The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Shifting Paradigms: Continuous Reporting

In line with much of the academic research into high impact teaching and the recommendations provided in the Gonski report (March, 2018), Scotch College in 2019 has committed to providing all students with individual feedback post summative assessment and units of inquiry.  The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), explains that as a result of feedback, the pace of student learning is accelerated by at least 50%, meaning student learning is increased by an additional six months or more over a year. Further, feedback is likely to bridge the gap of the performance between differing levels of student attainment, shifting the overall median performance of a cohort up. This significant commitment made by teaching staff requires time after each assessment to diagnose areas for improvement and identify effective strategies that can be implemented.

Scotch College's continuous reporting policy states that feedback is typically provided at key moments identified by the teacher. Feedback may consist of the following:

  • Digital samples of student work
  • Annotated work that described the features to show increased proficiency
  • Digital rubrics that show a progression of learning within a subject
  • Teacher comment on the true growth of students skills and knowledge over time

Continuous reporting works hand in hand with academic tracking, it is more than just numbers. It is about tracing the anecdotal feedback and being aware of the story that lies beneath student performance in all aspects of their learning. Effective feedback is designed to drive a student's focus towards learning growth. The effect of feedback may not be felt immediately, however, it is the small adjustments to learning routines and habits which compound and result in improvement over time.

Although the teacher's role is critical in this process, without student active engagement, the feedback received is likely to have minimal impact. Feedback gives students an opportunity to partner with teachers in their own learning, increasing ownership and responsibility. Therefore it is important that we teach our students how to use feedback to their advantage.

How to encourage your son to engage with feedback:

  1. Read the feedback carefully whilst reviewing the assessment
  2. Reflect on his strengths
  3. Consider the areas identified for improvement and complete his own analysis
  4. Consider suggested strategies and plan the next steps. Record these in his student reflection through SEQTA Learn
  5. Implement his strategies
  6. At the next opportunity reflect on the effectiveness of his approach
  7. Refine as needed