Clear As Mud
23rd June 2016
Ah yes, school reports – teachers slave over them and parents spend hours trying to decipher them!
Things have changed since we went to school. A and B grades are not as easily attainable. It’s almost like C is the new A. C grades mean students have a sound knowledge and are competent. A’s are achieved only when students have extensive knowledge and can readily apply their understandings. So don’t be disappointed with a C grade; it means they’re on track.
So where do teachers pluck these grades from anyway? Believe me – they’re not assigned lightly. Teachers look at the student’s work samples, engage in dialogue with their colleagues, consider the student’s overall contribution to the topic and use their professional judgement.
Then, they consider the child’s performance against outcomes listed in the curriculum. They look at indicators; specific things the student should demonstrate to show mastery of that outcome.
Finally, teachers align their student work samples with the grades and samples set out by the Board Of Studies.
After ALL that, if your child meets the criteria, they’ll have earned a C. If they’re consistently achieving above and beyond, then they can expect a B or maybe an A.
Teachers do find this process challenging, but ultimately the report is a document to inform parents. So if you want to know more about your child’s report, make an appointment to see the teacher and check out the NSW Board of Studies Assessment website where you can find work samples that demonstrate each grade.
And just to clarify, students are graded across Stages not Year levels. Effort grades are not required, although many schools choose to include this as an extra. Oh, and Kindergarten students are graded as Working Above, Working At and Working Beyond Expectation.
Clear as mud? Yeah I thought so.