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Reporting at the End of the Compulsory Years

Reporting at the End of the Compulsory Years

What is the purpose of internal (ie by schools) reporting in the compulsory years in your state/territory?
What is the purpose of external (ie by systems/Board/Council) if any reporting in the compulsory years in your state/territory?
What information is currently reported externally?
How is the information reported?
What agency is responsible for external reporting?

What is the purpose of internal (i.e. by schools) reporting in the compulsory years in NSW?

Reporting is the process of communicating information about student achievement and progress gained from the assessment process.

The purpose of reporting is to provide information to students, parents, teachers, school authorities and employers on

  • students’ achievement of standards represented in syllabuses by outcomes and subject matter, and
  • students’ progress over time.

This supports teaching and learning and assists schools and systems in their planning and accountability functions

Student achievement/progress can be reported by comparing:

  • the students' achievement against a standards framework of syllabus outcomes
  • the students' prior and current learning achievements
  • the students' achievements with those of other students.

In addition, assessment information is valuable for teachers in evaluating teaching programs and practices.

Departmental policy requires that schools report to parents in written form at least twice each year. Further reporting of diagnostic information may also occur. Schools are expected to consult with parents in the development of their reporting procedures to address local needs and expectations.

What is the purpose of external (i.e. by systems/Board/Council) reporting in the compulsory years in NSW? (if any)

The Board of Studies reports student achievement in the School Certificate to students, parents and schools. Individual reports to students/parents showing satisfactory or unsatisfactory completion of mandatory studies, school grades and test results provide an overall picture of a student’s achievement throughout the School Certificate program. The test reports showing achievement within bands provide meaningful and detailed feedback with clear descriptions of levels of achievement in relation to expected standards. Principals receive a report showing similar information about each student at the school with the addition of school and statewide percentages for each band.

Students in government schools are assessed through the following statewide testing programs which are designed by the Department:

  • Basic Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy in Years 3 and 5
  • Writing Assessment Program in Years 3 and 5
  • English Language and Literacy Assessment in Years 7 and 8
  • Secondary Numeracy Assessment Program in Year 7 (may later be extended to Year 8 as well).

The results of these tests are reported to the students’ parents, the school and the system.

The reporting of the results assists:

  • teachers to identify and cater for the individual needs of students
  • schools to assess and adapt their programs to better meet the needs of the students
  • the system to track performance over time and better evaluate statewide programs and initiatives.

What information is currently reported externally?

The Board of Studies supplies NSW school systems with data on the participation and performance of their students. Selected data, primarily in relation to participation, are also provided to Commonwealth agencies on request.

The government school statewide testing programs report student achievement on a performance scale. The performance scale is divided into a number of bands or levels. A description of each student’s performance on the test is provided, outlining areas of strength and those in which they may require further assistance. A description of what students in each of those bands typically have demonstrated is included. The percentage of students in each performance band for the test cohort is provided.

How is the information reported?

The Board of Studies reports student achievement in the School Certificate tests in terms of a mark and a performance band. Each Band is associated with a description that summarises the skills and knowledge typically possessed by students who have achieved that Band. Students receive a single page report for each test showing the mark and band description, as well as a graphical image of how well the student has performed in relation to the rest of the cohort. Student achievement in individual subjects is also reported by way of a school grade from A to E, each of which is also associated with a description of typical achievement.

There are three Basic Skills Test reports: parents, school and state.

Parent Report:

  • tells parents what their child can do
  • tells parents how their child's results compare with the rest of the state
  • gives results in skill bands (five bands for Year 3 and six bands for Year 5)
  • describes the literacy and numeracy skills tested
  • is forwarded to parents in October.

School Report:

  • tells teachers what each child can and cannot do
  • gives teachers information about various student groups and the whole of NSW
  • helps teachers to identify groups of students who might need help
  • helps teachers make decisions about school programs.

State Report:

  • tells the community and the Department of Education and Training what students are able to do and whether standards are being maintained.

School reports and individual student reports are provided for ELLA tests. Schools receive a mapping of individual student performance at the item level, and summary statistics on the school’s performance and that of the test cohort overall. For those students who can be matched from their Basic Skills Tests in Year 3 to their Basic Skills Tests in Year 5, their progress on the achievement scale is also reported to the school. For the Basic Skills Testing program, each school is also provided with a disk package that contains the data to assist with further analysis.

What agency is responsible for external reporting?

The NSW Board of Studies is responsible for reporting for the School Certificate.

The Department of Education and Training provides external reports for the statewide testing programs it operates.

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