Covid 19 – 29 October 2021

29 October 2021 

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

You will have heard the Minister of Education announce that schools in Alert Level 3 areas may possibly return to their school sites no earlier than 15th November. Schools in Alert Level 3 areas are working with the Ministry of Education on the guidelines for this return to take place. We will keep you updated as information comes to hand. 

The Learning 

The staff acknowledge that parents are doing their best to support children’s learning in this very different learning environment, thank you. Please be reassured that our staff are monitoring and supporting your child/ren online. We want you to know that we are focusing on each student and 

making sure that progress in their learning is continuing. We regularly reflect on the next steps that we can put in place to support students. 

This term we are adding additional supports to the online learning that include; ● Using our part time teachers as 1:1 and small group tutors for students who have been identified as needing some further support to maintain progress. 

  • Using our learning assistants to support specific students to maintain progress. ● Teachers note progress using a variety of methods to be able to undertake an overall teacher judgement (OTJ) for each student against the New Zealand Curriculum. 

Our teaching staff are trained professionals, many having taught for a number of years and have continued to learn and develop their approach to online learning. We, like all other New Zealand schools, continue to use the New Zealand Curriculum to inform the teaching and learning at our school.

The New Zealand Curriculum 

This is expressed at eight progressive levels. Each level contains objectives and these are appropriate to students’ development and maturity at successive stages as they move from primary to senior secondary school, in effect it covers our entire schooling system. 

Students learn at different rates, and therefore, at any time, individual students or groups of students of the same age could be working towards achieving objectives at different levels within and across the strands. The levels are covered across two school years as in the diagram below 

Typically students spend two years moving through a NZ curriculum level. 

Level 1 = Years 1 and 2 

Level 2 = Years 3 and 4 

Level 3 = Years 5 and 6 

Level 4 = Years 7 and 8

The SchoolTalk reporting at end of year 2021 

You will see a change in the format of the end of year reports (see below). Reporting progress at the end of 2021 will continue to focus on the New Zealand Curriculum levels. 

While COVID has interrupted our ‘at school learning’, teachers continue to work each day with their classes and hold a professional judgement of where a student is achieving against the NZ Curriculum for every piece of work they do. Teachers use a variety of measures to ascertain progress, this includes responses students may make during discussions, one on one conferencing or small group work activities and progressions. They compare this against any testing results to provide a consistent academic position for that student. This is a very robust way of placing students appropriately. 

The progressions do not form the OTJ (Overall Teacher Judgement) position. The end of year reports will move from a line graph to a bar graph that will specifically show where your child sits in relation to their year group and the level within the New Zealand Curriculum. Progressions are still informing the students next steps and next year’s teacher about what has been covered. 

Please see the examples below. These will be explained further on the school website. This will be updated over the next few days. 

Summary of the sources and rationale for the end of year report. 

The End of year report 

  • Due to the nature of the school year it is not realistic that teachers will have covered all the progressions therefore the progress graph will not give an accurate representation of where a student is sitting within the NZC. 
  • Teacher’s OTJ will be used to provide more of an accurate picture of where a student is sitting within the curriculum. 
  • There will be an OTJ bar for Reading, Writing, Maths curriculum areas. Learner Dispositions, Teacher Comment, Student reflection (Yr4-8), Participation, will all remain the same. 

The Progress Graph will be replaced by the OTJ Bar Graph

Further communication on our end of year reporting will follow during this term.

Yours sincerely

Paul Engles