Assessment & Reporting

In 2012, a great deal of work was devoted by College staff to evaluate a number of our practices concerning assessment and reporting.  This work was stimulated by the:

  • need to prepare for the introduction of the National Curriculum in 2013
  • acquisition of ‘SIMON’, our exciting new intranet
  • general desire of staff to further improve upon our already impressive teaching and learning environment.

 

I am delighted to be able to present to you, in summary form, the key aspects of this work.

 

Literacy, Numeracy and General Ability Tests

Each year, boys in Years 7, 8 and 9 will complete a series of Literacy, Numeracy and General Ability tests produced by the Australian Council for Educational Research.  These tests will enable staff and families to compare outcomes in key areas with work requirement results.  They will also allow us to track student progress over time.  In 2013, Years 7-9 boys will complete the tests at the beginning and end of the year.  In 2014, the tests will be completed at the end of the year only.  The three tests combined will take about 90 minutes to complete and are ‘online’ assessments which boys will access via their laptops.

 

Years 7 – 9 Examinations

For a number of years, our practice has been for boys in Years 7-9 to complete an examination in virtually every subject at the end of each semester.  This has seen boys complete as many as eight exams in a period of three days.  The regimen has certainly added a rigorous dimension.  However, the sheer number of exams has made it difficult for boys to thoroughly revise for them and, undoubtedly, has given rise to a certain amount of unnecessary anxiety.  Accordingly, a new schedule accompanied by a robust revision program (please see the table below) will be introduced in 2013.  We feel that this system will encourage good revision habits and will equip boys well to enter the senior school.

 

Year   7

Semester   1

Semester   2

English English
Maths

 

 

Years   8

Semester   1

Semester   2

English English
Maths Maths
Science

 

Year   9

Semester   1

Semester   2

English English
Maths Maths
Science Science
Humanities

 

Year   10

Semester   1

Semester   2

Exams in   all subjects except RE which will have a summative task towards the end of   the semester.

 

Differentiated Work Requirements

All boys have gifts and talents.  However, within any given class, there is inevitably a wide variance in terms of boys’ aptitudes. The College has a proud history of modifying tasks to suit the needs of individual students.  In 2013, we wish to embark upon approaching this in a more systematic way.  We will systematically inspect our Years 7-9 work requirements to ensure that they are able to accessed by students at all ability levels.  Where it is found that this is not possible, we will compose tasks so they can be accessed at various levels.  The tasks will cover similar core material.  Student choice, ACER test information, teacher judgement and parental input will be used to determine at which level boys will complete these tasks.

 

New Intranet

We acquired a new intranet (known as SIMON) in mid-2012.  One of the features of SIMON is its Parent Access Module (PAM).  PAM will enable parents and guardians to check their son’s attendance and punctuality history, receive updates about pastoral matters, receive important information in a timely matter about College life and, very importantly, obtain up to date details regarding their son’s results in work requirements.  As teachers assess each work requirement, they will record results in PAM.  Therefore, a week or so after an assignment is completed, parents and guardians will be able to use PAM to gain up to date information regarding how their boy is faring.  This will enable closer partnerships to be developed between school and home.

 

PAM will also change the nature and purpose of our Semester Reports and Report Nights.  As parents will already be aware of their son’s marks, we anticipate developing streamlined Semester Reports in 2013.  Further, Report Nights will be much more focused on developing improvement plans for the future rather than on digesting news about results from long-completed tasks.

 

We are delighted and very excited about the initiatives outlined above and hope that you share our sense of anticipation.

 

Neil Carter

Deputy Principal – Learning and Curriculum