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[Insert faculty Banner] Consistency of Assessment

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1 [Insert faculty Banner] Consistency of Assessment
Science 7-10

2 What is Assessment? “Schools are to undertake assessment to collect information about students’ learning. This will occur through both formal and informal activities Assessment is the process of identifying, gathering and interpreting information about students' learning. The central purpose of assessment is to provide information on student achievement and progress and set the direction for ongoing teaching and learning. Policy Standards for Curriculum Planning and Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parents K-12

3 Who is to be assessed? Assessment of student learning will be undertaken for all learners, including students with disabilities: enrolled in regular classes; enrolled in special classes or in special schools; accessing life skills outcomes and content in Years 7-10 or following life skills patterns of study in Years11-12.” Policy Standards for Curriculum Planning and Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parents K-12

4 Assessment ‘for’ Learning
Assessment for learning acknowledges that assessment should occur as a regular part of teaching and learning and that the information gained from assessment activities can be used to shape the teaching and learning process. Assessment for learning in the K-10 Curriculum Framework is designed to enhance teaching and improve learning. It is assessment that gives students opportunities to produce the work that leads to development of their knowledge, skills and understanding. Examples of assessment for learning activities linked to school teaching programs can be found on the Curriculum Support website at

5 Assessment ‘for’ Learning
Assessment for learning involves teachers in deciding how and when to assess student achievement, as they plan the work students will do, using a range of appropriate assessment strategies including self-assessment and peer assessment. Teachers of K-10 students will provide students with opportunities in the context of everyday classroom activities, as well as planned assessment events, to demonstrate their learning.

6 Assessment ‘of’ Learning
Assessment for learning informs assessment of learning Enables teachers to report on the status of student learning at various points in the teaching and learning program. Involves teachers making holistic professional judgements of student achievement, based on evidence collected from both formal and informal measures of each student’s performance against defined criteria, collected over time from a number of assessment for learning activities.

7 Collaborative planning
Has a number of dimensions: Teacher - teacher dialogue to develop quality assessment instruments Teacher - student dialogue to guide students’ path through learning Student – teacher dialogue to self guide learning and inform teaching

8 Which syllabus outcomes when in the teaching learning opportunity?
Consider the key questions: What do the students need to learn? Why does that learning matter? What do the students need to do to and demonstrate to show they have done that learning? How well do they have to do it? Plan the teaching learning program and assessment to answer these questions.

9 Collaborative planning and quality assessment processes
In Science teaching we recognise that assessment is a two-way mode of communication. As well as gathering information about students’ learning, we know that it is through assessment that we communicate to students what it is that we value in Science. Assessment is anchored on a standard

10 Collaborative planning and quality assessment processes
What kind of assessment can I use to provide students with the opportunity to show what they have learnt address significant scientific content provide quality feedback to the student on their learning? Assessment must be valid and reliable.

11 Collaborative planning and quality assessment processes
In practice, effective science assessment is characterised by tasks which: connect to prior learning engage students, are relevant and are valued by them allow students to demonstrate their science skills in context Allow students to show what they know and can do

12 Understanding the Standards
It is imperative that we build understanding of the standards to be able to appropriately award grades This understanding can be built by: Reflecting on the syllabus stage statements Reflecting on the Course Performance Descriptors (CPDs) accessing the Board of Studies assessment advice, Assessment Resource Centre (ARC) and the Standards Packages Professional dialogue - Reflecting on past student performances

13 Understanding the Standards
The Stage Statements in the K-10 syllabuses: “summarise the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes gained by achieving the outcomes for a stage of learning”.

14 Understanding the Standards
The Course Performance Descriptors for the K-10 syllabuses: “have been developed from the Board’s general performance descriptors, and provide a more complete description of typical performance in this course at each grade level (A-E) ”.

15 Understanding the Standards CPDs for Science

16 Understanding the Standards
Accessing: Advice on Programming and Assessment The Standards Packages The ARC

17 The Assessment Resource Centre supports assessing and reporting student achievement relative to standards

18 Understanding the Standards
Through using the ARC website materials you can become familiar with the A to E standards by reading: the descriptions for each grade the tasks and activities the work samples, and the grade commentaries.

19 Understanding the Standards
Through use of the ARC website materials you can, while reading the student work samples provided, think of your experiences with students you have taught who have produced work of a similar standard. This will give you a “mental picture” of the knowledge, skills and understanding represented by a student that would have been awarded that grade.

20 Understanding the Standards
Discussions with your colleagues is critical. It may be especially helpful for: New teachers Or Where a teacher is not experienced with that stage

21 Understanding the Standards
Using work samples aligned to grades assists teachers to have a clear understanding of the standards at each grade level. For each subject area in each stage, the samples of student work, together, show the standard of work typically produced by students performing at that grade level. Teachers can use this information to assist them to consistently apply the Common Grade Scale to award grades to students at key reporting points.

22 Understanding the Standards
Aligning a work sample to a particular grade indicates that the work sample is of a standard that would typically be produced by a student whose overall performance, on balance, best matches that grade description. The samples of work for a subject area for a particular grade, when taken collectively, enable teachers to clearly see the quality of work typically produced by students who will be awarded each grade at the end of the stage. It is important to note at this point that: The award of an A-E grade is about the on-balance judgement of the performance of the student rather than the awarding of a grade to a particular piece of work which may or may-not represent the students overall performance level.

23 Allocating Grades Awarding the right grade
Reporting with grades requires teachers to use their on-balance judgement in relation to standards An on-balance judgement does not focus on a single piece of work. This is a key professional skill.

24 Below and above standard
Professional dialogue to determine how far below or above standard. Assign an A-E grade (or equivalent) C at standard The allocation of a grade is based on a body of work

25 Awarding the right grade (2)
Teachers weigh up the assessment information collected for a student up to that point in time. This information will come from both formal assessment activities and informal observations and will be built up over time and in different situations.

26 Consistent teacher judgements
The consistency of judgements about grades within and between schools comes from: following teaching programs based on common syllabuses using the common grade scale considering shared samples of student work discussions with colleagues

27 Common Grade Scale Grade Grade Descriptions A B C D E
The student has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the content and can readily apply this knowledge. In addition, the student has achieved a very high level of competence in the processes and skills and can apply these skills to new situations. B The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the content and a high level of competence in the processes and skills. In addition, the student is able to apply this knowledge and these skills to most situations. C The student has a sound knowledge and understanding of the main areas of content and has achieved an adequate level of competence in the processes and skills. D The student has a basic knowledge and understanding of the content and has achieved a limited level of competence in the processes and skills. E The student has an elementary knowledge and understanding in few areas of the content and has achieved very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.

28 A-E Grades At the beginning of a reporting period, teachers will consider what students are expected to learn. That is, the knowledge, skills and understanding that is typically spelt out in the syllabuses and the teaching/learning programs developed by schools.

29 A-E Grades During the assessment period students should be told how they are performing against the standard and guided on how they can improve. This is done through the development of tasks designed and marked around explicit criteria and the provision of meaningful explicit feedback.

30 A-E Grades At the end of the reporting period, teachers will consider how well students have achieved. This is addressed by using the common A-E grade scale which summarises the degree to which students have demonstrated their achievement of the knowledge, skills and understanding they have had the opportunity to learn. How well takes into account the breadth and depth of their learning.

31 Allocating Grades Assessment ‘of’ Learning
The Assessment Program Establish an assessment program that consists of a number of assessment activities Ensure the assessment activities cover a range of outcomes and are established with explicit assessment criteria Provide opportunities for students to display their achievements in different ways and to work in a range of situations Decide on the relative importance of each assessment activity Collect performance information on each student from assessment activities

32 Course Performance Descriptors (CPDs)
Course performance descriptors have been developed by the OBOS for each course. They describe the main features of a typical student's performance at each grade measured against the syllabus objectives and outcomes for the course. You will make the final judgement of the most appropriate grade on the basis of available assessment information and with reference to the course performance descriptors. The grades awarded should reflect the relative emphasis placed on the assessable objectives of school programs and the syllabus. For example, where a school has placed considerable emphasis on the development of research skills, that emphasis should be reflected in the assessment program.

33 CPDs for Science Download a copy of the Stage 5 Course Performance Descriptors for Science from the NSW Board of Studies website at

34 CPDs for Science CPDs are:
standards achieved by Year 10 students at the end of Stage 5 not intended to be a checklist or a comprehensive description of student performance

35 Using AE Grades and CPDs
Year 7 Semester 1 A-E reporting scale used to make judgements on student achievement related to the syllabus outcomes and content taught during that semester only. Semester 2 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 BOS CPDs used to make judgement

36 Making Judgements Assessment ‘for’ Learning
Identify where students are on the K-10 Science continuum and design learning activities that will move them along the continuum The continuum poster is ideal to display in your classroom and have students and teachers sharing a common understanding of syllabus expectations Place a copy of the Stage 5 mathematics CPDs beside the poster communicating to students the standards expected for particular grades at the end of Year 10 Display the continuum poster and the CPDs at parent teacher interviews communicating syllabus expectations to all stakeholders

37 Helping New Scheme Teachers
It is important for all teachers and particularly for new scheme teachers to: share interpretations of syllabus expectations and understandings with colleagues or teacher networks use student work samples collaboratively to make judgements have a shared understanding of student achievement at a particular point

38 Contacts / Resources For further information: Contacts
Glen Sawle, Manager, Science or Ric Morante, Senior Curriculum Adviser, Science 7-12

39 Contacts / Resources Refer to the Curriculum Support website

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