Curriculum Matters

NAPLAN

Last weeks students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sat the annual ‘National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy’ (NAPLAN) tests. These tests provide practice for students at sitting formal tests and are one source of data for schools and parents to assess the progress of individual students, cohorts and programs. Whilst these results are useful, it must be remembered that they are a single snapshot in time focussing on a few, albeit crucial key skills and not the whole picture. There has been much discourse in the press of late surrounding the relevance of NAPLAN testing in our 21st century educational settings. Whilst the NAPLAN results can provide broader snapshots of learning trends within states and regions, individual teacher assessment over time provides a richer and deeper picture of student learning. NAPLAN results should be considered in this wider context. The NAPLAN results will be published in September.

Our teaching teams at Tintern develop targets based on a range of assessments and explorations and these sit alongside the values of the Tintern Grammar Compass and Learner Profile. These targets address the whole-person and the types of 21st Century knowledge and skills which we strive to engender. Such considerations allow us to assist our Tintern learners to progress on their life-long journey through exploration and inquiry, towards knowledge and understanding.

Parents are reminded that Junior and Secondary School Semester Reports will be available to families via our Tintern Grammar online portal. They will go live at 3pm on Tuesday 26 June. Reports will not be mailed home as hard copies. Instructions for accessing these reports will be emailed to families in the last week of term.

ICAS Competitions

Tintern Grammar offers a variety of invitational opportunities for our students to participate in the University of New South Wales, International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS). ICAS has taken place annually in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, the Pacific Region and South Africa for over 30 years. At Tintern Grammar, there is no cost to parents for students who are invited to participate in these competitions.

In the Junior Schools, students are invited to participate based on academic readiness as judged by their Head of School and in consultation with their teacher. These opportunities are provided as extension and enhancement activities. It is important to note that great care is taken in selecting students to sit these competitions at this level as, while it is an opportunity to build resilience, we would not want to damage a student’s confidence by having them compete with a selective cohort from across the state.

In the Middle Schools, most students are entered in the English, Mathematics and Science competitions. Exceptions to this are by recommendation from Learning Enhancement or parental advice.

If your child has entered one of these competitions, it is important to note when reading your child’s report that the State cohort of students is not the same as that of the NAPLAN reports. NAPLAN includes over 95% of all Victorian students in those year levels sitting a test; however, each individual school opts whether to participate in the ICAS competitions and to what extent any given cohort will participate. Therefore, caution should be exercised when looking at the comparative data in ICAS reports as the cohort to which your child is compared is not as representative as the NAPLAN.

If you do not wish your child to be included in a secondary competition, please email me via ABezaire@tintern.vic.edu.au. Queries regarding Junior Schools Competitions should be directed to the relevant Head of School.

Secondary Program and Subject Selection for 2019

As part of Tintern Grammar’s commitment to ensuring students make informed choices, we are holding two information sessions relating to the options available for our Years 10 and 11 students of 2019. Tintern Grammar is proud to be the only school in the region which offers all three pathways: VCE, VET and IB, and to have such a significant history of success in all of these programs.

The first of these sessions is scheduled for Wednesday 13 June 2018 in the CM Wood Centre, when all three pathways will be outlined by the program co-ordinators. We invite you and your child to attend the Pathways Evening where families will be given information so that there can be informed discussions at home as to which pathway will best suit their daughter’s/son’s needs.

As a follow up to this evening, a Subject Showcase Evening will be held in Term 3 on Thursday 26 July 2018.  On this second evening, all individual IB, VCE and VET subjects on offer next year will be outlined and subject teachers will be available to answer specific subject-related questions. At this evening Year 9 (2018) students and families are invited to attend a special information session on the possibility of taking a VCE subject in Year 10, prior to joining Year 10 (2018) students and families in the Anderson Centre (Senior College).

As in previous years, the subject selection process will occur online. This year, that process will open for access on Saturday 28 July and will close at 6pm on Sunday 5 August. Students will be given instructions on how to follow this process in special assemblies at school and instructions will be emailed to students on the evening of Friday 27 July.

The information sessions mentioned above will assist students to select the most suitable pathway and subject choices for 2019. Individual teachers and our careers counsellors also will be available to assist in this process throughout the timeline outlined.

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