At Mercy College assessment has a powerful effect on student learning. Assessment methods are selected on the basis of their impact on desired student learning behaviours and outcomes, their feasibility, validity and reliability. At Mercy College effective diagnostic and formative assessment (monitoring student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and students to improve their learning) and summative assessment (used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period) are integral to teaching and learning. Assessment is used to enhance student engagement, motivation, self-esteem and students own involvement in teaching and learning in the following manner:
- Teachers all follow VCAA marking criteria and procedure for SACs and SATs at VCE and review regularly in accordance with updated policies.
- All students in Years 7-10 undertake PAT testing at the end of the year in literacy and numeracy. All students in Year 7 and Year 9 undertake NAPLAN.
- Students experience the examination experience from Year 9.
- All student assessment is moderated with domain teams or colleagues to ensure consistency and accurate results.
- Assessment design is flexible to accommodate the individual student needs and negotiated with the student and parent/guardian.
- Consistent guidelines for reporting to parents are employed in accordance with the VCAA (Victorian Curriculum, VCE, VCAL) and students receive a report which indicates their achievement standard.
At Mercy College there is a strong emphasis on providing feedback to all involved in the learning partnership (students, teachers, parents/guardians and the community). Feedback is viewed as a crucial part of improving and empowering performance. Mercy College provides students and families access to continuous online reporting.
Within two weeks of completing as assessment the feedback is available online. The feedback identifies what the student has done well and specific strategies for improvement. The Assessment Rubrics have performance descriptors which indicate what skills, knowledge and or understanding the student has demonstrated and what they are yet to achieve.
Each term teachers report on the Learner Expectations. These expectations outline approaches to learning, if carried out consistently, can support students on their learning journey and see them achieve success. The Semester Summary Report provides an overview of the assessment results, the Homeroom Report, Co-curricular and College involvement and Victorian Curriculum Standards or VCE/VCAL/VET outcomes. Parent/Guardian Student Teacher Conferences are held once in each semester. At the start of each year Individual Support Meetings are held with the student’s Homeroom teacher to determine the student’s needs and plan for the year ahead with parent/guardian.