Recently, Marinko Colak (Education Officer: Secondary Curriculum, Eastern Region Office) visited the college and met with me to further unpack 2016 Bethany NAPLAN data. The focus was tracking the Yr 9 cohort across their two years at Bethany College and investigating what Year 7 2014 and Year 9 2016 comparative data analysis could reveal. The results were shared with staff at last week’s Professional Development meeting, with faculty time then provided in order for staff to further engage with the data and begin professional conversations within their teams. From here, a departmental representative from each faculty across the college will meet as a collegial team on several occasions across Term 4 to discuss 2016 NAPLAN student writing samples, literacy strategies and possible interventions for 2017. The purpose is to further develop a school wide approach to reading and writing with the intention of increased student achievement. The recent BOSTES release of Band 8 minimum HSC standards has certainly highlighted the need for schools to commit to improving fundamental literacy and numeracy outcomes of students.
On Monday 17 October, Vicki Lavorato (College Principal) and myself attended the UNSW Global ‘Assessment in Schools’ 2016 Conference. We heard from Professor Gordon Stanley (Honorary Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney and former President of the Board of Studies NSW), who presented the latest developments and trends in assessments, especially standardised testing both in Australia and internationally. As would be expected, there are a range of reliability concerns with global PISA testing, least of which is the vast cultural milieu and complexity of translating these tests across languages. Vicki and I also attended workshops in Reporting Student Progress, How to Prepare Schools and Students for NAPLAN Online, Improving Writing in Schools and Formative Assessment: Myths and Realities.
The annual online PAT testing for 2016 has now concluded and I thank the students and their teachers for the smooth completion of these tests. PAT analysis can now begin and will assist in providing a more detailed understanding of Stage 4 student’s abilities and acquired skills in relation to foundational reading comprehension, vocabulary and numeracy.
Leader of Pedagogy