Parramatta Marist ARC

This term our Professional Learning Teams (PLT) are focusing on understanding assessment and we are creating our very own Assessment Resource Centre website. Each week we are required to run through a learning module and annotate a new piece of student work to upload to the Parramatta Marist ARC.

Today our learning module was all about standards based assessment and looking at how we grade student work using the common grade scale. My main takeaway from this module was that you may have a group of students who all achieve the standards set for an assessment but at different levels. For example, the assessment I chose to annotate was a Year 10 grade A stimulus poem with a one page analysis. When looking back on this assessment it is very clear that although most students in the year group achieved the set outcomes for the task there was a range of ability shown. The specific criteria for each of these achievement levels is outlined in the separate subject specific CGS for Stage 5 English.

Stage 5 English Common Grade Scale

Stage 5 English Common Grade Scale

One of our tasks was to go to the official Board of Studies ARC site and find a comparable piece of assessment to the one we had brought along to annotate. It was interesting to see that a majority of the assessment samples uploaded there were very traditional- essay based tasks. We obviously teach our students essay writing and analysis skills but many of our formative and summative tasks are more real-world based and involve engaging and creative activities. It was quite difficult for me to find an equivalent task. This affirmed my understanding of the importance of Project Based Learning, authentic tasks and of assessing holistically.

In the end I selected the BOSTES sample of ‘Representation and critical analysis of text‘ to compare my Year 10 Poem and analysis with. The final annotation of this task can be found here. It became clear that this student’s response demonstrated characteristics of work typically produced by a student performing at grade A standard at the end of Stage 5 and therefore was correctly graded.

“You can’t lie to your soul”

Musing through the boundless sea

A sheen of fog flowing fervently

Upon the clasp of a crisp breeze, I compel

Myself to my spirit, my heart’s citadel

The sky’s frigid glint fused into the horizon

Gazing into the deep, my own oblivion

The sands of time transfixed by my mind

Colours and sounds of life, leave it all behind

Cocooned in self-imposed shade

Exiled, I am my own renegade

Block out the light, block out the hues

Brave the shadows, find the truth

Pixelated among life and its many lies

We are denied of it, our eyes cannot perceive

Within the midnight, within this darkness

Buried deep in the crevices of Tartarus

Once again, I am stuck in my seafloor

The emotions swimming within, they’re all at war

Truth, truth, truth this, truth that

Crying subjective absolutes like an aristocrat

Contemplating, deconstructing reality

Only spawns a shroud upon its verity

Such foolishness, running amok

Chasing this white whale meets no epilogue

Truth suffers from profuse deduction

Maybe ignorance is bliss, the one true redemption

Even with the truth, I am still a liar

Skimming denial on my true desire,

The only truth that should matter to me as a whole

After all, eventually I’ll drown, drown in my soul.

-Year 10 Student

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