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Testing and assessment

Assessment is an ongoing and integral part of the teaching and learning process. Through this process we are able to provide easy-to-understand reports to parents about individual student learning outcomes.The type of assessment and report varies at different times during a student's school life. Formal reporting to parents will occur at least once every semester. Parents are encouraged to discuss their children's progress and needs with teachers at any time.
 
Assessment can be diagnostic, formative and summative. Diagnostic assessment is used to determine student strengths and weaknesses and identify areas requiring support
Formative assessment is the progressive and ongoing gathering of information about a student's progress. Summative assessment is the finalising of student progress based on a range of diagnostic and summative assessment strategies.
 
Merrimac teachers employ a range of assessment strategies including:
 
  • Observation - involves teachers observing students as they participate in planned activities.
  • Consultation - involves teachers discussing student work with students, colleagues, parents/carers or other paraprofessionals.
  • Focused analysis - involves teachers examining in detail student responses to tasks or activities (e.g. computer-generated presentations, group discussions, tests, debates or research projects).
  • Self- and peer-assessment - involves students using the above techniques to assess their own work and the work of their peers
 
Recording instruments include:
 
  • anecdotal records
  • annotated work samples
  • audio and visual recordings checklists
  • feedback sheets
  • folios
  • learning logs
  • observation notes
  • reflection sheets
  • self- and peer- assessment sheets
  • self- and peer-reflective journals
  • criteria sheets
  • student/teacher journals
  • worksheets
 
After extensive consultation, Queensland schools have changed the way they report on student and school performance. These changes ensure Queensland parents receive the information they need to help their children throughout their schooling and make informed choices about schools.
 
Some of the new guidelines came into effect in 2006. A set of principles guide school reporting practices in all Queensland schools, providing parents with a guarantee of comprehensive and regular information about their child and school.
 
The new requirements also include:
 
  • introducing student identification numbers to track the progress of all students
  • making literacy and numeracy test reports for Years 3, 5 and 7 students easier for parents to understand
  • ensuring parents are offered twice-yearly parent-teacher interviews and written reports on their child's performance
  • requiring all schools to publish information about their school
  • publishing a broad range of Year 12 outcomes for all Queensland schools.
Merrimac State School offers a variety of intervention programs to assist students who are experiencing difficulty in literacy and numeracy. Some of these programs such as Support-a-Reader are structured to provide support through daily practice in a one-on-one setting. Support-a-Maths Learner includes training workshops and materials for use by trained teacher aides, parents and volunteers. Other programs provide support for students in small groups within the classroom under the guidance of the teacher or a trained tutor.