Recognising student achievement

Student reports do a lot more than simply inform families of their child’s achievement rating. Student reports also help families identify target areas for improvement in their child’s academic performance, engagement, application, and behaviour. They are useful tools for fostering communication between families and teachers, and also, between families and their child.

It is a Federal requirement that student achievement is reported against recognised achievement standards which outline the knowledge, skills and understanding important for students at each year of schooling level Prep to Year 10.

In 2015, all Tasmanian Catholic schools and colleges are required to report student progress against the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Health and Physical Education.  Achievement in Religious Education is reported against the Tasmanian Catholic Standards for Religious Education.

In line with Federal Government legislation, Tasmanian Catholic schools report achievement using a five-point rating scale. From Years 3-10 the 5-point scale is an A-E rating. Students from Prep to Year 2 receive a written descriptor rather than the A-E.

While the A-E rating conveys important information about where a child is in their learning at a given moment in time, it does not tell the whole story when it comes to student achievement.  The Tasmanian Catholic schools report includes an indication of areas of strength and weakness within each learning area using a continuum of developing, consolidating and extending. 

It is important to understand that a ‘C’ is not a disappointing result. A ‘C’ on the report card indicates that a student’s learning is on track and they are achieving the standard that is expected of them at the time of reporting. In the past, a ‘C’ might have not have been seen as an indication that a student’s learning is at a desired level. This is no longer the case.

What is important, is that they are making progress towards the identified goals for their learning and that those goals allow them to reach their full learning potential.

The report also includes an indication of student application and attitude to learning.  The information included in this section is a critical lens for interpreting the A-E grading.

For example, a student who receives a ‘D’ for their achievement rating and whose attitude and application is meeting or exceeding expectations may be achieving their full potential and this result is cause for celebration. Alternatively, a student with an ‘A’ for achievement but, whose attitude and application is not meeting expectations, may not be working to their full potential.

For some students the A-E rating is not appropriate for reporting achievement and an alternative narrative report is provided. All students receiving narrative reports have an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Whether a student is working at, above or below the level of their peers is not the most important piece of information. What is important, is that they are making progress towards the identified goals for their learning and that those goals allow them to reach their full learning potential. It is this that deserves celebration and investigation, not ‘A-E’s.