In last week’s Professional Development meeting, staff continued their faculty planning for the 2017 implementation of reduced summative assessment (Assessment ‘of’ Learning) in preference for increased formative learning experiences (Assessment ‘for’ and ‘as’ Learning). The key purpose of formative assessment is checking for student understanding, providing feedback and encouraging students to take greater responsibility for their learning. In doing this, teachers will also have a better understanding of where students are at, in order to make consistent judgements for reporting purposes. This planning will be an ongoing focus for the college into next term and 2017.
NAPLAN data analysis has also been a hot topic for staff since its release on the 17th August. During the Teaching and Learning Coordinators meeting (5th September), subject coordinators were presented with a summary of the College NAPLAN data and invited to contribute to the discussion around the following key questions; Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How are we going to get there? Whilst our data is encouraging, areas for further improvement were identified and possible interventions discussed. I am also calling for the formation of a Literacy Working Party, for the purpose of reviewing the current Bethany Writing Project and further developing a school wide approach to literacy. As with the recent BOSTES release of minimum HSC standards has highlighted (Bethany Newsletter 26th August), it is increasingly important for school leaders to address and improve the literacy and numeracy outcomes of our students.
The annual online PAT testing will begin this week, targeting Yr 7 and Yr 8 students in their respective English and Mathematics lessons. All Yr 7 and Yr 8 students will be completing the PAT Reading and PAT Vocabulary (in English) and PAT Maths 4th Edition in Maths lessons over the course of weeks 8-10. The website URL and student usernames/logins will be distributed to students at the time of their testing, and as the tests are online, Yr 7 and Yr 8 students must come to school equipped with their laptop ready and battery fully charged.
Leader of Pedagogy