Academic Focus: Assessment Programmes and Semester 2 Reports

Academic Focus: Assessment Programmes and Semester 2 Reports

Over the course of this week and next week, students in Years 7 to 10 will complete the yearly assessment programmes set for them in each of their courses of study. At Trinity, the purpose of assessment is to provide opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do, so their teachers can identify where they are in their learning, celebrate their growth, and design future learning for them. While this is often a challenging time for students as they balance the demands of final tasks, they are encouraged to plan their time carefully and commit to honouring the year’s learning with their best effort. This will, most likely, necessitate some deliberate decisions to put aside some activities until later, and to devote some additional time to assessment preparation.

As students finish their assessment programmes, teachers are preparing Semester 2 Learning Progress Reports. These reports are based upon a wide range of learning evidence students have produced during the second half of the year, including both class-based and course-based tasks. Teachers consider this breadth of evidence against the NSW Common Grade Scale and make a professional judgement to assign an overall grade, from A+ to E-, to represent a student’s achievement in relation to the outcomes set for the course.

The focus on growth is just as important in relation to academic engagement. Semester Reports provide detailed feedback about a student’s capacity to demonstrate the deliberate engagement behaviours we know underpin academic success. The traits and dispositions of self-management, task management, learning focus and persistence are consistently linked, via robust educational research, to positive outcomes, including higher levels of academic achievement and stronger levels of wellbeing. For this reason, we provide precise feedback about students’ development in these areas, and synthesise this feedback in the Engagement Point Average, a numerical value on a 5-point scale. When setting goals for improvement, we encourage students to begin with the information on this section of the report; when evaluating the Year, we encourage students to see an EPA of 4.0, representing consistent engagement with the Trinity curriculum, as the benchmark.

Semester 2 Reports will be released to families of Years 7 to 10 students, via the parent portal, during the final week of the term. Opportunity for an online Learning Progress Conversation with your son’s Housemaster will be provided on Monday 5 December, and booking information for these conversations will be released with the Report.

Should you like to discuss any aspect of assessment and reporting at Trinity, you are most welcome to contact the Curriculum Office and a senior member of staff will be delighted to speak with you.

Now, I wish every student a productive and focussed conclusion to the assessment programmes they have worked through over the course of the 2022 academic year. It is a great achievement to bring a year of learning to a strong conclusion! And, it can be a wonderful sense of satisfaction to look towards a long holiday period knowing one has done one’s best in these final weeks.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

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