The fundamental purpose of assessment is: ‘to establish and understand where learners are in an aspect of their learning at the time of assessment’.
Masters, G., 2013. Reforming educational assessment: Imperatives, principles and challenges. Australian Education Review, 57. Melbourne: Australian Council for Education Research.
Summative assessment provides evidence of the learner’s mastery of knowledge, skills and understandings at a point in time. They measure what the learner has achieved against the achievement standards. The teacher uses summative assessments for reporting to parents/carers about the learner’s achievement.
Formative assessment refers to the variety of methods teachers use to gather and interpret information about student learning as learning is taking place. Formative assessment allows teachers to monitor student learning and to adapt their teaching to meet student needs.
Reporting is the process by which assessment information is communicated in ways that assist students, parents, teachers in making decisions by providing information about what students know and can do, along with recommendations for their future learning.
Evidence is gathered from assessment and involves teachers making professional judgements about the level of students’ achievements at key points in the learning cycle. To assist with this process the teachers use a standards-based performance scale. This is a generic scale that can be applied to all Learning Areas at all Year levels.
To assist schools to comply with the requirements of the Australian Government, a diocesan format for student reporting is used by all primary schools. This common format is in the form of a web based package with a standard template for Years P – 2 and 3 – 6. Secondary Colleges use a reporting format best suited to the needs of older students but are required to use a five-point scale to indicate achievement against set standards.
Schools formally report student progress to parents / caregivers each semester using a five-point scale to indicate achievement. Teachers report to parents through other methods prior to formal reporting to ensure that there are ‘no surprises’ about the achievement of their son/daughter when receiving the twice-yearly formal report.