Check-In assessments to track students’ progress extended to six age groups

School Zones

Check-In assessments for Years 4, 6 and 8 will roll out in schools next term.

This follows a successful run of the system for Years 3, 5 and 9.

NSW Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell, said the new era of formative assessments is set to transform how schools track students’ progress.

“The take-up has been extraordinary, with more than 90 percent of primary schools opting in for the new Year 4 and Year 6 assessments and almost 70 percent of secondary schools running the Year 8 Check-In,” Mitchell said.

“Assessing students in Year 6 will not only provide us with data on a student’s performance at the end of primary schooling but also supplement Best Start Year 7 data in giving secondary schools an understanding of where students are up to.”

In 2021, more than 350,000 students are expected to undertake the Check-In assessments, which were first introduced in 2020 following NAPLAN’s cancellation due to COVID-19.

Mitchell said the response had proved the value of providing schools with an assessment linked to the curriculum and providing results to schools within 48 hours.

“Our Check-In assessment is a world-class diagnostic tool, designed to gain insight into student learning progression in reading and numeracy,” she said.

“These assessments provide a snapshot of a student’s strengths and weaknesses and will help schools quickly identify the students with the greatest levels of need and help their teachers allocate additional staff for ‘catch-up’ tuition.”

The online tests are designed to be quick and easy for students who answer 40 multiple choice questions in about 50 minutes.

“Feedback from last year’s assessments has been overwhelmingly positive and is a great example for Education Ministers across the country of why we need NAPLAN reform,” Mitchell said.

“Schools said the major benefits were quick turnaround for results, diagnostic information at syllabus and learning progression level, and ability to use the results to inform their classroom practice.”

Students in Year 4, 6 and 8 will undertake the online Check-In during Term 2, while the Year 3, 5 and 9 assessments will be scheduled for Term 4.

President of Central Coast Council of P&Cs (CCCPC), Sharryn Brownlee, said NAPLAN had been way overdue for reform.

“The onerous three days of testing is unnecessary,” she said.

“Schools always did, and should do, assessments to see where children are progressing on the learning continuum.

“The Check-In assessment model that NSW has developed demonstrates sensible and balanced assessment.

“At last, students, parents and teachers can see a way out of the onerous process that NAPLAN turned into.

“What was meant to be a national framework to ensure that all students, and particularly those who move between states, were learning, and that no student slipped through cracks, has turned into a cumbersome, bureaucratic, time-consuming testing process.

“Let’s hope that common sense prevails and we see balanced assessment and major overhaul of NAPLAN,” Brownlee said.

Terry Collins

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