Assessment and Reporting

Assessment and Reporting at Willowbank School

The purpose of assessment at Willowbank School is to improve student learning, to provide information on student learning and to contribute to the efficacy of learning programmes. Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering evidence for and of learning. This evidence will be used to give recognition and timely feedback to the students, their families and others involved in their learning.  Assessment will support students and teachers in the promotion of student achievement.

At Willowbank School we believe assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. Our approach to assessment recognises the importance of assessing the process of learning as well as the products of learning.

The main aim of assessment at our school is to provide feedback on the learning process and the development of the various elements of learning such as the development of knowledge, skills, concepts, key competencies and values to inform further learning. Students and teachers are actively engaged in assessing the students’ progress as part of the development of their wider critical thinking and self-assessment skills.

  1. Assessing – how we discover what the students know and have learned
  2. Reporting – how we communicate information about assessment

1. ASSESSING: how we assess what your child knows and has learnt

The assessment of the students’ development and learning is an essential component of the curriculum, and helps to inform continued development, learning and teaching.

Students are observed in a variety of situations and a wide range of assessment strategies are implemented.

The classroom teachers employ a range of formative (assessment for learning) and summative (assessment of learning) assessments that demonstrate student achievements.

Assessment OF learning: aims to give teachers and students a clear insight into students’ understanding. Summative assessment is the culmination of the teaching and learning process, and gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what has been learned. It can assess several elements simultaneously and informs and leads to improvement in student learning and the teaching process.

Assessment FOR learning: provides information that is used in order to plan the next stage in learning. It is interwoven with learning, and helps teachers and students to find out what the students already know and can do. Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked and function purposefully together. Formative assessment aims to promote learning by giving regular and frequent feedback throughout the learning process. This process helps learners to improve knowledge and understanding, to foster self-motivation and enthusiasm for learning, to engage in thoughtful reflection, to develop the capacity for self-assessment, and to recognise the criteria for success. There is evidence that increased use of formative assessment particularly helps those students who are low achievers to make significant improvements in their understanding.

Assessment in the classroom includes:

  • Collecting evidence of students’ understanding and thinking

  • Documenting learning processes of groups and individuals

  • Engaging students in reflecting on their learning

  • Students assessing work produced by themselves and by others
  • Using progressions of learning
  • Using exemplars as benchmarks 
  • Keeping records of test/task results


Standardised assessments are used as a part of the whole school assessment policy in an effort to gain as much information as possible about the student as a learner and about the programmes of learning.

The types of assessment used in the school are many and varied and goes towards making up the whole picture of learning.

Standardised assessments are specifically used for the following reasons:

  • To inform teaching

  • To provide information that shows growth over time

  • To provide longitudinal data for whole school data analysis
  • To inform decisions about programmes

  • To allow teachers to determine those students whose basic skills fall outside the normal range expected for students of that particular age. This information is used alongside other assessment information to determine those students who will access support programmes, or who may need Individual Learning Plans.
  • To form part of the process of reporting to parents

2. REPORTING: how we communicate information about assessment

Reporting on assessment at Willowbank School includes communicating what students know, understand and can do. Reporting involves parents, students and teachers as partners and is honest, comprehensive and understandable to all parties and in line with the Ministry of Education’s guidelines.

Reporting to parents occurs through:

Student Led Conferences (student-parent-teacher)

Student Led Conferences are formal reporting sessions with both parents and students and are led by the teacher and the student. Samples of work are shared and achievements and areas for future focus are discussed.

Student Led Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for parents to spend time with their child and enjoy who they are as learners. Having parents attend the conference is both reassuring and motivating for students.

Written Reports

The written reports provide a snapshot of your child’s learning in relation to various areas of learning, including the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. These reports are provided to parents twice per year.

The mid year report shows how students are progressing toward meeting the National Standard for their year level. The end year reports show how the a student has achieved against the National Standard for their year level.

Reporting period for year 0-3 students

Because five year old children start school at different times during the year, their number of weeks at school in a given year varies. Therefore in line with Ministry of Education’s guidelines, a written report is completed for each student based on the following number of weeks that they have been at school:

  • 20 weeks (mid year - half way through their first year of schooling)
  • 40 weeks (one full year of schooling)
  • 60 weeks (mid year - half way through their second year of schooling)
  • 80 weeks (two full years of schooling)
  • 100 weeks (mid year - half way through their third year of schooling)
  • 120 weeks (three full years of schooling)


End of year summary reports are provided at the end of each calendar year.  For some children this will be incorporated with their national standards interim or anniversary report.

Some children will enter Year 4 before they have completed 3 years at school.  Once they enter Year 4 they will be reported as working towards the End of Year 4 standard.

Reporting Flowchart











The following diagram is an approximate guide to when to expect your year 0-3 child’s reporting:


Once students reach their 120 week anniversaries or enter Year 4 , the reporting period switches to the academic year’s mid year and end year.

Reporting against National Standards Year 4 to 6 in 2015

Year 4 Reporting

YEar 4

Year 5 Reporting

Year 5

Year 6 Reporting

YEar 6

Formal and Informal Meetings (teacher or parent initiated)  

Parents are welcome to arrange a mutually suitable time with the teacher to discuss progress or raise any areas of concern anytime throughout the year.


Parent/Community Evenings

A variety of parent evenings will be provided throughout the year, which will provide an opportunity for parents to learn more about the different aspects of the programme. 

 For more information on the National Standards click here.

For ideas of how you can support your child’s learning click here.





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