ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING
Assessment and Reporting are integral parts of the teaching and learning program at Blackwood Primary School and important aspects of the work of teachers and students. Assessment & Reporting combine to support students to achieve high standards and to provide the basis for guiding further learning, as well as informing parents about their child’s achievement.
Assessment refers to all the ways we gather information about progress in a student’s learning. Assessment tasks should reflect the objectives and criteria and be meaningful and relevant. They may include tests, observations, peer discussions, work samples, presentations/performances and projects.
Criterion-referenced assessment is the basis of all formal assessment at Blackwood Primary School.
This means that the assessment criteria are decided when planning the learning and explicitly communicated to students prior to the assessment task/s. In the PYP, teachers ensure that all assessments tasks, including prior knowledge assessments connect with the central idea and lines of inquiry.
Rubrics are developed based on the assessment criteria and are used by teachers and students to evaluate learning.
School-based assessment will:
- Allow the application of knowledge and skills including higher order thinking skills, as well as factual recall.
- Involve student reflection and participation.
- Be based upon standards consistent across classes, agreed through collegiate moderation. In line with the school’s Essential Agreements PYP teachers are required to assess all five essential elements of the PYP programme. These include knowledge, concepts, skills, action and attitudes.
Monitoring student progress
The school uses a range of tests to monitor and track student achievement on an annual basis. This information is entered on a school data base to keep records of student learning over time. A review committee analyses this information and support is provided if required. Standardised, diagnostic and school-designed tests include Running Records, PAT-M, Pat-R, Naplan, Crevola Oral Testing and Monitor Spelling.
When teachers and parents are concerned that students are not making adequate progress in spite of additional help, students may then be referred to a Dept for Education Guidance Officer or Speech Pathologist for further testing. Alternatively, parents may be advised to seek other private specialised testing, such as Auditory, Occupational Therapy etc.
As well as school assessments, students are assessed in years three, five and seven for National Literacy and Numeracy standards and receive reports which compare their achievement level to their state cohort and against national benchmarks.
Students at Blackwood Primary School are offered the opportunity to participate in a number of state and national tests such as the University of NSW assessments in English and Maths. Parents receive detailed reports of student results.
Reporting is the process used to communicate knowledge gained from assessing student learning. The purpose of reporting is to provide relevant information about a student’s progress to students, parents, support staff and other teachers.
At Blackwood Primary School we report to parents and students both formally and informally. Early in the year a Parent Information evening provides details of assessment in the international Baccalaureate Primary Years programme (PYP) and the grading system to be used.
By the end of Term One a Three-Way-Conference involving the teacher, student and parent is held to discuss the student’s progress and plan for further learning. At the end of Term 3, Parents are invited to attend a Student Led Conference.
Parents may request a confidential interview with the teacher at anytime, if they have a concern about their child’s well-being, curriculum or progress.
Students and parents are provided with written Mid-Year and End of Year Summative Reports. These detail a student’s progress in the areas of study including a level of achievement; attitudes towards learning; aspects of the Learner Profile demonstrated.
Student work samples
Throughout the year, student progress is reported to parents through the sharing of work samples. This can include books, portfolios and other pieces of work sent home at least once per term and/or invitations to parents to view work on display in the classroom/school or to attend performances and exhibitions
In the PYP students and teachers compile a Student Portfolio. For each unit covered, the following samples are included:
- A title page outlining the unit including title of unit, central idea, inquiry into and teacher questions
- A prior knowledge sample of work
- A selection of 2 or 3 work samples (formative assessments)
- A final assessment linked to the Central Idea (summative assessment).
Other pieces of work not outlined above must not be included in the student portfolio but may be provided to parents through other means.
In Year 6 and 7, as a celebration of the learning through the PYP, students present their work in an Exhibition to which parents and the wider community are invited.
At Blackwood Primary School students are encouraged to be participants in the assessment and reporting process. This means that students have the opportunity to:
- Monitor and evaluate their own progress through self-assessment
- Reflect on their learning, including the development of IB Learner Profile attributes and PYP attitudes.
- Assess the work of their peers against agreed criteria
- Work with teachers to formulate assessment activities
- Set goals for their own learning
- Provide reflections about their learning in three-way and student-led conferences and written reports
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