Assessment of student achievement of learning standards plays a crucial role in tracking individual student development and tailoring curriculum to strengthen and broaden student learning. "Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering, analysing and reflecting on evidence to make informed and consistent judgements to improve future student learning" ('Flagship Strategy 1-Student Learning', Victorian Government Blueprint, 2003)
Assessment practices are always formally documented in the curriculum and are commonly completed by all students undertaking studies in subjects at each year level. All assessment tasks are issued to students in writing in advance of completing the task and include a clear description of the expectations of the task and the assessment criteria upon which student performance will be measured.
A variety of assessment tasks are set to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a variety of learning styles. Preparing students for formal and external assessment is an important consideration in the curriculum. External testing is conducted at Year 7 and Year 9 through the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and during VCE exams.
The formal end of semester examination experience begins for students in year 10 at the end of semester one and involves all subjects. Students receive feedback on their performance during exams and are assisted in developing strategies for improving their exam performance.
Reporting provides students, parents and staff with a valuable record of student achievement and performance. These records can be reflected upon and used to develop strategies for developing student learning profiles and equipping students to critically reflect on their personal learning.The home-school partnership is critical to ongoing student development, reporting is an essential dimension of this. At Mercy College reporting is a conversation that aims to manage the individual learning pathways of students. Reporting to parents on student achievement takes place both formally and informally during the course of the year and reflects student progress in achievement of learning standards.
The reporting strategies at Mercy College include online reporting and Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences. Online reporting provides students and parents with progressive feedback throughout the year. Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences are an opportunity to affirm the students of their achievements and also to recommend strategies for ongoing improvement. A Pastoral Care report for each student reflects participation in whole school and year level events, co curricular program and contributions to the pastoral care class as well as a comment on the student's performance across the semester.