Dean of Studies | Mr Mason Hellyer

Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER), posits that the one purpose of assessment is “to establish and understand where learners are in an aspect of their learning at the time of the assessment.”

As a school, we are at that point in the term where students are ‘formally’ assessed in order to ascertain where they are with their learning and to also report back to students and parents. Many assignments have been due this week. Years 11 and 12 commence exams next Wednesday, and the remaining year groups commence on Friday 14 June. 

However, the information collected from an assessment period is also used to inform and shape teaching and learning into the future. The data is used to track student performance, ascertain whether students are working to capacity and to highlight individual, subject and cohort strengths and weaknesses. The assessment period is also the opportunity to model the scope and scale of assessments that students will experience, especially in regard to ATAR external exams.

One of the most powerful outcomes of this reporting period is the Parent/Student/Teacher interviews early in Term 3. This is an opportunity to conference and to generate strategies to assist your son’s learning. Information regarding these interviews will be included with your son’s report. During this period of assessment, students will be under stress. I have reinforced, especially with the Senior students, that to feel nervous or anxious prior to an exam is normal. It is largely a physiological response and it should be recognised that it is okay to have some anxiety. Dealing with this reaction is vitally important. Deep breathing, task focus and breaking tasks into smaller more manageable parts are all strategies that have been explained to the boys.

Another important aspect in dealing with exam block is for each student to normalise routines as much as possible, continue to exercise, follow a healthy diet and make sure he has enough sleep, especially the night before an exam. Exams are an opportunity to demonstrate what you know and to be rewarded for the hard work that has occurred through the term. 

All the best to all students in their exams.