Curriculum Matters

NAPLAN

The NAPLAN tests are nearly upon us once again. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit these standardised tests on the following dates:

Tuesday 10 May                                                                     Wednesday 11 May                 Thursday  12 May

Year 3    Language Conventions 40 minutes           Reading 45 minutes                    Numeracy 45 minutes
                  
Writing 40 minutes

Year 5    Language Conventions 40 minutes           Reading 50 minutes                    Numeracy 50 minutes
                  
Writing 40 minutes

Year 7    Language Conventions 45 minutes           Reading 65 minutes                    Numeracy (Calculator) 40 minutes
                  
Writing 40 minutes                                                                                                            Numeracy (Non-calculator) 40 minutes

Year 9    Language Conventions 45 minutes           Reading 65 minutes                    Numeracy (Calculator) 40 minutes
                  Writing 40 minutes                                                                                                             Numeracy (Non-calculator) 40 minutes

While these are a rich source of data for schools and parents to assess the progress of individual students, cohorts and programs it is important to note that they are but a single snapshot in time and not the whole picture. Teacher assessment and other internal standardised testing over time provides a rich and deep picture of student learning and NAPLAN results should be seen in this wider context. More information on NAPLAN testing can be found at the following website: http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/naplan.html

These tests do provide practice for students at sitting formal tests; however, we do not want students to become anxious about them so please reinforce with your child that while we want them to try their best these are not something they should worry about. Schools receive the results to forward to families in September.

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). For over 30 years, ICAS has taken place annually in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, the Pacific Region and South Africa. 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. Parents who receive this offer will then be asked to choose whether to accept the offer.

In the Middle Schools, all students are entered in the English, Mathematics and Science competitions as they provide a timely opportunity for students to gain a measure of their own achievement in an external testing situation. The school receives useful cohort data which, alongside the NAPLAN, assists us in tracking the progress of our students. In addition, we offer opportunities to selected students in Writing as an extension activity. Limited invitations to the Science, Mathematics and English competitions are extended to students in Years 10-12.

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 skewed.

All participating students receive a certificate and an individual student report indicating which questions they answered correctly and their score compared with the rest of the students tested. A UNSW medal is awarded for the highest score in each year level in each state, in each subject.

If you do not want your child to be included in a secondary competition, please email our Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning, Jason McManus at jmcmanus@tintern.vic.edu.au. Queries regarding Junior Schools Competitions should be directed to the relevant Head of School.

Secondary Subject Preferences Selection Process for 2017 Programs

As part of Tintern Grammar’s commitment to ensuring students make informed choices, we are holding a number of information sessions relating to the options available for our Years 10 and 11 students of 2017. Tintern Grammar is proud to be the only school in the Maroondah Region which offers all three pathways VCE, VET and International Baccalaureate (IB), and to have such a significant history of success in all of these programs.

The first of these sessions is the IB Information Evening which is held in the Theatre on Monday May 9 at 7pm. Students and teachers will be on hand to speak about their experience of the program and take questions.

Next, on Wednesday 8 June 2016 is the Pathways and Subject Selection Evening in the CM Wood Centre. At this event, all three pathways will be outlined by the program co-ordinators and we give an overview of the selection process. We invite you and your child to attend the Pathways Evening 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 Wednesday 20 July 2016. On this evening, Heads of Faculty and a range of subject teachers will be on hand to present information and answer questions about individual IB, VCE and VET subjects on offer next year. At this evening, 2015 Year 9 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 2017 Year 10 students and families in the Anderson Centre (Senior College).

As in previous years, subject preference selection will be made on-line. This year, that process will commence on Friday 22 July and will close at 9pm on Sunday 31 July. Students will be briefed on how to use this online system at a special Middle School Assembly in the first week of Term 3 prior to receiving the link and instructions by email on the opening day. Year 7, 8 and 9 students will also receive a briefing on the electives on offer for preferences in this system at this assembly.

The information sessions mentioned above will assist students to select the most suitable pathway and subject choices for 2017. Individual teachers and our careers counsellors are available to assist in this process throughout this period as needed.

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