Grades are part of the assessment story in schools. However, in this day and age, students are no longer defined by them. It is effective feedback that supports learning. It is what enables the development of student understanding over time of both course knowledge and skills – and it is a continuous process. This needs to be the focus before a final assessment takes place of student learning. According to John Hattie (2019), a Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne and chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, “the most valuable feedback focuses on helping the students improve … and effective feedback occurs when it is received and acted upon”.
For these final assessments, the School has instituted a new grade scale to support the consistency of grading student work across Garnsey Campus. The new scale equates to the ten point grade scale in use in our reports, A+-E. There is an equivalent numerical scale. A “pass” is 40%. It is in use on VOS and in all assessments. We believe that this point on the scale is achievable for all students. In the event that a student does not achieve a pass in an assessment, he/she will be given an opportunity to re-sit the assessment task after receiving feedback as to what needs to be done to improve their understanding and/or skill. For reporting purposes, the initial grade will not change but there will be a comment in the report to explain the outcome of the second attempt.
How our students use feedback is more revealing than the snapshot of learning that their grades provide; the aim is that they are motivated and equipped to strive for excellence.
Deputy Principal - Academic