Our Students' Achievement

posted Jul 4, 2013, 5:52 PM by Nicky Ryan

Kia ora

Not doubt you have heard on the news about the collated data on student achievement in New Zealand Primary Schools. This National Standards data you know is collected from our Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs) which we make using standardised tests such as PAT which we do at the beginning of the year, our running records and PROBE tests for reading, our IKAN and GloSs tests for maths. We use e-asTTle and teacher moderation especially for writing. Actually these are only the main ones and teachers use many other assessment tools to make their decisions including a big diagnostic check of a child on their 6th birthday and school entry checks.

At Weston if a child is to move up a level such as at to above or below to at or down a level which could be at to below then a teacher has to take their data and collected evidence and discuss this with two other teachers to check their own decision making.

The Ministry of Education has a statement of intent connected with the standards and student achievement:

The aim is to lift student achievement in the three areas of reading, writing and maths to 85% at or above by 2017.

You can find Weston School data on the Education Counts website http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz
You need to follow through to find a school. I have checked and it seems that our 2010/11 data is the only one there and we are stilling waiting for the 2012 data to be uploaded by the MOE.

So how are we doing and are our OTJs reliable?

In 2012 Weston School our data tells us:
  • in reading 90.5% of students are achieving at or above the standard
  • in writing 84.2% of students are achieving at or above the standard
  • in mathematics 86.4% of students are achieving at or above the standard
The above is just data and needs to be transferred into information that we can use to support learning. When we ran our PAT tests in March this year, analysis showed that our OTJs are pretty much in line with the standardised testing meaning that our targets for these areas where indeed correct in our school's context and we are very close in our OTJs. 
We still cannot be compared to any other NZ school as the way each school uses the standards might be different. But when judged against ourselves we are on track and achievement levels are lifting. 
Can we do better? Well of course we can as we need to think about the students who are not achieving at or above the standard. We also need to think about those students who are only just at or if they are at the top of below. If we develop practices and changes to our teaching and learning then we can actually benefit all students. The government considers Maori, Pasifika and students from low socio-economic backgrounds as Priority Learners. So do we but we include any child who is not achieving at expected levels and then cater for them accordingly. The school is currently looking at our mid-year data which will be presented to the board in the first week of next term and then shared with our community.

If you have any questions or would like to know more let me know at nyran@weston.school.nz 

Nga mihi