Teaching and Learning Report – May 26, 2016

May 25, 2016

May 17 College Assembly

As we move towards the end of Term Two, and the number of completed assessment tasks increases, there were several boys whose efforts and academic excellence were worthy of recognition.

We started the assembly by acknowledging the outstanding work of number of Year 8 students, Nathan Delvescovo, Kyle Truscott, Josh Farrington, George Simpson, Alexander Byham and Patrick Heagney, who received a Headmaster’s Excellence Award for their work on the Year 8 Music Instrument Building assessment task.

Each of these boys constructed an outstanding home-made instrument, made mostly of recycled or everyday materials. In meeting with most of these boys, I was able to see their genuine enthusiasm for this task and how this has inevitably contributed to their success. Coming with the right mindset to assessment tasks can make a significant difference to how a boy approaches any task; the effort you put into the task and, typically, the outcome.

The boys all enjoyed the challenge of researching, reinterpreting and building their chosen instrument. They also appreciate the opportunity this task gave them to work with their father.- As individuals, we can learn any particular skill or attain a piece of knowledge in so many ways, but I believe that these boys will keep so much of what they have learnt from this task not because of what they were required to do, but who they turned to and asked support from to complete this task. None of us are above asking the significant people in our lives for help, for their insight or for their support to achieve the work we are required to complete. Congratulations to each of these Year 8 boys!

Our next award was a Headmaster’s Excellence Award, presented to Year 12 student Callum Smith for his outstanding work in completing the recent – – VCE Unit 3 Texts and Traditions SAC, Themes and Literacy Background of Luke’s Gospel. Callum’s written response displayed a skill that few students develop -“ the ability to understand and capture the key generalisations of any piece of writing in a clear and succinct reply. This can only come about by spending time to develop a deep understanding of the text and to have then considered and practiced how this can best be rewritten in a way that both informs the reader and shows them the depth of your knowledge. This is a skill that must be worked on and only comes about through sustained effort. Congratulations, Callum on that sustained effort.

Australian Mathematical Olympiad

The Australian Mathematical Olympiad Each invites just 100 students Australia wide annually to participate in this significant event. These students are selected based on their outstanding performance in the Australian Mathematics Competition. Each year, a number of selected students from St Patrick’s College participate in the Australian Mathematics Competition.- –

Based on his perfect result in the 2015 Australian Mathematics Competition, Matthew Duffy was awarded a medal in a ceremony at Government House in Perth late last year and was also invited to compete in the Australian Mathematical Olympiad in February of this year.

Matthew, who is currently in Year 9, competed against students from all year levels, earning an Honorable Mention for his efforts in his first Australian Mathematical Olympiad. The Honorable Mention signifies that he achieved full marks for at least one of the four questions. We are very proud of Matthew’s achievement in this high level Mathematics competition.

After his perfect score in the Australian Mathematics Competition, Matthew was also invited to take part in the Tournament of Towns which is an international town-based mathematics competition run centrally in Moscow. Matthew has also been awarded a Certificate of Participation in recognition of involvement in this international competition.

Congratulations, Matthew on your sustained excellence in the area of Mathematics!

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program

Each year, St Patrick’s has a number of Year 10 boys apply to The University of Melbourne to enter the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program. Last year, Melbourne University received nearly 1800 applications to join the Scholars program. The Young Scholars Program offers successful participants the opportunity to mix with like-minded peers and future leaders. A tailored program of events and activities supports and enhances the student’s secondary school studies, inspires career plans and provides opportunities to interact in the University community.

Congratulations to Year 11 boys Samuel Coxall and Brandon Lauton who late last year were chosen as the St Patrick’s College representatives in the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program for Year 12 graduating class of 2017.

Updated Assessment and Reporting at St Patrick’s College

In 2015, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) published guidelines for schools relating to the planning and implementation of the new F-10 Victorian Curriculum. One important consideration within the guidelines was move from the one-size-fits-all approach to reporting to providing schools with the capacity to adjust their reporting to reflect their teaching and learning program. This, along with rapidly increasing use of digital technologies to provide students and their parents with online access to real-time, continuous assessment and reporting of academic achievement, has rendered the concept of the twice-yearly reports to parents obsolete.

This year, the Catholic Education Committee of Victoria (CECV) produced the Reporting Student Progress and Achievement -“ 2016 Guidelines for Victorian Catholic Schools, which further emphasised the importance of providing timely assessment evidence and feedback to inform students, their family and teachers as to what students need to learn next.

In summary, we have been challenged to review and update our assessment and reporting structures with a view to establishing procedures that provide students and parents with timely, clear and concise feedback that informs and furthers each boy’s learning journey.

As you will be aware, St Patrick’s College has, for some time now, been utilising the Parent Access Module (PAM) for reporting student assessment and providing appropriate feedback to parents. I am pleased that many parents regularly access PAM to support their son in ensuring all his assessments are up-to-date, and to remain informed about the allocation of assessment grades to submitted pieces of work.

The teachers of St Patrick’s College are committed to the full roll-out of real-time, continuous reporting, and much progress has been made to-date this year to ensure that this can be achieved by the end of Semester One. Practically speaking, this means that:

  • Student performance an all summative assessment tasks will now be uploaded to PAM within two weeks of the assessment being submitted.
  • Feedback for each assessment task will be provided in one a number of forms including assessment rubrics, criterion sheets, annotated assessment tasks, or direct use of the written feedback section within PAM.
  • The traditional End-of-Semester report will be replaced with a Statement of Attainment for all subjects studied in any semester.
  • Reports for Pastoral Care, Instrumental Music and Boarding, previously integrated into the end of semester report, will now be available as -‘stand-alone’ reports.

This change to real-time, continuous reporting as the basis of our reporting structures is a significant one. Consequently, we will be supporting students, parents and teachers alike in the coming the weeks to ensure that each of us come to fully understand this important development and how it can be used to further learning outcomes for each of our boys.

If you have any further questions regarding the information above please feel free to contact Mr Stephen Hill, Deputy Headmaster, Teaching and Learning, at the College or email shill@stpats.vic.edu.au.