New Learning Horizons

Year 7 and 8 Term 3 Examinations

Our vision at St Columba is to transform the lives of our students by offering the educational opportunities that will allow them to have lives of purpose, service and engagement. We believe that for students to be equipped to thrive in their future, they will need to be good at learning.

As we continue to engage in Deep Learning practices, we are examining our teaching and learning strategies to ensure students have the best opportunity to be good at learning and hence good at life.

Assessment is a major aspect of school life. For many years, assessment has been considered a means of collecting evidence about a student’s learning for the purpose of grades, marks, and reports. However, assessment really is about learning, and we have been examining how we can make more efficient use of assessment to drive student learning. A key aspect of this work is ensuring students receive and respond to feedback. This has led us to reimagine our examinations in Years 7 and 8.

Much of the learning value in these examinations is lost as marks are released, reports written, and students leave for their summer holidays. We have been considering a few ‘what if’ questions about examinations. What if students could have time in class to reflect on their examinations? What if they recognised their strengths and also identified what they might still need to improve on? What if teachers had the opportunity to help students further develop their strengths and importantly address identified areas of weakness? With student learning at the forefront of our minds this year, we will run Year 7 and Year 8 examinations at the beginning of Term 3. These examinations will form the basis of reflection for students on their learning and address the ‘what if’ questions proposed above.

This is the next step in our continuous efforts to provide students with a quality educational experience in each classroom. Over the coming weeks, we will be planning for other initiatives in this area – these include student learning portfolios and student presentations of their learning.

We see this as an exciting opportunity to capture learning and address needs so that all students have the opportunity to make substantial progress. We will release more details and a timetable for the examinations in the coming weeks.

We are excited to be preparing your child for a future with much promise and hope, and thank you for your support of our educational program.

Mr Paul Rikmanis
Director of Teaching and Learning
St Columba Anglican School

Further Reading
Assessment For, As and Of Learning, NSW Education Standards Authority
Why Student Feedback is so Important, Educator Impact

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