With the 2016 school year drawing to a close, Bethany College staff have been busily preparing assessment, marking and reporting on student achievement in this final semester. In addition to this, planning for the new 2017 academic year is now well underway. Changes to the College assessment policy, in particular the reduction of summative assessment (Assessment ‘of’ Learning) in Years 7-10 in preference for an increased emphasis on Formative (Assessment ‘as’ and ‘for Learning), has required considerable faculty collaboration and consultative decision-making. The key purpose of formative assessment is checking for student understanding, providing feedback and encouraging students to take greater responsibility for their learning. The time and thoughtful planning involved in this process will most definitely benefit teaching and learning in the College through what I believe will be a dramatic lessening of student anxiety surrounding assessment; therefore improving student wellbeing and ultimately improving student learning outcomes.
The College Literacy Working Party has now met on three occasions and made significant headway in developing a school wide approach to literacy. This group has engaged in the following;
- Faculty investigations – shared faculty Literacy interventions over the past 3-5 years as an overview of what has already been implemented
- Faculty strengths and weaknesses – shared ideas of what has worked and the possible reasons why
- NAPLAN scripts and what they reveal – analysed student writing scripts with NAPLAN marker’s rubric
- Reviewed the Bethany Writing Project – redesigned for 2017 and beyond
- Tabled ideas – presented a range of reading and writing strategies for consideration
- Introduction of the Faculty Literacy Action Plan – drafted a faculty strategic proforma
- Tracked across 7-10 programmes – identified appropriate opportunities to embed the chosen literacy approache/s
- Identified opportunities to combine literacy approache/s with the 2017 focus on Formative Assessment- developed Assessment ‘for’ and ‘as’ Learning
- 2017 College Literacy Planner – mapped into the calendar for 2017 tracking
- Created necessary resources – for 2017 implementation
In 2017, this group will meet twice a term in order to continually evaluate departmental literacy interventions and thus act on the identify, plan, act, review cycle required for the on-going success of any strategic improvement goal.
In the area of Gifted Education, I’d like to formally recognise and congratulate those girls who participated in the Scientia Showcase evening (Thursday 10th November). The exemplary work these girls displayed across a wide range of subject areas was most impressive and inspirational to the primary age students and their parents who attended from our Newman feeder schools. These girls were:
Olivia Di Costanzo
Three Year 7 girls from the 7G Scientia group are also congratulated for their recent presentation to the College Leadership Team. Nektaria Rice, Claudia Ceballos and Jenessa Fong addressed Laudato Si’, reporting back on their investigations into the level of ecological sustainbility already existing in the College and presenting possible solutions on how the College can further improve.
Finally I would like to acknowledge the work of Jade Lozanovski of Year 7 who entered Origin Energy’s Little Big Idea national competition. This STEM initiative encourages students to ‘design think’ by inventing something new or improving an already existing idea that could help make the world a better place. Jade designed a device called “Beat It” to support arrhythmia patients. Whilst Jade was not selected as one of the finalists, she is to be congratulated on her creativity, maturity, passion and dedication to the project.
Leader of Pedagogy