At our school we use assessment for learning. Assessment is the process of gathering, analysing, interpreting and using information about students’ progress and achievement to improve teaching and learning.
The assessment tools we use have been designed to provide reliable and valid assessment information for teachers and students to enhance teaching and learning. This supports the shifting understanding of best educational practice in 21st century learning environments, from an emphasis on assessment of learning (summative assessment) to assessment for learning (formative assessment). These assessments are to inform next steps for student learning. The assessments are not intended to be used as reporting tools but are a ‘snapshot’ of what the student can currently do at the time and date of the assessment. Teachers use this information to set goals, alongside the student, and to plan future learning for groups of students.
For the purpose of sharing with parents and whanau the results of assessments conducted during Term 1, we hold a Data Sharing evening late in Term 1 or early in Term 2. At that time, families are invited to meet with their child and the child’s teacher to share the assessment results and the goals for learning that have been set. During Term 2 we hold Student-Led Conferences and mid-year reports go home to parents and whanau. More assessments are conducted towards the end of the year and these help inform the Overall Teacher Judgements that are recorded in your child’s end-of-year written report. For more information about how we report on your child’s learning, click here.
How we assess your child’s learning
We use a range of assessments throughout the year. The results of formal standardised assessments need to be interpreted in conjunction with other forms of assessment such as teacher observations, anecdotal evidence and learning conversations with individual students. All of this assessment data is used as evidence for teachers to make the Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs) that measure your child’s achievement against the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. Some of the assessment tools we use are:
Who does it? Year 4-6 students
Why do we use it? e-asTTle is a web-based assessment tool that allows teachers and school leaders to electronically set reading comprehension tests that are aligned to the curriculum, when they want and at the level they want, to analyse results and to measure student progress over time. Every test can be tailored to the specific needs of the classroom. It gives teachers a rich picture of how well a student, class or school is doing compared with national average performance and the curriculum requirements (including curriculum levels). It allows comparisons with other groupings such as gender, ethnicity, English as a second language or ‘schools like mine’.
How do we use the results? The tool provides e-asTTle reading scores and curriculum level and sub-level equivalents. It provides rich interpretations and specific feedback that relate to student performance (rather than simply providing a score). It identifies areas of student weakness and strength that may otherwise go unnoticed.
STAR (Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading) 2nd edition
Who does it? Years 3 and 4, and Year 5 and 6 students who do not fit e-asTTle criteria (ie they are reading below Curriculum Level 2)
Why do we use it? To supplement the assessments that teachers make about their students’ progress and achievement in reading.
How do we use the results? Test scores convert to scale scores and can be compared against national norms and converted into stanines. Progress of individuals and groups can be tracked longitudinally. There are 10 tests, each designed for a particular year level and time of year.
Who does it? Years 1-6
Why do we use it? e-asTTle is a web-based assessment tool that allows teachers and school leaders to electronically set writing tests that are aligned to the curriculum, to analyse results and to measure student progress over time. Every test can be tailored to the specific needs of the classroom. It gives teachers a rich picture of how well a student, class or school is doing compared with national average performance and the curriculum requirements (including curriculum levels). It allows comparisons with other groupings such as gender, ethnicity, English as a second language or ‘schools like mine’.
How do we use the results? The tool provides e-asTTle writing scores and curriculum level and sub level equivalents. It provides specific feedback (rather than simply providing a score) and identifies areas of student weakness and strength that may otherwise go unnoticed.
PAT (Progressive Achievement Test): Listening Comprehension – Revised 2010
Who does it? Years 3-6
Why do we use it? It helps teachers detect students whose listening skills are inadequately developed, and those whose listening comprehension skills are sufficiently different from their reading comprehension to suggest a remediable deficiency.
How do we use the results? Test scores convert to scale scores.They can be compared against national norms and converted into stanines. Progress of individuals and groups can be tracked longitudinally.
Supplementary Spelling Assessments (SSpA)
Who does it? Years 3-6
Why do we use it? To augment the assessments of spelling that teachers make on the basis of how, and how well, children spell in their writing, by testing a range of spelling skills that may not always be evident in writing.
How do we use the results? Progress in spelling performance via the SSpA scale. Comparative achievement against national norms. Progress through a developmental sequence for written spelling.
Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement – Revised Second Edition
Who does it? All students after 1 year at school
Why do we use it? To enable teachers to systematically observe children across a range of tasks in the first two years of schooling. The observation can provide evidence of learning , monitor progress and diagnose what a particular child controls and what operations and items he could be taught next.
How do we use the results? Raw scores are converted to stanines.
GloSS – Global Strategy Stage Assessment
Who does it? Years 2-6 students at Stage 2/3 and above
Why do we use it? Quick identification of the global stage students have reached in number strategies. Strategies are the mental processes students use to estimate answers and solve operational problems with numbers.
How do we use the results? Stages for operational strategies which are linked to curriculum levels.
IKAN – Knowledge Assessment for Numeracy
Who does it? Years 3-6 students at Stage 4 and above
Why do we use it? Enables assessment of the knowledge stages students are operating at across all five knowledge domains, known as the global knowledge stage.
How do we use the results? Stages for number knowledge which are linked to the curriculum levels.
International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS)
Who does it? Selected Year 4 to 6 students
Why do we use it? These are independent skills-based assessments with a competition element. Children are invited to sit the tests in some or all of the following subjects: writing, spelling, mathematics, computer skills, science and english. The tests are an opportunity for our gifted and talented students to test themselves in an international test environment.
How do we use the results? The results from the tests help us to identify or confirm areas where we as a school need to focus. To find out more about these assessments visit the ICAS website.