Reporting & Assessment
At Armadale Primary School, we provide students (and their families) with detailed and timely information on their learning journey and how they will be supported to grow. This document provides an overview of our formal reporting and assessment processes and is designed to help parents understand how to access information about their child’s academic progress. In conjunction with ongoing personalised conversations during class time, we want to ensure our students are always receiving advice on how they can continue to develop key knowledge, skills and the disposition to enable learning.
Semester Reports are released twice a year (at the end of term 2 and 4). At Armadale Primary School, we aim to describe your child as a learner. Is your child able to draw upon several strategies to solve a problem? Can your child give reasons for the way in which they chose to tackle a problem? Can your child connect their learning to the real world? Can your child determine the efficiency of strategies used? Most importantly, does your child know what needs to be done to take their learning further?
When you read your child’s report, please consider the role you play in shaping their perception as a learner. What you say to your child indicates what you value. Current educational research has shown that this approach to reporting is a more effective way of promoting effort, driving self – confidence, as well as acknowledging hard work and a willingness to persist when facing academic challenges. All children are capable of academic progress and growth and we need to work together to support that this is done effectively.
Semester reports can be accessed via Compass. Again, select ‘View Academic Reports’ once you have logged in. Your child’s Semester Report (as well as ones from previous years) will be available to download as a PDF.
Two sets of conferences are conducted each year:
- early in term 1
- towards the end of term 3
Conferences are conducted for all students. Teachers will be available for 15 minute conferences. Students are expected to attend together with their parents. These valuable conversations make a significant contribution to maximising students’ academic performance, as well as celebrate successes and discuss strategies for moving the learning forward. As such, it is critical that parents access both ‘Learning Tasks’ and Semester Reports prior to the interviews. Parents/Carers make bookings online through Compass.
The Big Idea
Armadale Primary School, as defined in the Strategic Plan, is to be an exemplary learning community. We place the highest value on developing the whole child with the skills, knowledge and dispositions for a lifetime of inquiry. We strive for a culture of excellence for all learners with a nurturing and inclusive community to create a sense of belonging.
The school provides a comprehensive curriculum with a strong focus on literacy, numeracy and learner agency. The way we organise the learning for our students is underpinned by the proficiencies of understanding, problem solving, fluency and reasoning. To promote a deep understanding, we place importance on providing our students with learning opportunities that enable them to apply concepts in different ways and apply their learning between content areas. Hence our pedagogical model has the child at the centre and learner agency is at the core. We use the Know, Do, Be model to develop a programme of inquiries. These inquiries are important as they are investigations into important ideas, identified by the School, and require a high level of involvement on the part of the students. We refer to these inquiries as Big Ideas.
What is the Big Idea?
The Big Idea is a statement summarising an important idea. The idea must:
- be transferrable within and sometimes across disciplines
- call for high order thinking, such as analysis, inference, evaluation and prediction and cannot be effectively unpacked by recalling of facts alone
- be thought-provoking and intellectually engaging, often sparking discussion and debate.
- raise questions and spark further inquiry
- recur over time (can and should be revisited again and again)
What do we need to consider when designing for the Big Idea?
- We need to consider the different dimensions of the learner as a person
- Head – what our learners need to know and understand (disciplinary knowledge)
- Heart – the attitudes and motivations to learn (feelings, dispositions, values)
- Hands – what our learners need to be able to do (skills, capabilities, proficiencies)
How do we connect the Victorian Curriculum to the Big Idea?
The Big Idea will have a theme directly linked to at least one of the following Learning Areas:
- The Humanities (Civics & Citizenship ;Economics and Business; History; Geography)
The Big Idea Design must also be considered through a capabilities lens. Key teacher questions are devised during the design stage which will reflect:
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Ethical Understandings
- Intercultural Understandings
- Personal and Social Learning
The Big Idea Design must also consider at least one of the Cross-curriculum priorities:
- Learning about Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
- Learning about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander traditions and cultures
How long is spent on a Big Idea?
This is dependent on the level of engagement of the students but a Big Idea usually takes 7-10 weeks to unpack. The Big Idea is unpacked through English, Maths, Investigations for Prep-2, and Educational Research Projects for Years 3-6. In Year Level Teams, teachers use the Armadale Primary School planning template to design weekly learning experiences with specific learning intentions that are aligned to the Victorian Curriculum learning continuum.
An example of an ERP action created by grade 3/4 students in 2022. This collective action shares learning and informs others in the form of a website.
We are a community of learners who values the diversity of others’ backgrounds and unique experiences. As readers, writers, speakers and listeners we interweave these factors to make meaning of our world. We aim to cultivate a lifelong love and enjoyment of reading, promote a curiosity of words and a love of literature.
We promote a balanced approach to reading:
Reading by your child, reading with your child, and reading to your child. This is also promoted through our reading at home program whereby each child receives an Armadale Primary School Reading Journal.
Our reading program focuses on the reader’s ability to:
- Decode – Phonics, phonological Awareness (segmenting, blending) are crucial skills that help the reader read unfamiliar words. We use the Letter & Sounds Program to supplement the teaching of decoding.
- Comprehend – There are various strategies that the child will need to draw upon in order to make sense of what they are reading. These include: activating prior knowledge, summarising, synthesising, visualising asking question before – during and after reading, predicting, inferencing through prediction.
And we need to determine a reader’s oral reading fluency. The classroom reading program follows the whole, small, individual whole instructional model where each child tackles an unknown text weekly and the teacher monitors each child’s reading fluency, phonics knowledge and application of effective comprehension strategies.
Our writing program focuses on developing the child’s skills in the 6+1 traits of writing. As a writer each child develops the skills and understanding in: Voice, Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Conventions, and Sentence Fluency and Presentation. We use the online platform, SCRIIBI, to supplement our writing program.
We have a whole school approach to teaching spelling. Our program is a combination of MSL (multisensory structured language) that focuses on the 7 syllable types and 6 spelling rules, and Letters and Sounds that focuses on phonics and morphology.
WEEKLY EXPLICIT TEACHING
4 x 50 mins – READING
4 x 50 mins – WRITING
4 x 30 mins – SPELLING
Our Assessment Schedule for reading, writing and spelling supports our weekly planning and drives whole, small and individual instruction. These schedules are employed as follows:
- Reading Assessment Schedule
- Reading Interview (once a semester)
- Alphabetics & Vocabulary assessment (2 x a year) – Letters & Sounds
- Running Records (once a term)
- Student self assessment – How I see myself as a reader (once a semester)
- Reading Comprehension TORCH (once a semester)
- Writing Assessment Schedule
- One Writing Student Assessment Tasks (SATs) is completed each term and assessed on a rubric aligned with the Vic Curriculum to the Victorian Curriculum F-10 Levels. The criteria addresses the 6 traits of writing Ideas: voice, organisation, sentence fluency, word choice, conventions and spelling & presentation.
- Spelling Assessment Schedule
The following areas will be assessed using specific phases in Letters and Sounds and the Words Their Way Spelling Inventory
- Phonological knowledge
- Orthographic knowledge
- Morphemic knowledge
- Etymological knowledge
Mathematics at Armadale Primary School involves developing all learners’ capacity to be confident, creative, reflective, questioning, investigative and value making mistakes as a significant aspect of learning. Through the enactment of the proficiencies, learners develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of mathematics. Learners build their capabilities when they connect mathematics to the real world, when they represent concepts in different ways and when they describe their thinking mathematically.
Teachers from Prep – year 6 plan mathematical learning experiences on a weekly basis. These experiences are linked to the Big Idea however, teachers use the 6 Numeracy Focus Areas as a framework for exploring mathematical concepts within the year. These focus areas are specified in the DET Numeracy Toolkit, https://numeracyguidedet.global2.vic.edu.au/numeracy-focus-areas/ . The 4 proficiencies (understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning) are used as a lens for each learning experience. The planning template ensures that 240 minutes is allocated for weekly mathematical sessions.
The Numeracy Focus Areas that they plan and deliver:
- Developing number sense – quantifying numbers, additive strategies, multiplicative strategies
- Exploring patterns and relationships – number patterns, algebraic thinking
- Using proportional language – operating with decimals, operating with percentages, comparing units, interpreting fractions, understanding money
- Understanding and using geometric properties and spatial reasoning – understanding geometric properties, positioning and locating
- Understanding, estimating and using measurement – understanding units of measurement, measuring time
- Exploring chance and data – Gathering, reporting and interpreting data. Making predictions and testing and reporting predictions
Assessment for maths is based on the following criteria:
- Assessment FOR learning. Teachers use inferences about student progress to inform their teaching (formative assessment)
- Assessment AS learning. Students reflect on and monitor their progress to inform their future learning goals (formative assessment)
- Assessment OF learning. Teachers use evidence of student learning to make judgements on student achievement against goals and standards (summative assessment).
We use the following assessments:
Prep: Maths Interview Online (once a year)
Year 1–6: Essential Assessments
- Number & Algebra (3 times a year – pre, mid and post)
- Measurement & Geometry (3 times a year – pre, mid and post)
- Chance and Data (3 times a year – pre, mid and post)
Health & PE
Physical Education sessions aim to develop students’ general fitness and game skills to allow a broad range of physical development. A major component of these sessions is to develop students’ ability to work in teams and their understanding of good sportsmanship.
Our intention is to get as many students active and engaged in sport as possible. The aim of the program is for less emphasis on winning and results, and more emphasis on having a go and having fun. Armadale Primary School provides students with the opportunity to participate in school sporting events throughout the school year.
a. F-2 Junior Sports
b. 3-6 Swimming Carnival
c. 3-6 Athletics Carnival
d. 3-6 Southport District Interschool Sport Days
e. F-6 Swimming Program
This gives our students the opportunity to showcase their skills in a supportive and engaging atmosphere.
Interschool Sports is for students to learn about new sports, develop relationships and teamwork skills, develop and display good sportsmanship and most importantly to have fun.
Throughout the year, students will be given opportunities to carry out self and peer assessments.
The Arts are highly valued at our school and we recognise that the Arts play an important part in a child’s wellbeing. We endeavour to instil curiosity in all areas of the Arts – Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Drama and Media – and provide a rich variety of experiences for our students to explore and enjoy whilst at Primary School.
Students learn through active participation and are encouraged to use their imagination and express their ideas through a variety of media and art forms.
We provide a range of opportunities for all our students to visit galleries, attend musical performances, and concerts and engage with artists in our community.
Experimentation and creativity is encouraged and students are supported to explore their ideas when experimenting with different materials and techniques. We also provide opportunities for students to develop their critical and creative thinking skills through robust discussion and practical sessions.
Students are provided the opportunity to present their work to others and perform throughout the year in a variety of forums, including productions, school performances, special concerts and events.
We offer a range of extra curricula sessions including our School Orchestra, Choirs and instrumental lessons, as well as lunch time Art clubs.
Languages / Italian
The Italian Language curriculum aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to:
- communicate in the language they are learning
- understand the relationship between language and culture
- develop intercultural capabilities
- understand themselves as communicators.
Italian language learning at Armadale Primary School focusses on both language and culture through the use of themes or topics, such as gardening, food or the history and geography of Italy. The aim is for students to develop their language use and intercultural awareness and understanding.
All students from Prep to Year 6 attend a 50 minute session of Italian every week.
Italian language learning is based on themes or topics, and students are encouraged to use the language for classroom routines and interactions, structured learning tasks, an experimentation.
Students are exposed to the Italian language and culture through authentic resources including texts, posters artefacts and picture story books as well as a variety of mixed media and online resources including films, videos, songs, voice clips and images.
Established in 2022, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program is an integral part of Armadale Primary School and allows for parents, volunteers, teachers and students to all work together to develop a more sustainable future for our world. The program’s aim, led by our garden and kitchen specialists, is to develop lifelong healthier and happier eating habits in children by having them grow, harvest, prepare and share delicious and healthy food.
All students in Years 3 & 4 participate in the program enjoying both a kitchen and a garden session each week. Their weekly kitchen session culminates in everyone sharing a vegetarian meal. Students in Years 5/6 run our Snackadillo Burrow initiative. They plan, prepare and deliver delicious tuckshop style food once a week. Our younger students engage in various culinary adventures through investigations, literacy and mathematics.
The program helps children learn; new language to describe foods, plants, textures and flavours; use maths to measure and weigh; to work as a team; to develop greater self-confidence; to develop awareness of the environment, sustainability and plant diversity.
APS volunteers work alongside our teachers and specialists with small groups of students in the garden, in the kitchen or both. All volunteers are required to have a ‘Working with Children Check’ for more information use the link on our volunteer page.
More information about the program can be found at http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/