Assessment

Assessment and Reporting Guidelines

Introduction

The key purpose of reporting is to support student learning by providing information to students and parents about student achievement and progress, and to indicate areas for further development. Calwell High School has developed reporting procedures which:

  • describes achievement against the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards
  • reflect the integrated nature of assessment and reporting
  • are based on valid and reliable assessment
  • support student learning and enhance student motivation and commitment to learning
  • enable our school and families to develop effective partnerships to support the learning of students
  • provide detailed, explicit and understandable information about what students have achieved to date in relation to the Achievement Standards
  • allow planning for each student’s future learning
  • provide reasonable accommodations for students and parents with special needs
  • protect the privacy of individuals
  • enable our school to demonstrate accountability for student learning

The Australian Curriculum

All schools across Australia are currently transitioning to the Australian Curriculum. The final stage of implementation is Assessment and Reporting. More information can be found on the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) website.

Nature of assessment and reporting

Calwell High School has a policy of continuous assessment of students, which means that assessment is carried out throughout each year. Depending on the requirements of individual courses, a student's assessment may include tests, assignments, homework, classwork, practical work, exhibitions and performances.

Reporting is multifaceted, including written reports, parent-teacher interviews, telephone conversations, informal notes, Award Assemblies and Presentation Night. Progress reports are mailed every term and parent teacher nights occur every term. Comprehensive subject specific Semester reports are mailed at the end of terms 2 and 4.

Course Outlines

Course outlines are distributed in every subject within the first three weeks of every semester. They provide a course description, elements of the Achievement Standard, work practices needed, homework expectations, assessment items and due dates. They are also available on the school’s website.

Extensions

Parents or students may request extensions in advance of due dates when the submission date cannot be met due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. Reasons for seeking an extension include absences due to illness, and family matters. Pressure of assignments in other subjects is not a sufficient reason to warrant an extension. Students who are attending sporting events or camps are expected to meet deadlines that occur in their absence, or to negotiate revised submission dates with teachers before the camp.

Late work

  • The goal of all assessment is to provide evidence of progress towards the Achievement Standard in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Late work will be accepted for assignments that determine learning and/or measure learning.  For example, reports, projects, and essays would qualify in this category.  Tests and summative quizzes are to be taken on the day they are assigned.  The purpose of this is to provide evidence of what learning has occurred and measure progress towards meeting the Achievement Standard.
  • Late work in this category will be accepted at least 5 days after the due date.
  • The student should meet with the teacher to resolve the late work and complete an agreement for an extension.
  • Late work submitted after the window has closed may be accepted at teacher discretion and still contribute to the evidence required to show mastery of the Achievement Standard.
  • At teacher discretion, late work may be accepted after the 5-day window and it will be assessed per teacher discretion.

Achieving the Achievement Standard

At Calwell High School we believe that students should try their best on every assessment.  We also believe that students should not be penalized for attempts at assessment when they actively seek learning opportunities. Assessments are used to monitor students’ progress and adjust instruction accordingly.  Students should give their best effort on their first attempt.  However, students who do not reach the satisfactory level of learning are required to meet with their teacher and undertake alternative methods of displaying their learning. After one or multiple meetings with the teacher, where additional activities occur, the student will be eligible to take a summative re-assessment to demonstrate their grasp of the Achievement Standard. This could include teacher interviews, surveys and other methods of displaying learning. The re-assessment grade will replace the previous grade.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when a student uses material written, devised or constructed by another without acknowledging the source. It is unethical because the student is essentially presenting another person’s work as their own, and it is regarded as theft of ideas or intellectual property. To deter plagiarism and to assist students to produce fluent writing, students are required to express ideas in their own words and to compile bibliographies or otherwise acknowledge sources. If work is submitted containing plagiarised material, the grade for that item may be withheld or resubmission required. In addition, teachers may require that students submit drafts of assignments to ensure that the work submitted is the student’s own work.

Moderation

Where more than one class follows the same course of study, moderation procedures are used to ensure consistency. These include the use of common tests and teachers exchanging student work for comparative marking.

To ensure consistency between subjects, staff have undertaken professional development on national reporting objectives and procedures. Comparison of work samples across faculties is undertaken during some staff, team and executive meetings.

Progress Reports

A student’s report provides a formal record of the student’s progress and achievement at a point in time. They also provide valuable feedback for future learning and act as guideposts for the next steps in learning. As a result Progress reports are issued in terms 1 and 3. Each Progress Report is a single sheet summary, without grades, of a student's progress in all subjects. Progress is assessed for Achievement and for Attitude. The report is designed to give an indication of the student's performance in classes and to formally alert students and parents/carers to any concerns about the student's progress. Teachers of each subject indicate on the report whether or not an interview is required with parents to discuss a student’s work or progress.

Parent/Teacher Interviews

An important feature of the reporting system is that parent/teacher meetings closely follow the progress reports. Interviews are conducted by appointment to maximise the number of parents interviewed and to use time efficiently. Appointments are booked online using the Parent Teacher Online booking system. The link to this system is opened up a couple of weeks before interviews are held at the end of term 1 and term 3. User names and passwords are mailed out to parents.

Interviews are five minutes long. If more time is required, both parties can arrange a mutually convenient time. Precise dates for parent-teacher interviews are advertised in the

school’s newsletter, The Bagpipe, and are listed in the Calendar and under ‘Forthcoming Events’ on the home page of our website close to the time of these meetings.

Whilst we understand that it is difficult for some parents to attend interviews, the effectiveness of classroom learning is enhanced if teachers and parents work together. The school urges all parents to attend meetings, particularly where teachers have requested interviews in the progress reports. Parents who are unable to attend and who would like to make alternative arrangements should contact the appropriate teacher or Year Coordinator.

Significant changes in achievement or work patterns

Parents and carers will receive a letter through the mail if significant concerns about achievement or work patterns arise between written reports. The letter asks parents and carers to telephone the teacher who has made contact, and is in place to enable problems to be addressed early. Problems include non-submission of assignments or set work, lack of work in class, non-completion of homework and failure to bring basic materials (such as books and stationery) needed for lessons.

Semester Reports

Each semester report contains grades, learning descriptors and comprehensive written comments for each subject, and the student’s attitude and commitment to learning. Comments identify student strengths, areas for further development and strategies to support and/or extend learning. In addition, Year 10 reports provide information about the student’s involvement in school programs and activities, and similar information on involvement and social development will be provided for students in other years in future. A record of attendance during the semester accompanies the semester report, indicating legitimate and unexplained absences.

Accompanying each semester’s report is a summary report, which provides a snapshot of a student’s performance in relation to the cohort. This summary report indicates the number of students in a child’s cohort (all children in a learning area/subject/unit in the same year level) attaining each of the identified A – E grades. To ensure information provided does not breach the Privacy Act 1988, the number of students receiving each grade will not be reported for a cohort of less than ten.

Grades

Achievement grades are awarded to students in all year levels at the end of each semester for subjects studied during that semester.

The Australian Curriculum

In keeping with the nationally agreed guidelines, in the English, Maths, Science and History national curriculum Achievement Standards will be used to rank students work. The A–E Australian Curriculum grade descriptors are:

A - demonstrating excellent achievement of what is expected

B - demonstrating high achievement what is expected

C - demonstrating satisfaction achievement of what is expected

D - demonstrating partial achievement of what is expected

E – demonstrating limited achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected.

P – your child has been assessed using a Personalised Program

For other subjects yet to transition into the national curriculum, the ACT Every Chance to Learn Curriculum and grade descriptors will be:

A - Your child has demonstrated outstanding achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected

B - Your child has demonstrated high achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected

C - Your child has demonstrated sound achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected

D - Your child has demonstrated limited achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected

E - Your child has demonstrated very limited achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings expected.

The specific criteria for each grade may vary between faculties.

Assessment of Students with Special Needs

Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) are designed for identified students with special needs to inform the planning, delivery and assessment of the student’s educational program. The ILP is developed by teachers in collaboration with parents and appropriate stakeholders. ILPs are required for students receiving support from the Special Education Section, students in care, students referred to Student Support Services and students who are accessing support through the Indigenous Numeracy and Literacy Consultant.

Students on ILPs may have assessment modified by a reduction in the number or length of assessment tasks, the provision of extra time to complete work or the provision of individualised assignments. Students on ILPs receive the full range of reports provided to other students, and meetings are held regularly to evaluate their progress and programs.

The Australian Curriculum “P” grade may be used for some students with special needs and on ILPs. The school will notify parents formally if this is the case.

Award Assemblies

Towards the end of each semester, assemblies are organised to recognise and congratulate highly achieving students. Students receive either an Academic Achievement Award (for achieving the top mark in their class) or a Personal Achievement Award. The Personal Achievement Award is given at the discretion of the teacher, and may be awarded to the second place-getter, the student who has shown the most commitment, the most improved student or a student who has prepared a particularly impressive piece of work.

Presentation Night

At the end of the school year, Presentation Night is held to celebrate the achievements of outstanding students in each year level. The Principal provides a report on the school year.

Appeals

Students have the right to appeal against achievement grades. There is no appeal on the assessment of work patterns or attitude. The first step in the appeals process is to discuss the assessment item or grade with the class teacher. If the student is not satisfied, they should then discuss it and seek a review from the Executive Teacher of the faculty.

If the matter is still unresolved, the student may submit a formal written appeal to the Principal, detailing the grounds for the appeal. This is normally expected on the day following the issue of reports or soon afterwards. All appeals must be made by the student not a second party acting on their behalf.

An appeal to the Principal is the highest level of appeal for students in years 7 and 8, but students in years 9 and 10 may subsequently lodge a system level appeal.

Procedure for System Level Appeals (years 9 and 10)

A student who is dissatisfied with the result of the high school review process may appeal to the Director General of the Education and Training Directorate. An appeal may also be made against a Principal’s decision not to award an ACT Year 10 certificate. Appeals should be made in writing as soon as possible after notification of the school’s review decision.

An ACT Education and Training brochure, Certification: Year 10 Certificate and the Appeals Process, which gives information about appeals, is distributed to all senior students. Copies are available from the school.

Year 10 Certificate

Students who successfully complete year 10 are awarded a Year 10 Certificate by the ACT Education and Training Directorate. This Certificate states that the student has satisfactorily completed a program of study to the end of Year 10 and that attendance, conduct and achievement have been satisfactory. Any student who has not met these criteria may not receive a Year 10 Certificate. The Year 10 Certificate records grades achieved in each subject studied in each semester of years 9 and 10.

High School Record

Students who have completed at least one semester of year 9 or 10 may request a High School Record when they leave the school. This document details the grades achieved by the student in each unit studied in years 9 and 10 until the date of departure.

NAPLAN Testing (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy)

All students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 across Australia sit national tests in Literacy and Numeracy. They sit the same tests in the content strands of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (incorporates spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy (incorporating calculator and non-calculator papers). Results from the national tests will give education systems across Australia vital measures about how students are performing in literacy and numeracy. Individual students and their parents will be given reports which will indicate each student’s level of achievement.