Assessment and Reporting Lower School
This policy is provided to all Year 7-10 students, parents and staff. Should a situation arise that is not covered by the provisions of this policy the student, parent or teacher should consult their Head of Learning Area for assistance and to ensure consistency.
The application of this policy may vary according to a specific Learning Area context. Each Learning Area may have specific assessment guidelines that sit underneath this policy. Students and parents will be advised in advance of any adjustments to either the school or Learning Area policies.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the:
- Lower School Homework Policy
- Cheating and Plagiarism Policy
Willetton Senior High School implements the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline www.scsa.wa.edu.au to meet the learning needs of all students.
The Western Australian Curriculum is delivered in accordance with the Principles of Teaching, Learning and Assessment.
Principles of Teaching and Learning:
- Opportunity to learn
- Connection and challenge
- Action and reflection
- Motivation and purpose
- Inclusivity and difference
- Independence and collaboration
- Supportive environment
Principles of Assessment
- Assessment should be an integral part of Teaching and Learning
- Assessment should be educative
- Assessment should be fair
- Assessments should be designed to meet their specific purposes
- Assessment should lead to informative reporting
- Assessment should lead to school-wide evaluation processes
1 The Role of Assessment at Willetton Senior High School
Assessment is used to;
- monitor the progress of students, identify learning issues and assist in the development of teaching strategies
- be an integral part of an explicit teaching and planning process: Plan → Act → Assess → Reflect
- provide formative feedback to improve student performance in the future
- monitor the progress of students through fair and valid judgements
- measure the achievement of students and inform reporting on progress and achievement
- guide the selection of courses and assist vocational counselling.
2 Student Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the student to;
- complete all in-class tasks on the scheduled date and submit all out-of-class assessments tasks by the due date
- maintain an assessment file for each course studied which contains completed, returned written assessments for study and revision purposes;
- initiate contact with teachers concerning absence from class related activities, missed lessons, missed in-class assessment tasks, and other issues relating to assessment.
3 Teacher Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the teacher to;
- provide students with access to a Course and Assessment outline at the start of each term or semester, via Connect or hard copy
- ensure that all assessment tasks conform to the Principles of Assessment
- provide students with assessment feedback as soon as possible within a timely period. The feedback should include detailed marking keys or assessment rubrics or comments and guidance about how best to make improvements in future
- should a course establish individual student assessment files and retain tasks at school, teachers will provide detailed in-class feedback and make available students’ assessment files at a time suitable to the teacher and student (with the exception of Maths Investigations and Practical Applications Tasks and Science Practical Laboratory Assessment)
- maintain accurate and timely records of student achievement using Reporting to Parents (RTP)
- meet school and external timelines for assessment and reporting
- inform students and parents of academic and other progress, as appropriate, for example by using school Letters of Commendation or Concern, phone calls, emails and face to face communication
- take part in internal comparability processes when more than one teacher is teaching a course
- ensure that all out-of-class assessments are authenticated with supporting evidence
- make provisions for students who miss assessments for valid reasons.
4 Parent/Carer Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to;
- contact the teacher in the first instance (then the appropriate Head of Learning Area if necessary) if there are concerns about performance in a specific course
- contact Student Services if there is a general academic, social or emotional problems that could affect assessment or achievement
- inform the appropriate Year Coordinator or Program Coordinator: Student Services of any disability, learning difficulty, injury or cultural belief that may affect their child’s learning and/or assessment performance
- provide evidence for absence when their child is absent from an assessment or test such as a medical certificate.
5 Providing Individual Students with Feedback on their Learning
Students will be given meaningful feedback as soon as practical after the completion of an assessment task (both informal and formal assessments).
- focus on the task and what was expected from the task
- provide meaningful information to students about their work
- provide information about how the student can improve
- correct misunderstandings
- reinforce what the student has done well
- be specific, respectful, timely and constructive.
Parents can request, through the class teacher, information on how a student’s achievement compares with the student’s peer group at the school.
Where a student’s disability, specific education needs or cultural beliefs will significantly affect their access to an assessment task the teacher may adjust the task in consultation with the relevant Head of Learning Area.
6 Judgements of Student Achievement
Teachers employ a broad range of strategies to obtain information about their students' skills and understandings and plan for future learning. These range from asking questions during a lesson to giving a formal standardised assessment.
In each course, a range of tasks provide evidence of student achievement. The teacher uses this task information, and their professional knowledge, to make judgements about student achievement.
The requirements for each formal assessment task will be clearly described in writing (i.e. what the student needs to do, often indicating the steps involved for extended tasks). The criteria against which the task will be marked will be provided with the task.
7 Modified Curriculum
For some students, differentiation of the curriculum is required to cater for their individual learning needs. If there is a legitimate reason for a student to be following a modified curriculum (for example, gifted and talented students, students with a disability and additional learning needs etc), the variations are negotiated with the student and his/her parents/carers and the decisions made are documented (for example, a documented Individual Education Plan). This is done by the relevant school staff such as the Learning and Curriculum Support Staff or Program Coordinator.
8 National and State Wide Assessments
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The assessment provides parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests. These tests are administered under examination conditions at Willetton SHS, usually in Week 3 and 4 of Term 2, as determined by the Department of Education.
NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process - it does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance. NAPLAN also provides schools, education authorities and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
The OLNA is an online literacy and numeracy assessment. It is designed to enable students to successfully meet the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirement of demonstrating the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.
Students who have achieved Band 8 or higher in any of the three components of reading, writing and numeracy in Year 9 NAPLAN are acknowledged as having demonstrated proficiency in that component and will not be required to sit the corresponding OLNA test. OLNA support classes help students prepare and have the greatest chance of success.
Two rounds of assessment are administered each year at Willetton Senior High School – March and September, as determined by the Department of Education. Students are required to continue undertaking the support classes and assessment until they have demonstrated the standard.
9 Communicating and reporting to parents/carers
Willetton Senior High School reports student achievement;
- formally through semester reports
- informally throughout the year in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons as requested from the students’ parents/carers.
Formal reports are issued at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2. Willetton Senior High School reports include;
- student achievement reported on a five-point scale (A-E);
A Excellent The student demonstrates excellent achievement of what is expected for this year level.
B High The student demonstrates high achievement of what is expected for this year level.
C Satisfactory The student demonstrates satisfactory achievement of what is expected for this year level.
D Limited The student demonstrates limited achievement of what is expected for this year level.
E Very Low The student demonstrates very low achievement of what is expected for this year level.
- a Total Mark percentage
- information about the student’s attitude, behaviour and effort, shown using the following scale: Consistently,
Often, Sometimes, Seldom and Not Assessed
- a teacher comment for each subject which provides information about a student’s progress and areas for improvement
- a Year 10 Semester Exam result, where applicable
- a Pathway Grade for subjects with multiple levels/pathways within a course.
A parent teacher interview day where parents can discuss their child’s progress and/or view work samples and portfolios is held in Term 1 for Years 7, 11 and 12 and in Term 2 for Years 8, 9 and 10.
Throughout the course of the year parents will be notified of their child’s progress. This information will be provided to parents through one of the following methods;
- a note in the school diary
- a letter of commendation or letter of concern
- a telephone call or email
- via Connect.
Students and parents will be informed when it is identified that there is a risk of;
- non completion of the course work
- students not achieving their potential
- a likely E grade in formal reports.
10 Modified Reporting
If there is a legitimate reason for a student to be following a modified curriculum (as outlined in section 7 above), in consultation with parents/carers, WSHS will report on a student’s progress/achievement in terms of the modified curriculum.
Guidelines regarding assessment
Missed assessment work due to absence from class
If a student is absent from class, their ability to achieve to their potential is diminished. Extended absence frequently results in lower levels of achievement, or assessment requirements not being met.
Scheduled assessment tasks
Unauthorised absence from a scheduled assessment task (including tests and examinations) must be explained by one of the following:
- medical certificate
- email from parent to the class teacher.
Satisfactory explanation of the absence may enable the student to complete that assessment task, or a similar task. Wherever possible, advance notification to the class teacher of absence is required. If a student is absent on the due date for submission of an assessment item, it is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements for submission.
Where a student is unable to attend school for a lengthy period due to injury or illness, the school will endeavour to provide support to the student’s learning program.
Non-completion and/or late submission of assessment requirements
Students will be provided with an opportunity to present evidence supporting their reason for not completing or not submitting an assessment task by the due date. The teacher and Head of Learning Area will decide whether or not the reason for non-completion or late submission is acceptable and will apply an appropriate strategy.
Strategies for non-completion or late submission of work may include;
- maintaining ongoing communication with parents
- providing opportunities for the student to complete set work such as recess and lunchtimes
- monitoring students’ progress on the assessment prior to submission and discussing skills and strategies to finish the work on time
- reviewing whether the student requires extra support prior to assessment due date
- modifying the assessment or providing alternative questions or assessments in advance
- referring problems to Head of Learning Area to provide support.
If a student has been provided with the opportunity to complete the assessment requirements for a course but does not use this opportunity a consequent marks reduction could apply. This is a last resort and teachers will develop strategies to gather evidence in advance, such as class work or drafts so that students can be marked based on their knowledge of the outcomes.
Parents/guardians will be notified if the student is deemed to be at risk of receiving a significantly lower grade than expected as a result of non-completion or late submission of work.
Generally, it will not be possible for students to gain an extension to deadlines. Application for an extension must be in advance of the due date and should be submitted in writing, before the due date of submission, and signed by a parent/guardian. Extensions may then be given at the discretion of a teacher in cases of illness or significant personal problems. If a student does not apply for and receive an extension, a consequent marks reduction could apply to a task.
Year 10 Examinations
When attending examinations, students must adhere to the regulations for that examination. Details of regulations are on the school website. Infringement of regulations will result in an appropriate penalty.
Students must attend scheduled examinations. In exceptional circumstances, alternative arrangements may be negotiated through the relevant Head of Learning Area before the examination date. If a student is ill on the day of an examination, the relevant teacher should be advised by telephone or email and a medical certificate provided on return to school. Participating in family holidays or similar activities will not be accepted as an exceptional circumstance.
Willetton Senior High School will ensure that students with special educational needs are catered for in an appropriate way and in accordance with School Curriculum and Standards Authority guidelines.