There is so much official and sector talk about the real assessment need being the achievement, measurement and achievement of “progressions” and accelerated development.

We have been working with assessment experts – as well as bringing plenty of PD to our staff and we believe that we have cracked the puzzle in two ways.

  1. We have worked out a way to use E-Asttle data to measure a student’s (and cohort’s) per annum and longer-term development against norms. This is right up to Year 10.
  2. We have a model that is achieving growth in Math and Reading that is very close to 1.5 years development for each year with us.

It is time for us to share both aspects.

As a Trust we run three schools – South Auckland Middle School (SAMS) and Middle School West Auckland (MSWA) as State-funded “Designated Character Schools” and Mt Hobson Middle School as a Private School. At SAMS and MSWA the students come to us approximately two years behind as an average. In four years we can catch them up and head them towards University Entrance – and beyond.

The huge advantage with progression measures are that:

– it reinforces a genuine growth mind-set.

– it is able to be easily communicated to parents and students (as opposed to “effect sizes”).

– it gives the school and staff and chance to show how well they are doing through the progress of the students – as opposed to a snap-shop of levels.

– it significantly informs internal teaching practices. For example – in 2018 our overall progression average for Reading and Math was 1.37 years. But Math progress was ahead of Reading. On that basis we have both reinforced our Math programme and made major changes to our reading.

Cognition Education evaluated what we do and stated:

“In summary we find and conclude that in both schools, the management and staff are actively involved in continuous development, and the delivery, of a unique programme of teaching and learning which is based on a comprehensive ‘local’ curriculum that is aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum, and which provides for the personalised needs of priority learners ‘many of whom have been failed by the current education system[1].”

We are now looking for 5 – 10 other schools to work with us to look at this methodology to help us fully develop measures and a user-friendly platform before we go nation-wide in 2020. First in first served.


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