Kia ora koutou
Paid Union Meeting: You guys are AMAZING! Thank you so much for allowing teachers to go off to the Paid Union Meeting without having to worry about how many children would be left behind. We know it is not easy to organise to pick your children up in the middle of a school day, and so we are very appreciative that so many were able to do so. We also understand that this was not possible for all parents. As staff, we feel very humbled by this show of support for teachers.
Mid-year Reporting: Now that we no longer need to report on National Standards twice a year, we need to make a decision about whether we will continue to report on National Standards (we call them Amesbury Standards) in the way we have previously. Before making this decision, we will seek the views of both students, parents and teachers. We are aware that there are a wide range of views and feelings about this. Some parents still do want to know where their children are at in relation to a standard or in relation to other children in New Zealand. Others believe that a bald statement about where children are at in relation to a standard (below, at, above), can be detrimental to children’s views of themselves as learners and as human beings, especially when they are consistently below.
It is important that we all look at this issue from a wider societal perspective – not just thinking about our own children, but all children. We need to be thinking about whether OTJs (teacher judgements about where students are at in relation to National Standards), contribute to inequity in society or to the increasing anxiety of students. Or whether they are motivating or demotivating.
It is important for you to know that we are definitely going to continue with ALF. With ALF, parents have always been able to access detailed information about where their child is at in relation to the standards at any time of night and day, even without the judgement statement being made. This will continue to be available. Therefore, if we decide not to report on OTJs, parents will still be able to work out where their child is at in relation to National/Amesbury Standards by looking at the evidence on ALF. Urs is going to do a video showing how parents can use Alf to understand more about their child’s progress and achievement. We also provide, as a matter of course, information on reading levels, STAR testing and other testing (some tests are nationally normed or age related) – which can help parents to build an accurate picture of their child’s progress and achievement in relation to the national picture.
Hence, not directly reporting on National/Amesbury Standards does not mean that parents will not be able to access information about their child’s progress and achievement in relation to expected achievement and curriculum levels. You will. It will just not be categorised with such terms as "below", "at" or "above".
We will continue to provide you with information about this before we put a simple 1 minute survey out before the end of term.
Nga mihi nui