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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Progress and achievement

Progress and achievement

Teacher with students.

Each learner is on a unique pathway of development. Although there is wide agreement about what they can be expected to achieve at particular points in their progress, there are always variations in students' expertise and in their routes and rates of progress. Whatever level a student has achieved, it is important that teachers recognise what they already know, and can control and build on their expertise in any given learning context.

The English learning area, the Reading and Writing National Standards, and the  Progression in English levels 6–8, as well as the Principles, Vision and Key Competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum provide a starting point for what students are expected to be able to know and do in any particular year level.

Snapshot 18: Using the AOs to identify learning needs
This snapshot describes how the teacher of an all-boys class went back to the curriculum to identify and plan for the learning needs of their students – with results that surprised everyone.

Questions to think about in your school context

The following questions can be used when planning your next steps:

  • What information have I gathered from my inquiry? Where can I go next?
  • What knowledge and skills do the students need?
  • What are the students' strengths? What evidence informs this?
  • What are the students' learning needs? What evidence informs this?
  • How can I most effectively change what I am doing with my students in order to achieve better outcomes?

Assessment tools

Key resources

The assessment tool selector 
A resource designed to help select the most appropriate assessment tool to suit a particular purpose. The selector gives information about assessment tools for every area of the curriculum, up to and including Year 10.

Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs)
These consist of curriculum-based assessment resources designed for students working at English, maths, and science curriculum levels 2 to 5, for use in New Zealand schools. 

e-asTTle
e-asTTle is an online assessment tool, developed to assess students’ achievement and progress in reading, mathematics, writing, and in pānui, pāngarau and tuhituhi. The tool has been developed primarily for the assessment of students in years 5–10, but because it tests curriculum levels 2-6 it can be used for students in lower and higher year levels.

English Exemplars
An English exemplar is a sample of authentic student work annotated to illustrate learning, achievement, and quality in relation to levels 1 to 5 of English curriculum achievement objectives (1993). The English exemplars relate to every strand of the English curriculum, to a range of achievement objectives, and to a variety of associated text forms.

National standards
National Standards set clear expectations that students need to meet in reading, writing, and mathematics in the first eight years at school.

PATs
Teachers used Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs) to assess listening comprehension in years 3 to 9, and to assess reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, and maths in years 4 to 9.

School Entry Assessment: School Entry Assessment (SEA) enables teachers of new entrants to gather information about their literacy and numeracy skills, as individuals and within groups, so that they can make informed decisions when planning a student’s learning programme.

Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading :
Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading (STAR) helps teachers to identify those needing extra help, group children by ability and needs, diagnose areas of difficulty, and evaluate programmes. It can be used to assess reading years 3 to 9.

Assessment processes

'Assessment processes’ means more flexible and variable assessment strategies or activities that are designed to improve teaching and learning. Such processes are part of the ongoing interaction between teaching and learning. Much of the evidence gathered will be 'of the moment', with analysis and interpretation taking place in our minds as we seek to shape our actions to ensure students’ progress.

Examples include: informal observation, teacher-student conferences, using exemplars, and records of how students make meaning of information as they listen/read/view text and create meaning for others through speaking, writing, and presenting text. Student voice and reflections are also extremely valuable insights into where your students are with their learning.

Senior curriculum guides

Snapshot 11: Reflective journals
This snapshot describes how a teacher greatly enhanced the effectiveness of her feedback by introducing her students to the use of reflective journals.

For more information on assessment processes:

Assessment for learning
Judy Maw, assistant principal and network learning facilitator, discusses student first assessment in an English context.

National Standards

Key sites

National standards website 
National standards set clear expectations that students need to meet in reading, writing, and mathematics in the first eight years at school.

Reading and writing standards 
The National Standards for reading and writing in years 1–8, as well as examples that illustrate some of the ways in which students can meet these standards as they engage with the kinds of tasks and texts that enable them to meet the demands of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Alignment of assessment tools with National Standards
In making overall teacher judgments in relation to National Standards, teachers will gather evidence from a range of sources, including scores from formal assessment tools. To assist teachers in working with assessment tools in relation to National Standards, the Ministry of Education has undertaken preliminary script scrutiny work to provide information on how scores for assessment tools align to the National Standard at that year level.

National Standards illustrations
This new section on the Literacy Online site provides access to the reading and writing standards high resolution illustrations that demonstrate the literacy demands of the texts and tasks students will be engaging with across the curriculum. These illustrations are available to teachers and educators to support their planning, teaching and their judgments about students’ progress and achievement.

Analysis and use of assessment information

Teachers of English can reflect on these three questions to guide them in using assessment information.

  • How can I use what I learn about students’ strengths and needs to plan for further learning?
  • How can I support students in self-regulating their learning?
  • How can I monitor the effectiveness of my teaching practice?

Snapshot 1: Ngā hau e wha
This snapshot describes how a school used close reading of Māori and Pasifika poetry to address the diverse needs and interests of its students.

Key resources

  • Assessment Online
  • Assessment Resource Banks: English: The diagnostic assessment tasks in English (developed by NZCER) allow teachers to investigate a particular focus for assessment (for example, inference) in depth. They cover all curriculum modes, from levels 2 to 5.
  • English exemplars: The exemplars highlight features that English teachers need to watch for, collect information about, and act on to promote learning. Exemplars help to answer the question, "What is quality work?". They cover written, visual, and oral language.
  • Literacy Learning Progressions: This resource shows English teachers the knowledge and skills that students need to meet the reading and writing demands of the New Zealand Curriculum, from school entry to the end of year 10.
  • Next Steps (PDF) – Using the Assessment Resource Banks for Formative Assessment: This booklet is intended to help teachers to use the Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs) to support formative assessment in classrooms.
  • Thinking About How Language Works
    This resource from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) provides teachers with additional information about language that will help them to analyse student responses to Assessment Resource Bank items. It will be of use when analysing responses from students with English as a first or subsequent language. 
 

Teachers can also refer to the relevant sections in the Effective Literacy Practice books:

  • Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4 (pp. 61–69): This resource helps us develop our understandings of what we do that leads to improved literacy outcomes for students in years 1–4. Pages 61–69 discuss analysing and using assessment information. They are available from  Down the Back of the Chair.
  • Effective Literacy Practice in Years 5 to 8 (pp. 62–71): This resource helps us develop understandings of what we do that leads to improved literacy outcomes for students in years 5–8. Pages 66–71 discuss analysing and using assessment information. They are available from  Down the Back of the Chair.

Updated on: 19 Oct 2015




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