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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

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Progress and achievement

For students, progress and achievement in literacy affects all curriculum learning. Ensuring that each student is making individual progress and achieving success is crucial to both their understanding of current schooling, and their prospects for the future. To enable us to judge how successful our teaching has been and plan for further teaching, we can use a range of assessment tools and procedures.

To guide us in the analysis and use of assessment information we can reflect on the following three questions:

  • How can I use what I learn about students’ literacy strengths and needs to plan for further learning?
  • How can I support students in self-regulating their literacy learning?
  • How can I monitor the effectiveness of my teaching practice?

The  Reading and Writing National Standards, and the Literacy Learning Progressions, as well as the Principles, Vision and Key Competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum provide a starting point for what students are expected to be able to know and do in any particular year level.  Assessment Online houses The New Zealand Curriculum exemplars for written, visual and oral language, as well as an oral language matrix of progress indicators. These give another chance for you to analyse student work, and are particularly effective when shared with the students.

Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT)

The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) supports teachers as they make judgments about students’ progress and achievement in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum National Standards. 

The Learning Progressions Frameworks (LPF)

The LPF is an online tool that illustrates the significant steps that students take as they develop their expertise in reading, writing, and mathematics from Years 1–10, spanning levels 1–5 of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).
The LPF builds on the NZC, and it underpins the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) for years 1–8 (curriculum levels 1–4), creating a powerful toolbox for planning and assessing progress. 

Questions to think about in your school context

The following questions can be used when planning your next steps:

  • What information have I gathered from my inquiry? Where can I go next?
  • What knowledge and skills do the students need?
  • What are the students' strengths? What evidence informs this?
  • What are the students' learning needs? What evidence informs this?
  • How can I most effectively change what I am doing with my students in order to achieve better outcomes?

Assessment tools

Key resources

The assessment tool selector 
A resource designed to help select the most appropriate assessment tool to suit a particular purpose. The selector gives information about assessment tools for every area of the curriculum, up to and including Year 10.

Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs)
These consist of curriculum-based assessment resources designed for students working at English, maths, and science curriculum levels 2 to 5, for use in New Zealand schools. 

e-asTTle (Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning) is an online assessment tool, developed to assess students’ achievement and progress in reading, mathematics, writing, and in pānui, pāngarau and tuhituhi. The tool has been developed primarily for the assessment of students in years 5–10, but because it tests curriculum levels 2-6 it can be used for students in lower and higher year levels.

English Exemplars
An English exemplar is a sample of authentic student work annotated to illustrate learning, achievement, and quality in relation to levels 1 to 5 of English curriculum achievement objectives (1993). The English exemplars relate to every strand of the English curriculum, to a range of achievement objectives, and to a variety of associated text forms.

National standards
National Standards set clear expectations that students need to meet in reading, writing, and mathematics in the first eight years at school.

Teachers used Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs) to assess listening comprehension in years 3 to 9, and to assess reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, and maths in years 4 to 9.

School Entry Assessment: School Entry Assessment (SEA) enables teachers of new entrants to gather information about their literacy and numeracy skills, as individuals and within groups, so that they can make informed decisions when planning a student’s learning programme.

Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading :
Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading (STAR) helps teachers to identify those needing extra help, group children by ability and needs, diagnose areas of difficulty, and evaluate programmes. It can be used to assess reading years 3 to 9.

6 Year Net (Observation Survey)
Six Year Net involves observing students who have been at school for a year to see if they are making the expected progress in literacy. It helps teachers to identify students who may need extra help and support.

National Standards

National Standards illustrations 

This new section on the Literacy Online site provides access to the reading and writing standards high resolution illustrations that demonstrate the literacy demands of the texts and tasks students will be engaging with across the curriculum. These illustrations are available to teachers and educators to support their planning, teaching and their judgments about students’ progress and achievement. Currently this section includes the twenty two illustrations found in the Reading and Writing Standards document and five additional illustrations. 

View the  illustrations

Illustrations and the National Standards

This  series of modules has been developed to help teachers and other education professionals work with the National Standards and the illustrations in reading, writing and mathematics. A key message throughout the modules is that the standards can be integral to effective practice rather than perceived as an “extra” task over and above effective practice.

Click here to view the  Maths National Standards illustrations

Accessing the National Standards National Standards

There are national standards for reading and writing for years 1 – 8. The National Standards are available online on the  New Zealand Curriculum website or can be ordered from  Down the Back of the Chair. For further enquiries, phone the Down the Back of the Chair team on 0800 660 662.

English language learners progress and achievement will be reported in relation to the National Standards. It is recommended that schools also assess and report the progress and achievement of English language learners in relation to the English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP), as the Progressions provide a guide to typical language learning pathways for students learning English as an additional language.

Assessment processes

Assessment processes are more flexible and variable assessment strategies or activities that are designed to improve teaching and learning. Such processes are part of the ongoing interaction between teaching and learning. Much of the evidence gathered will be 'of the moment', with analysis and interpretation taking place in our minds as we seek to shape our actions to ensure students’ progress.

Examples include: informal observation, teacher-student conferences, using exemplars, and records of how students make meaning of information as they listen/read/view text and create meaning for others through speaking, writing, and presenting text.  Student voice and  reflections are also extremely valuable insights into where your students are with their learning.

For more information on assessment processes:

Published on: 15 Feb 2016