Assessment & Reporting
At Banyule Primary School we take great pride in catering for the needs of all children. We look after their social, emotional, physical and academic needs to ensure their school life is happy and successful. Please look under ‘Student Welfare’ to see how we attend to social and behaviour needs. In order to identify the academic needs of each child, there needs to be a rigorous accountability process in place. The assessment and reporting guidelines ensures the staff identify, cater for and monitor the progress of all children in their care. How do we do this?
Right from the start Prep teachers are making observations and assessing children to ascertain skill levels, previous knowledge and experience and interest of each child. During the month of February, Preps do not attend school on Wednesdays. On one of these Wednesdays, your child will have a scheduled one hour interview with their teacher. During this time, a range of literacy and numeracy assessments will be undertaken (the children have no idea they are being assessed. They participate in fun hands on activities) Children will then be grouped with similar ability children for literacy and numeracy sessions. These groups are very flexible and children will move groups as they become confident and able. There is no need to keep tabs on which group your child is in. Depending on the focus of the lesson, children may be in same ability, mixed ability or whole class lessons. The important thing is, your child is being catered for and encouraged to stretch and extend their skills continuously while enjoying a high level of success. It is extremely important that children learn to takes risks and understand that making mistakes is part of learning. Children are congratulated for ‘having a go’. We love to see children taking a risk and trying something new. When you learn to walk for the first time or drive a car you don’t have success the first time. It takes practise! Learning something new at school is the same.
We have a whole school database. Every child is on this data base with records of the major assessments completed. Students who appear to be below or above excepted levels are identified and processes are put in place to either bring them up to the required level or extend them even further. Some of the ways we do this include the following:
Individual learning plans (ILPs) are developed for each child. These plans outline personal learning goals for students, what the school is doing to help the child reach these goals and suggested activities for parents to do at home to reinforce what the school is doing. The teacher will make contact with you and keep you informed of your child’s progress.
Extra support staff are available to help teachers during literacy and numeracy sessions. They may work with one child or a small group. We haveseven support staff who work across the whole school. We also encourage parent helpers and other volunteers to help in classrooms. BPS is a training school for Melbourne University, RMIT, Victoria University and LaTrobe students. There are often student teachers in classes who offer invaluable support for students with needs.
Teachers work in professional learning teams (PLTs) where individual student progress is discussed. Staff share strategies and activities, offering support to each other. Team leaders report student progress to the school leadership team. This is the accountability process that ensures students do not slip between the cracks.
Grade one students may be offered a place in the reading recovery program. It is expected that all preps will be reading at level 5 by the end of their Prep year. This is the minimum expectation. For children who have not reached this level or who are border line and may need extra support, the reading recovery program provides extra assistance. It is basically 1:1 private tutoring for your child every day for half an hour for approximately 20 weeks or until your child reaches level 15 or above. It is a very successful program and can often mean the difference between your child being a confident reader or a struggler. We offer this service free of charge. There are limited places as the program is intense. It also requires parents to do follow up at home. Our reading recovery teacher (Ruth Stephens) is BRILLIANT!
For capable and interested students we offer instrumental music (piano, flute, recorder, guitar and violin), chess club and access to programs such as GATEways and Tournaments of the Mind. We have a dedicated program for highly able students (Prep to Grade 6). Individual teachers provide a differentiated curriculum for students who are considered to be high achievers. No matter what grade level your child is in, they will be working at the appropriate Victorian Curriculum level.
REPORTS & INTERVIEWS
You are welcome to talk to your child’s teacher at any stage of the year; however we have a formal schedule as follows:
March: ‘Get To Know You’ interviews. The parents do all the talking. This is an opportunity for you to tell the teacher anything about your child you think they should know.
June: Semester one reports are sent home followed by parent/teacher interviews
December: Semester two reports are sent home. Interviews are by request only
Whole school formal assessments take place in May and November each year. There are also a multitude of assessments that take place throughout the year. NAPLAN is for year 3 and 5 students and this usually occurs in May each year.