Assessment is an ongoing and integral part of the teaching and learning process. Through this process schools are able to provide easy-to-understand reports to parents about individual student learning outcomes.
The type of assessment and report varies at different times during a student's school life. Formal reporting to parents will occur at least once every semester. Parents are encouraged to discuss their children's progress and needs with teachers at any time.
The following is a guide to assist parents to understand recent developments in reporting in Queensland schools, and to enable them to discuss their child's progress and needs with teachers.
Queensland schools are improving the way they report on student and school performance, by providing parents and the community with easy access to information about the achievements of students and schools.
These changes will ensure Queensland parents receive the information they need to help their children throughout their schooling and make informed choices about schools.
Comprehensive information using school and student reporting will be provided in three ways:
Together this information will provide a comprehensive picture for parents to help them support their child's education, and make informed decisions about where their child may need additional support.
Assessment refers to the collection of information about student achievement. Education Queensland recognises the central role of teachers' everyday classroom assessment in providing authentic and valid feedback for ongoing improvement in teaching and student learning. It also recognises that statewide point-in-time assessment provides reliable and comparable information about student achievement across schools.
While each assessment approach provides different information, when put together they provide a fuller picture of student achievement. Through the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting (QCAR) Framework, strategies will be put in place to support teachers' everyday assessment practices and to collect statewide comparable data on student learning.
The introduction of the Prep Year as the first year of school in Queensland has focused attention on monitoring and assessment. The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines clearly articulate the processes that guide assessment and monitoring practices in Prep. This means that Prep teachers gather evidence, organise data, reflect on evidence gathered, make judgments about a child's learning in a particular phase and record these twice a year on the Early Learning Record (ELR).
The intent of the ELR is to monitor progress and inform conversations with parents during face-to-face interviews. The ELR is also passed to Year 1 teachers to inform curriculum decisions.
In Years 1 to 3, students' progress is monitored in the areas of reading, writing, and number through the Year 2 Diagnostic Net process. The Net process involves teachers' ongoing observations and assessment and enables the identification of students in the early years who need extra support in literacy and numeracy. It also supports the identification of students who excel in their learning.
Parents receive reports on their child's achievements in literacy and numeracy at the end of Years 1 and 3 and in the middle of Year 2. State schools offer a range of intervention strategies to assist students who are experiencing difficulty in the development of their literacy and numeracy skills at all stages of their schooling.
Teachers regularly monitor students' progress and modify their teaching strategies in ways that best support students in the classroom. Some school intervention programs provide one-to-one support, withdrawal with a specialist teacher or small group instruction within a classroom setting. These programs may be delivered by specialist teachers, tutors, trained teacher aides, parents or volunteers.
Statewide Years 3, 5 and 7 tests occur annually. Years 3, 5 and 7 tests include students in all state schools and in most non-state schools. The specific purposes of the Years 3, 5 and 7 tests are to:
Years 3, 5 and 7 tests cover aspects of literacy and numeracy in Standard Australian English that allow reporting against the Queensland curriculum and national benchmark standards. The context of the items relate to aspects of literacy and numeracy across the Key Learning Areas and assess students across the range of student abilities.
The National Literacy and Numeracy Vouchers Program provides direct assistance to parents of students who have not achieved minimum standards in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 3, 5, and 7 so they can obtain additional help for their children. The vouchers provide literacy tuition in isolation from classroom practice.
The Queensland initiative provides additional support for upper primary students who do not meet national literacy benchmarks in the Year 5 test. Additional teacher time provides intervention to targeted Years 6 and 7 students in a variety of ways including small groups and one to one, and in a variety of locations such as in the classroom, library or computer room. Intervention through this program is designed to be sensitive to the developmental needs of pre-adolescent students and is provided in the least intrusive way possible incorporating the students' peers and age-appropriate materials.
Teacher aides also work under the direction of teachers in providing intervention strategies in literacy and numeracy. Additional, ongoing literacy and numeracy development is derived from:
Students at schools implementing the New Basics Framework will receive a report recording their performance on Rich Tasks completed during that school year.
Through the Smarter Learning:
Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting (QCAR) Framework, all school sectors in Queensland have committed to increasing the reliability and comparability of reporting of student achievement across Queensland schools.
QCAR will identify the Essential Learnings and expected standards of student achievement across Years 1-10 at the key junctures of Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. QCAR will also provide teachers with access to a range of high-quality assessment tools for collecting valid and reliable evidence of student achievement as part of everyday classroom practice from Years 1 to 10.
In addition, statewide comparable assessment will be undertaken at Years 4, 6 and 9 in English, Maths and Science and one other area. These statewide comparable assessments will enable students to demonstrate the breadth and depth of their knowledge and skills and give parents, students and educators increased confidence in the reliability and comparability of student results during the middle phase of schooling.
The Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test is a statewide test based on the Queensland senior curriculum and is available to all Year 12 students regardless of subjects taken. However, students who are eligible for a Tertiary Entrance Statement, recording their Overall Position and Field Positions, must sit the test.
An Overall Position (OP) states a student's rank-order position based on overall achievement in Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) subjects. To qualify for an OP, students must have studied at least 20 semesters of QSA subjects including three subjects for all four senior semesters and have taken the QCS Test.
Field Positions (FPs) indicate a student's rank-order position based on overall achievements in QSA subjects in up to five fields: extended written expression, short written communication, basic numeracy, solving complex problems and practical performance. FPs are calculated for OPeligible students only.
More information on the QCS Test is availble on the QSA website.
As well as regular end-of-semester reporting, students in secondary schools receive certifi cates marking significant milestones.
On completing Year 12, students receive a Student Education Profile containing a Senior Certificate and, if eligible, a Tertiary Entrance Statement.
The Senior Certificate records individual subject results, including relevant vocational education and training results and the Queensland Core Skills Test results.
The Tertiary Entrance Statement is the key to university entrance and contains an Overall Position and Field Positions.
Some students will receive a Certificate of Post-Compulsory School Education. A student is eligible to receive the Certificate of Post-Compulsory School Education if the student has at least 12 years of schooling and is identified by the school as having an impairment or difficulties in learning that are not primarily due to socioeconomic, cultural and/or linguistic factors.
A Record of Results, based on school records, may be issued to students who leave school prior to completing the requirements for a certificate.
From 2008, the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) will be issued, with students who began Year 10 in 2006 the first eligible cohort to receive a QCE. The QCE is a broad-based qualifi cation that requires young people to achieve a significant amount of learning, as well as meet specifi ed requirements for literacy and numeracy, in order to achieve the qualification.
The QCE recognises broad learning options and offers flexibility in what, where and when learning occurs. Different types of learning attract different credit values. A credit is the minimum amount of learning at the set standard that can contribute towards the QCE. Students must have at least 20 credits to be awarded a QCE.
To find out more visit the QCE website .
Next Step is the Queensland
Government's statewide survey of every student who completed Year 12 in the previous year in Queensland, in state and non-state schools. The survey, which was initiated in 2005, collects information about the initial study and employment destinations of young people after leaving school.
The survey provides valuable information to improve the services that are available to young adults in the future. lt assists:
For further information visit the Next Step Survey.
Many schools today are accepting greater responsibility and accountability by taking control of functions and decisions previously directed by Education Queensland's central administration.
At the same time, Education Queensland is taking advantage of rapid advances in technology to upgrade its key strategic systems.
State schools are organised into 10 regions across Queensland. The senior officer within each region is the Regional Executive Director.
Within the 10 regions there are 26 Education Districts, each led by an Executive Director (Schools) who focuses on school leadership, school performance and student outcomes of schools located within that Education District. Education Districts are based on geographic boundaries, each encompassing between 30 and 50 school sites.
The collective composition of schools within each district differs considerably as a result of local demographic factors, such as school size, diversity of student population, school growth and the number of school employees.
District offices help ensure that school planning and accountability contribute to organisational goals. Other roles of district offices vary as schools within each district provide education services to meet the needs of local communities.
In this way, district offices can meet the individual and specific needs of school clusters across a state as large and diverse as Queensland.
The Department of Education, Training and the Arts' website contains a full and up-to-date directory of all Queensland state and non-state schools. Information on the directory includes contact details, school type, enrolment numbers, regional and district sectors, types of students catered for and sport regions.
The website is an information resource for schools and other departmental sites, containing contact details for district offices, facilities and services, as well as for corporate and education documents.