Assessment is the purposeful and systematic process of gathering, recording, interpreting, using and reporting information about a child’s progress and achievement. All forms of assessment should seek to enhance student achievement. Assessment is used to support teachers in gathering and using appropriate data to drive decisions about learners, learning and pedagogy. A coherent, systematic approach to assessment ensures that the individual needs of students are met and that the teaching and learning are informed by the needs of the student. As such, assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process at Mater Dei Primary School.
There are different purposes for assessment. Assessment for learning (formative) helps identify a student’s current understandings to help attain higher levels of performance. Assessment of learning (summative) indicates the standards achieved by students at particular points in their schooling. Diagnostic assessment determines the nature of the students’ learning and provides appropriate feedback or intervention.
At Mater Dei, we make use of appropriate assessment information from multiple sources to form and drive teaching and learning. We follow the stipulated BCE guidelines and timelines around assessment and monitoring. The BCE monitoring schedule can be accessed Here.
Some of the procedures to ensure this occurs include:
1. Collection of Evidence and Data - comprehensive evidence and data gathering will take place throughout the learning process. This data includes, but is not limited to – Concepts about Print, Sound/Letter Knowledge, PM Benchmarking, Writing Analysis, Pat R, Pat M, NAPLAN, anecdotal observations, annotated work samples and sound/video recordings.
2. Recording Data - records can provide the basis for forming judgements about student performance on multiple tasks, for assessing the reliability of the tasks and for mapping student progress. We use the BI Tool to track student data and refer to this data at the beginning of each planning meeting and at staff meetings throughout the term.
3. Analysis of Data - processes are in place to ensure staff can effectively analyse and interpret relevant data and make practical inferences. These processes include planning discussions, Review and Response meetings, Data Wall discussions. Learning Walks & Talks are also used to ensure consistency of teacher practice across the school.
4. Student Improvement - Feedback - Learners learn best when they understand what they are trying to learn and what is expected of them. At Mater Dei Primary School, Learning Intentions and Success Criteria for all learning are communicated and reinforced. Students also learn best when they are given regular feedback about the quality of their work and what they can do to make it better. Students are encouraged to set learning goals to assist with overall improvement.
5. Reporting of Student Progress – Mater Dei Primary School reports twice yearly in SRS using the five-point scale in all learning areas. Parents also have the opportunity to discuss student progress at Parent / Teacher interviews which are offered at least twice throughout the year.
All assessment is linked to the BCE policy document ‘Principles of Assessment’. Teachers engage in intra-school moderation each term to ensure that assessment is aligned, equitable, valid and evidence based.