With the recent release of the planned HSC reforms and planned reduction of Stage 6 internal school assessment (see Principal’s Message, Bethany Newsletter dated 29th July) has come the timely review of Bethany assessment structures. BOSTES, together with Sydney Catholic Schools, have also requested the reduction of Stage 4 and 5 summative assessment across schools, believing the number of tasks to be detrimental to both student learning and overall student health and well-being. The recent Bethany staff Professional Development meeting included a presentation of these reforms, together with faculty planning time for teams to consider alternative assessment structures in their teaching programmes. The focus will be Assessment “for” Learning, therefore information gathering for the student and teacher as a critical step in the teaching and learning cycle, as opposed to a purely measurement and reporting focus. This work will continue as we journey towards 2017.
Late last term, the 7-11 year groups completed two Social-Emotional surveys to increase our understanding of student attitudes towards their learning and the learning preferences of our cohorts. The latter survey, is a well-known and respected survey instrument used across secondary Sydney Catholic Schools and also the Independent sector. It is the work of Karen B. Rogers; Professor of Gifted Studies University of Minnesota, Fellow of the University of Wollongong and Honorary Professor at the University of New South Wales. The collation and recent release of this data has revealed significant and overwhelmingly positive findings in relation to the degree of student satisfaction in their academic progress here at Bethany. An example of this can be seen below;
My work at school makes me feel proud (can indicate the degree of effort, success, the potential reached and extent of student satisfaction)
As with any data, questions should be asked and the possible implications explored, for example the decline in this satisfaction with Yr 10 students. Whilst this statistic is consistent with research into adolescent personal and social development, it is certainly worthy of further consideration. I have presented my overall findings with the Teaching & Learning Coordinators and invited them to discuss and reflect upon this data with their faculties.
In enrichment news, all creative and innovative thinkers across Stage 4 have been encouraged to work with me in developing submissions for the Little Big Idea Competition and the College is currently in the process of inviting ten of our Yr 11 high achievers (and those with leadership capacity) to attend the University of Wollongong’s Energise initiative offered on the 19th August. I look forward to sharing their learnings with you in the short-term future.
Ms Katherine Maish
Leader of Pedagogy