Curriculum administration and delivery

Bill Weigall - Director of Assessment, Reporting & Curriculum

Bill Weigall - Director of Assessment, Reporting & Curriculum

In last week's Bulletin, Mrs Wallace-Richards referenced the work that has been done over the past 18 months by Secondary School teachers as they implemented significant changes in the way that they administer, deliver and evaluate the curriculum.

Most recently they have been using our Learning Management System, SEQTA, to record the ways in which they personalise the curriculum and focus on surface and deep learning, before encouraging students to transfer their learning to the solving of realistic problems.

Many hours of their time have been devoted to attending professional learning on John Hattie's 'Making Thinking Visible', embedding the concepts in the course documentation held in SEQTA, and planning how to incorporate this thinking in their classroom practices.

Complementing this transition has been the second phase of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) implementation. With Radford Online (ROL) having been reinvigorated in response to feedback from the school community, many departments have moved to using OneNote as their preferred interface between teaching and learning. While this has been a challenging variation from established practice, staff have done remarkable work in this sphere. The advent of numerous touchscreen monitors in classrooms has seen classes benefit from OneNote's capacity to easily embed digital resources and collaborative documents.

Reporting
With these advances, we have been considering opportunities to evolve the ways in which we can communicate progress to parents. As we approach the first round of parent teacher interviews we are also undertaking the interim reporting process that underpins it.

Previously, this has been an internal reflection on how each student is approaching their lessons in each class. The data has been used by teachers to inform their discussions with parents and carers during interviews, and passed to tutors as stimulus for discussions about the Radford Learner Traits in Tutor Group. This year, through SEQTA, we will publish a rubric with ratings against the categories of:

  1. 'Comes prepared to class'
  2. 'Uses class time effectively'
  3. 'Completes set tasks on time'
  4. 'Learns independently'
  5. 'Contributes to a positive classroom environment'
  6. 'Parent Teacher interview'.


The first five columns will contain a rating of Consistently, Regularly, Usually, Occasionally or Rarely, while the Parent Teacher Interview column will say either Requested or Welcome. Please prioritise making contact with any teacher who has requested an interview.

Next semester these ratings will be elaborated on, where necessary, with a brief comment. To maximise the efficiency of this process, staff will be asked to write clearly but without the time-consuming proofing and editing processes inherent in the end-of-semester reporting process.

Assessment
In the same spirit, this weekend I have begun marking essays submitted by my Year 10 Philosophy class. They have been the first to trial submitting their essays through SEQTA.

All essays have been received and, once marked and annotated, the marks will be released through the SEQTA Learn and Engage portals. This 'continuous reporting' model will ensure timely, secure and reliable communication between home and school, providing students with opportunities to build on previous performance.

We are working with TurnItIn to ensure that this key tool in our academic honesty toolbox can still be employed. Although several schools are negotiating with TurnItIn along similar lines, it is heartening to know that Radford is in the first rank of schools committed to maintaining academic rigour and honesty while embracing digital submission and continuous reporting.

IB Diploma Progress
Since Mrs Godfrey reported our candidacy status, Mrs Lindy Braithwaite has been working with Heads of Department to identify staff with particular interest in teaching this highly regarded syllabus.

It is typical of our Radford staff that the opportunity has been oversubscribed. Bookings are in the process of being made for Semester 2 courses in a variety of subject areas.

NAPLAN OnlineNAPLAN Online
NAPLAN testing is looming in Term 2 and we are continuing with our preparations. Students in Year 5 completed a whole paper last week as part of thorough testing of our infrastructure.

In order to gain an insight into the way the tests will look for students, as per Mrs Godfrey's post a fortnight ago, I invite you to visit the public demonstration site.

Read an explanation of the nature of the testing.

Should you have any questions about NAPLAN for Years 3 or 5, please contact mary.willett@radford.com.au.


Please direct questions about the testing for Years 7 or 9 to me at bill.weigall@radford.act.edu.au.

We will be in touch very early next term with more specific details such as scheduling and provisions for individual needs.

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