As part of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline there are clear Assessment Principles which can guide the use of grade allocation information as part of planning for improvement and opportunities for student growth.
The information given in this blog post relates to the use of the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards for grade allocation in English. The same process could be used for Mathematics, Science and History as Phase One subjects.
Below is a reflection from Woodlands on how the Assessment Principles relate to using student achievement information post Semester One. It is a combination of information from the SCSA Assessment Principles and curriculum leader reflections. You can access the SCSA Assessment Principles and Reflective Questions by clicking the link below:
Assessment Principle 1: Assessments should be an integral part of teaching and learning
Teachers should be planning for student assessment as part of the teaching and learning program. This means that the Achievement Standards should be a part of planning and not just left until report time to look at or review.
Assessment Principle 2: Assessments should be educative
Students should know where their knowledge and skill base is in regards to the achievement standard but most importantly what they can do to improve.
Assessment Principle 3: Assessments should be fair
Assessment information should provide reliable indications of students’ knowledge, understandings and skills. It should be based on the integration of a range of types and sources of evidence - how do you provide opportunities for students to show their knowledge in a range of ways over time? As a teacher we should be providing opportunities for students to demonstrate more than a "C" or "Satisfactory".
Assessment Principle 4: Assessments should be designed to meet their specific purposes
Grade allocation against the Achievement Standard also forms part of formative assessment. As part of Semester One reporting, teachers need to consider utilising the content descriptions and the achievement standards to clarify what is the fine-grained information about student performance that supports teachers to plan learning that challenges students to go beyond what they already know, understand or can do in order to build new knowledge, understandings and skills.
Assessment Principle 5: Assessments should lead to informative reporting
Reporting information is valuable for school and teacher planning. Grades are a broad classification of student performance, however it does not provide a level of detail necessary to inform teaching programs. Grading is an end process that is completed after more detailed assessment has been conducted against content descriptions and achievement standards.
Reporting student achievement in terms of grades is a broad classification of performance, each grade represents a wide range of student ability. Teachers need to consider how they plan for students to demonstrate a wide range in relation to content descriptions and the achievement standards.
Assessment Principle 6: Assessments should lead to school-wide evaluation processes
Teachers and school leaders need to understand current and past student achievement levels, be explicit about targets for improvement and be explicit about how progress towards those targets will be monitored. School leaders need to plan for how they will evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives and programs. Teachers should plan for how they will reflect on and evaluate their teaching practices. This implies that schools and teachers need to be willing to identify and evaluate both the intended and unintended consequences of any initiative or program.
In relation to end of semester grade allocation it can mean that teachers and school leaders view the grade allocation and engage in conversations and planning in regards to setting targets to improve and planning opportunities for growth. If you have a large percentage of students not meeting the Achievement Standard, you can discuss why and reflect on any programs or strategies being used.
What process is Woodlands PS using to engage in Student Achievement Information from Semester One?
Teachers at Woodlands have reflected on the process they use for planning forward from the grade allocation in Semester One. In combination with a content description and scope of texts audit, teachers have used the document attached below and followed these steps to begin planning in Semester Two:
HOW TO USE:
1. Teachers need a copy of their Student Achievement Profiles from end of Semester summative grade allocation. Woodlands uses the “Achievement Profile - Component graph available via SAIS through the Portal, (Please see steps at the end of this post for creating this graph).
2. Teachers need a copy of AC:E Scope and Sequence document and a copy of the Woodlands PS Evidence Overview in Modes planning sheet.
3. Teachers need three of the planning forward sheet pictured above - one for each AC:E mode, (Writing and Creating, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing). If you click the picture above it will take you to the file in Google Docs to download as a PDF.
4. Teachers use the grade allocation information to plot students on the sheet in each mode.
5. Teachers use content descriptions and achievement standards to identify focus areas for improvement or further opportunities to be provided for students to demonstrate higher achievement.
6. Focus areas are then utilised in classroom planning for AC:E
Creating the Graph in SAIS via the Portal
- Open Student Achievement Information System via the Portal
- Graph Type tab - select 1-10 Graphs and Tables then select Achievement Profile - Component as the graph template
- Reporting Period Tab - select single reporting period as Semester One 2014
- Groups Tab - Select school and year, (you need to create the graph for one year level at a time).
- Learning Area tab - select English AC
- Graph Styles and Options Tab - leave as default
- Graphs tab - Click "Build the Graph" then hover over the first icon which will say "Display Graph Data" and click the icon as this will give you the list of student names and their grade allocation in the three modes for English. Then click the "Word" icon to open as a Word document. Save and/or print.
Please feel free to contact Carlene.Thorpe@education.wa.edu.au if you would like support for your school in Western Australian Curriculum: English.