide detailed marking keys, assessment rubrics and clarity on how marks were awarded for assessment tasks where applicable.
- consider assessment of student achievement demonstrated in a group-work situation so that student results provide a fair mark for each student. Teachers should periodically monitor the contribution of each student during group assessments.
- modify assessments as outlined in a documented plan for students that have special needs or are working with an individualised program. Where a disability, special education need or cultural belief has resulted in the inability of a student to complete any assessment task or part thereof, the assessment task will be adjusted/modified accordingly by the teacher.
Guidelines for Modified assessments are currently being developed.
- provide an opportunity for students that were absent to complete the assessment at a later time (as a general rule)..
- provide students with timely assessment/assignment feedback with guidance about how best to undertake future tasks.
- inform students and parents of academic progress, as appropriate, via SEQTA, email, phone calls or face to face communication.
- record marks on formal assessment tasks (assessment tasks that count towards reports) on SEQTA within a reasonable time.
- release marks on SEQTA to parents (Years 3-6).
- maintain accurate records of student achievement and assessments (on SEQTA for Years 1 – 6). As a rule of thumb, Years 3 – 6 assessment results must be entered on SEQTA and released to parents, on or before 21 days after the assessment task has been completed.
- Records of assessments are to be kept by the relevant classroom or specialist teacher to support the semester report. Where possible, anecdotal records should be recorded in SEQTA.
- not send home common assessment tasks that will be used year after year
- meet the College and external time frames for assessment and reporting
- ensure internal and external compatibility processes by regularly moderating the marking of assessments with partner teachers as well as using SCSA’s Judging Standards.
It is the responsibility of the student to:
- complete the prescribed work requirements in each subject to the best of their ability.
- maintain a good record of attendance, conduct and progress.
- ensure that assessments demonstrate their own work and not work copied from other students or other sources.
- initiate contact with teachers to ask for clarification and support (for older students).
It is the responsibility of the Parent/ Guardian to:
- ensure their child has a good record of attendance at school.
- provide information to the College on enrolment about students with special needs so that a student’s special needs can be discussed to ensure that the College can provide the most appropriate programme.
- make it a priority to attend Parent Information evenings and make appointments with teachers for Parent Interview nights and at other times as required.
- oversee their child’s Home Learning plan.
- be familiar with SEQTA and its facilities to ensure their child’s progress and results are known.
Reporting is the formal and informal process of regularly and clearly communicating information to parents and students and the various partners in education about student achievement and progress gained from assessment processes. The central purpose of reporting is to support teaching and learning by sharing timely feedback about students’ progress and achievement between students, parents/caregivers and teachers.
Providence Christian College reports student progress and achievement via formal written reports and interviews, and at times adopts other methods such as meetings, certificates, electronic reports and informal feedback. Parent Interviews are held after the Interim Reports have been released. In addition students of concern are identified and meetings with parents are arranged. Teachers aim to use plain language to report to parents/carers and give an accurate and objective assessment of the student’s progress and achievement.
Teachers report informally to parents on student progress throughout the year, in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. SEQTA Engage is the College’s Parent Portal for all parents, allowing parents to log into the College’s learning management system (SEQTA) and view student academic results and curriculum information. Teachers and parents also have the opportunity to discuss students’ progress face-to-face or via a phone call.
For Year 3 – 6 students, assessment marks for all subject areas are released throughout the semester. Besides this ongoing reporting, two types of formal reports are used:
- Semester Reports (Years 1 – 6)
At the end of each semester parents/carers will be provided with a formal report. The information contained in the Semester reports is a summary of a child’s Academic Progress as well as their Personal and Social Learning. The report will include an assessment of the student’s achievement in terms of the Western Australian Achievement Standards.
Semester reports contain the following information:
Teachers have made a professional judgement on the level of progress and achievement that the student has demonstrated relative to the achievement standards of the Western Australian Curriculum.
The child’s overall progress for each subject is reported using A-E grades. The grades represent the following:
A. The student demonstrates excellent achievement of what is expected for this year level.
B. The student demonstrates high achievement of what is expected for this year level.
C. The student demonstrates satisfactory achievement of what is expected for this year level.
D The student demonstrates limited achievement of what is expected for this year pearl.
E The student demonstrates very low achievement of what is expected for this year level.
For some subjects, specific strands are reported, which are taken from the Western Australian Curriculum. Academic progress for the various strands is reported using a five-points scale with the terms: Excellent, High, Satisfactory, Developing, Cause for Concern.
Information is also provided about the student’s attitude, behaviour and effort.
Personal and Social Learning
Nine areas of Personal and Social Learning are reported. All nine areas are important prerequisites for learning and for children’s overall personal and social development which is reflected in our College’s values and focus areas. Information for Effort is given for each subject, while Specialist Teachers provide information for a child’s Effort, Attitude and Behaviour. Descriptors for these areas are:
Cause for Concern
Subject specific and general comments provide information about the child’s progress and areas for improvement. Teachers are available to discuss the child’s report.
Parents are informed that they can ask the College to provide them with written information that clearly shows the Child’s achievement in the subjects studies in comparison with that of other students in their peer group at school.
Reports should not contain any surprises. For instance, if a student receives very low grades, parents should be informed about this beforehand.
Semester Reports (Kindy, Pre-Primary)
At the end of each semester parents/carers will be provided with a formal report. The information contained in the Semester reports is a summary of a child’s Academic Progress as well as their Personal and Social Learning. The child’s overall progress is reported using a five point scale as outlined below.
Exploring: This is apparent when the child requires continuous support when exploring the knowledge, skills or dispositions of this year level. The child begins to apply learning in familiar contexts for limited periods of time.
Emerging: This is apparent when the child can construct knowledge, skills and dispositions of this year level with marginal support. The child can begin to apply learning in familiar contexts.
Expected: This is apparent when the child can demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions at this year level. The child can apply and transfer learning in familiar contexts.
Exceeded: This is apparent when the child can demonstrate knowledge skills and dispositions beyond what is expected at this year level. The child can apply and transfer learning in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
Excellent: This is apparent when the child can demonstrate an exceptional level of knowledge, skills and dispositions for this year level. The child can apply, transfer and extend learning in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
2. Interim Reports
The transition to a new year group is a critical time and teachers are committed to giving parents early feedback on their child’s progress. At the end of Term 1 parents/carers of students in years 1-6, are provided with an interim report. This report aims to inform parents on how the child has settled into their new class. The interim report gives an overview of the child’s areas of Personal and Social Learning (see above). The interim report also gives a general overview of the child’s academic progress. Interim reports are followed by face-to-face meetings with parents/ carers.
Educational Development Centre Reporting
The Educational Development Centre undertakes a variety of programmes from K-6 to support student learning. Reporting is as follows:
K-PP: Reporting is informal and to the Class Teachers providing feedback on student progress throughout the year and on request.
Years 1-6: Reporting is in the form of emails to parents, coinciding with Semesters One and Two Formal Reporting schedules. The emails are sent via SEQTA and are shared with students’ classroom teachers.
Parent/Teacher meetings are scheduled as required.
The area of Modification is currently under review
For some students, differentiation of the curriculum is required to cater for their individual learning needs. Where there is a legitimate reason for modification of curriculum for a student e.g. gifted and talented, student disability, learning difficulty, medical or severe mental health condition or English as a Second Language/Dialect, the variations will be negotiated and discussed with the student (Upper Primary students only) and his/her parents/guardians and the decisions documented by the classroom teacher (for example, in a documented Individual Education Plan). The Special Needs/ Educational Development Coordinator is available for consultation if required
Where it is deemed/ there is evidence that a student with a disability, special education or cultural need requires an adjusted/modified assessment, these adjustments will be documented by the classroom or specialist teacher. The Special Needs/Ed Dev Coordinator is available for consultation if required.
Where tasks/ assessments or curriculum have been modified to meet specific individuals needs, then feedback will reflect the student’s progress and/ or achievement in terms of the modified task/ assessment or curriculum.
Modified reports are currently being developed.