Manurewa High School - Managing National Assessment Report 2013

 
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Manurewa High School - Managing National Assessment Report 2013
Managing National
    Assessment
      Report

        2013

Manurewa High School
Managing National Assessment Report
Manurewa High School

10 September 2013

Introduction
The purpose of the Managing National Assessment (MNA) external review is:
 •   to help schools achieve valid, fair, accurate and consistent internal assessment
     according to the requirements of the Assessment and Examination Rules for
     Schools with Consent to Assess 2013 (Assessment Rules); and
 •   in combination with the most recent Education Review Office report, to ensure
     that schools are meeting the requirements of the Consent to Assess Against
     Standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards Rules 2011 and its
     Guidelines (CAAS Guidelines) in order to maintain their consent to assess.
This process is a partnership between schools and the New Zealand Qualifications
Authority (NZQA) to ensure that assessment systems remain effective and internal
assessment decisions are valid.

The MNA review has two components:
 1. The annual external moderation of assessment materials and assessor
    decisions for an NZQA-selected sample of internally assessed standards and
    samples of student work across curriculum areas selected according to the
    school’s random-selection process.
 2. An external review of each school’s assessment systems at least once every
    four years.

This report summarises NZQA’s evaluation of how effectively:
 •   senior management has addressed issues identified during the previous MNA
     review on 29 September 2011
 •   the school manages assessment for national qualifications
 •   the school manages internal and external moderation
 •   the school manages and makes use of assessment-related data
 •   the school maintains the currency of assessment policy and procedures, and
     communicates them to staff, students and families.

In preparing this report, the School Relationship Manager (SRM) met with the
Principal’s Nominee and the Heads of Learning Area (HOLAs) for Classical Studies,
Economics, Geography and Technology. The school also provided the SRM with pre-
review information and the staff and student assessment procedures guides.

There was a report-back session with the Principal, Principal’s Nominee and the
senior management team at the end of the visit to highlight strengths and
weaknesses, with suggested strategies for good practice and to agree on
recommended actions.

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September 2013
2011 Managing National Assessment Report (CAAS Guidelines 3v)
Evidence was sought that action items in the previous MNA report have been
effectively addressed.

All items have been actioned.

Assessment Practice (CAAS Guidelines 2.5v-vii, 2.6, 3v)
How does the school’s assessment practice allow for the effective management of
assessment for national qualifications?

Meeting the achievement needs of senior students The school’s flexible
approach and emphasis on providing appropriate learning pathways for students
allows them to work towards gaining a qualification over a period of one or more
years of study. Courses targeted at the students’ achievement level and linked to
career options through the careers programmes are in place, including the use of the
Trades Academy, Starpath, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu and Gateway.
Academic monitoring and counselling procedures include:
   •   reviewing each senior student’s course selections, so as to ensure that they
       are on track or are eligible to achieve university entrance
   •   providing comprehensive information to families about their student’s
       achievement. For example Student Achievement Conferences where the
       whānau tutor, parent and student meet to discuss the academic progress of
       the student and set SMART goals for future learning
   •   whānau tutor/leader one-on-one discussions with students to enhance their
       understanding of how to meet their assessment goals
   •   subject teachers setting targets for students based on evidence, and tracking
       their progress throughout the year.

In 2012, the school introduced a summer school for senior students during the
external examination study leave period. The school reported that this initiative is
making a significant difference to student achievement as it gives the students the
chance to voluntarily take part in additional learning opportunities. These may be in
the form of tutorials, extra credit opportunities or catch-up sessions. There is also a
space set aside conducive to learning so students can undertake independent study.
The school is fully aware that the Assessment Rules permit a maximum of one
further assessment opportunity in a calendar year and it selects the standards
offered in its summer school so that it is not in breach of this NZQA requirement.

Literacy and numeracy A significant emphasis is placed on literacy, as it is
fundamental to engagement with the curriculum and assessment of its learning
outcomes. Data from entrance testing is used to identify students in need of
additional teaching support, to enable them to operate at the appropriate curriculum
level to undertake NCEA assessment. The school effectively tracks students for
literacy and numeracy throughout the year, so that any barriers to achievement of
Level 1 or university entrance are minimised.

Assessment opportunities to gather evidence of achievement Teachers aim to
gather evidence of students’ best performances. Practices described in the subject
areas interviewed are robust and ensure authentic and credible assessment. A
maximum of one further opportunity is offered if it is required and manageable.

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September 2013
Authenticity HOLAs reported a range of methods to ensure the authenticity of
students’ assessment work. One described how teachers use an internet search
engine to authenticate phrases or key words included in work submitted by students.
Another reported that they question students about their submitted work.

The teachers tabled evidence of checkpoints that are used within departments for all
assessments that span extended time. This ensures that students are on task and
that the work is authentic and heading towards completion. It also acts as a system
to collect evidence over time, helps inform parents and teachers of progress and
enables follow up of any identified issues.

Missed and late assessments If an internal assessment or deadline is
unavoidably missed, an extension or a further assessment opportunity may be
approved or a grade may be awarded based on standard-specific evidence from
other authentic work. Where none of these is possible, the entry is withdrawn. Where
missing an assessment was avoidable and no prior arrangement was made to
withdraw the entry, a Not Achieved result is reported. These procedures are
consistent with NZQA guidelines.

Derived grades The school emphasises to students the importance of the school
practice examinations as a source of evidence of achievement in the event that they
are required to apply for a derived grade later in the year. Teachers understand the
need to refer only to quality-assured practice assessments for evidence of
achievement for a derived grade application when a student has missed an external
examination or has had their performance seriously impaired by illness or
misadventure.

Special assessment conditions The school has established effective procedures
for ensuring that any students with entitlement to special assessment conditions are
identified and monitored and that applications are made to NZQA in a timely manner.
The Special Education Needs Co-ordinator checks that the NZQA-approved
assessment conditions are provided to the students when they are being assessed
internally and the same conditions are made available for students during the
school’s practice examinations and for externally assessed standards. The support
given is in accordance with NZQA requirements.

Identified action
No action was identified as needed to improve the effective management of
assessment for national qualifications.

Moderation (CAAS Guidelines 2.6, 3v)
How effectively does school internal and external moderation assure assessment
quality?

Internal moderation processes Teachers are well informed about the school’s
requirements for internal moderation and are required to document their internal
moderation practice on an Internal Moderation Cover Sheet. It was evident from
discussion and documents seen during interviews that sound internal moderation
practice is well-embedded and that meaningful processes underpin this practice.
These include robust procedures for checking assessment material prior to use and
for verifying grades before they are awarded to students. All the teachers interviewed
described having collegial support for verifying grades.

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September 2013
To make certain that assessor judgments are at the national standard and to avoid
teachers being professionally isolated in their assessment practice, teachers are
involved in local subject associations and cluster groups or have established links
with colleagues in other schools.

Audit of internal moderation processes HOLAs are responsible for monitoring
their own subject areas to ensure internal moderation is complete prior to sending the
results to NZQA.

With help from the Data Manager, results are progressively flagged in the student
management system once the completed internal moderation cover sheet is signed
off by the assigned senior manager and the signed student mark sheets have been
submitted. In this way, the Principal’s Nominee ensures that the school reports only
those internal assessment results which have been subject to the school’s internal
moderation process. This was a key recommendation of the previous MNA review.

The school is commended for its efforts since the last review to ensure internal
assessment is undertaken at the national standard. Teachers work collaboratively to
achieve this outcome and seek help from outside the school as required. HOLAs
oversee internal assessment and in some cases, undertake their own monitoring
audits. The Principal’s Nominee is aware of the need for on-going support and
monitoring of subjects where the school has a sole teacher so that the school can be
sure that reported results represent the professional judgment of at least two subject
specialists.

External moderation The latest moderation round was in April 2013, when 72
standards were selected. The materials for 45 standards were approved and those
for 21 others required some modification before they are used again. The material for
four standards was invalid and should not be used again. No material was received
for two standards. The moderators agreed with more than half of the teachers’ grade
judgments on the student work submitted for 53 standards.

External moderation processes The SRM sighted evidence of the school’s
procedure to ensure that teachers make the changes required by the moderators
before an assessment is used again or in response to a low agreement rate. The
evidence tabled confirms the process applied by teachers follows the school’s policy.
It also allows school management to recognise exemplary practice and to identify
any areas of concern.

The process for industry training organisation managed external moderation is the
same as that for NZQA managed systems.

Random selection Of the four departments interviewed one will need to revise its
selection method to eliminate any possibility that teachers might be able predict the
names of students whose marked work may be sent to NZQA moderators before
they begin marking. The school agreed it will review the random selection process to
ensure the process is completed by someone other than the teacher who assessed
the work and has not been manipulated in any way before submission to NZQA
moderators. The process will be documented.

Identified action
NZQA and senior management agree on the following action to improve the school’s
internal and external moderation to assure assessment quality. Senior management
undertakes to:

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September 2013
•   review and document the random selection process to ensure the process is
       completed by someone other than the teacher who assessed the work and
       has not been manipulated in any way before submission to NZQA
       moderators.

Data (CAAS Guidelines 2.6, 2.7)
How effectively does the school manage and make use of assessment-related data?

Learner login Students are encouraged to regularly use their Learner login to
monitor their own progress towards course endorsements and national qualifications.
In 2012, 78 per cent of NZQA enrolled students registered for Learner login and 97
per cent of registered students used the NZQA facility at least once during the year to
view their entries and reported results. Seventy-six per cent of students accessed
their results online in January 2013.

The installation of a learning management system and single sign on portal, linking
students to a large number of learning application and resources has enabled
students to access information with one username and password. This assists the
school with monitoring who has logged in to access information and when.
Information about those who have not accessed information can be forwarded to
whānau leaders and whānau tutors who will then follow up with the students.

Accuracy of assessment-related data The Principal’s Nominee and the Data
Manager work with teachers and students to ensure that entries and results
submitted to NZQA are accurate. The teachers interviewed confirmed this and
produced evidence that they check that results are entered on time. In checks
throughout the year, students and teachers are expected to sign off result printouts.

Managing assessment-related data A data file is submitted to NZQA on or before
the first of each month and more frequently towards the end of the year when the
bulk of internally assessed results are reported. Teachers are also regularly
reminded of the key dates for entering or withdrawing students. The Principal’s
Nominee makes effective use of the Counts by Subject and other reports to manage
assessment-related data.

Analysis of results Meetings between senior managers and HOLAs provide a
forum for discussions about issues identified by the analysis and about future plans.
Changes to programmes are made in order to meet the needs of the student cohort
each year and this data analysis is used to determine the changes to existing
courses and whether new courses need to be established. The school has a
particular focus raising achievement of Māori and Pasifika students and using data to
improve learning outcomes.

Analysis of results data, including national comparisons with reflective commentary
and strategies for improvement, was evident in the review reports viewed by the
SRM. These reports confirmed that the school effectively uses its results data to plan
for improved teaching and learning for students.

Privacy and password security Each staff member requiring access to the high
security features through the school’s NZQA login have been assigned an individual
Education Sector Authentication and Authorisation user name and password. Other
teachers needing access to read-only general features have also been registered.
The Principal’s Nominee and the Data Manager manage the list of those who have

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September 2013
approved access to these categories, adding teachers who join the staff and
removing those who leave. This ensures that only those who need it will be able to
access private and secure information available on this site.

Identified action
No action was identified as needed to improve the management and use of
assessment-related data.

Communication (CAAS Guidelines 2.4i, 2.6, 3v)
How effectively does the school maintain the currency of assessment policy and
procedures and communicate them to staff, students and families?

Communication of policies and procedures to staff, students and their families
The following documents were provided for this visit:
 •   Assessment Rules and Procedures (Staff Edition 2013) – staff manual
 •   Getting It Sorted for Success: Assessment Rules and Procedures Student
     Handbook
 •   Senior Course Information
 •   Course information from the departments reviewed.
Communication with students, parents and caregivers At the start of the year,
students are issued with the student handbook and course outlines. Additional
assessment information is communicated in a range of ways such as newsletters,
website, intranet, student notices and parent evenings. Students are reminded of
assessment requirements during assemblies.

School-wide surveys are conducted with students and caregivers to assist the school
in their self-review processes. Questions ranging from teaching practice and
assessment to favourite aspects of a subject are asked. The Principal’s Nominee
reported that every class completes the survey, providing a wealth of information that
is then passed on to each department and to the teachers. The information helps the
school to improve student/caregiver engagement and assists in tailoring learning to
the needs of students.

Communication of policies and procedures to staff The assessment procedures
are updated and reviewed regularly by the Principal’s Nominee, in response to any
external changes and perceived internal requirements. The Principal’s Nominee
distributes the NZQA EmaiLink and circulars as required. Teachers are able to seek
clarification and raise any concerns or suggestions at the various meetings during the
year.

Staff are informed of any changes to assessment procedures and reminded of key
messages by the Principal’s Nominee at a staff meeting early in the school year and
by regular updates during the year. HOLAs are expected to take responsibility for
ensuring the understanding of teachers in their faculties. Staff appraisal allows a
further opportunity to check staff understanding.

Some additions and refinements were discussed during the review visit and will be
addressed in the next revision of the staff and student documents.

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September 2013
The school had commenced a system of learning area reviews. These focus on
HOLAs understanding of the school’s assessment and moderation procedures and
evidence that they had effective oversight of assessment, moderation and data-
related matters in their faculty. The Principal’s Nominee indicated that the reviews
undertaken so far have been particularly effective as a way to engage with HOLAs
and clarify or improve their understanding of the school’s procedures. The HOLAs
interviewed demonstrated a good understanding of the school’s assessment
procedures and they reported that they feel well supported by the senior
management team.

Memoranda of understanding The school provided examples of current
memoranda with outside providers engaged by the school. This process is efficiently
managed and maintained.

Identified action
NZQA and senior management agree on the following actions to maintain the
currency of assessment policy and procedures, and communicate them to staff,
students and families. Senior management undertakes to:
   •   review documents to refine and add information in the revised version.

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September 2013
Summary

Manurewa High School is commended for the culture of improvement and learning
that is embedded in the school. Principles and practice focus on providing students
with opportunities to achieve relevant qualifications.

Internal moderation practice is robust and is monitored effectively by Heads of
Learning Areas and senior management. If a concern is identified by an external
moderator, it is managed appropriately.

The school works with a wide range of external providers to add to the choice of
courses it can offer to students. It effectively monitors the progress of students
towards attaining qualifications.

Student entries are closely managed by staff to ensure they are accurate and reflect
student capability and the intended assessment programme in individual courses.

The 2013 Managing National Assessment review identified no significant issues that
prevent the school from meeting the requirements of the Consent to Assess Against
Standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards Rules 2011 and its Guidelines.

Based on the outcome of this assessment systems check, it is anticipated that the
next Managing National Assessment review will be conducted within three years.

Manurewa High School MNA Report            9
September 2013
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