MANAGING NATIONAL ASSESSMENT REPORT VANGUARD MILITARY SCHOOL

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1 MANAGING NATIONAL ASSESSMENT REPORT VANGUARD MILITARY SCHOOL May 2015

2 Managing National Assessment Review The purpose of reviewing the management of national assessment is: to help schools achieve valid, fair, accurate and consistent internal assessment according to the requirements of the Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools with Consent to Assess 2015 (Assessment Rules); and to confirm that schools are meeting the requirements of the Consent to Assess Against Standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards Rules 2011 (CAAS) and its Guidelines (CAAS Guidelines) in order to maintain their consent to assess, in combination with the most recent Education Review Office report. The review has three components: The annual external moderation of assessment materials and of teacher grade judgements for student work selected by the school s random-selection process. A random sampling of aspects of assessment systems and data for review or audit on an annual basis. A visit to review each school s assessment systems at least once every four years. Managing National Assessment Report This report summarises NZQA s evaluation of how effectively the school: has addressed issues identified through the three components of NZQA s managing national assessment review and through the school s own internal review manages assessment practice for national qualifications manages internal and external moderation manages and makes use of assessment-related data maintains the currency of assessment policy and procedures, and communicates them to staff, students and families. In preparing this report, the School Relationship Manager met with the Principal s Nominee and Heads of Department (HODs) for Engineering, English, History, Te Reo Maori, Physical Education and Science and three students. The school also provided pre-review information and the following documents: Vanguard Military School Staff Handbook 2015 Vanguard Military School Recruit and Parent/Caregiver Handbook 2015 Vanguard Military School Assessment Procedures Policy 2015 There was a report-back session with the Chief Executive Officer and the Principal at the end of the review visit to highlight good practice and areas for improvement, with suggested strategies and next steps and to agree on any action required. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

3 OVERVIEW Vanguard Military School 28 May 2015 Vanguard Military School is a partnership school established in The school has reviewed assessment practice and plans a more thorough review at the end of This will be at the end of its second year of operation and sufficient data will be available to enable it to identify if processes can be refined or improved. The school aims to offer a curriculum that will enable its recruits (students) to achieve NCEA qualifications and progress towards their chosen careers. It has put in place effective strategies to meet individual learning needs and aspirations. Student progress is monitored throughout the year and teachers provide additional support for at risk students. A robust quality assurance process ensures results reported to NZQA are credible. Teachers critique tasks before use and a second subject expert verifies a sample of assessor decisions for every standard. Further documentation of verification discussions will assist in later decision-making. The Principal's Nominee monitors that all processes have been completed. The school underwent its first round of external moderation in It met all requirements for submission and followed up on the single identified issue by completing an action plan. Vanguard Military School has demonstrated that it submits accurate and timely data. It analyses results data to plan for improvement and one outcome is that it will monitor external entries more closely. The effective written communication with teachers, students and parents is reinforced during staff meetings and parent evenings. Next Steps No significant issues This review did not identify any significant issues that would prevent the school from meeting the requirements of the Consent to Assess Against Standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards Rules Agreed action However, NZQA and senior management agree on the following actions to further refine assessment practices. Senior management undertakes to: require all teachers to summarise the discussions between the assessor and verifier and note this on the internal moderation cover sheet monitor entries in external examinations to ensure they match the student s learning programme add information to ensure that students and parents understand that courses may be adjusted to meet student aspirations and prior learning. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

4 Next Managing National Assessment review 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. Ian Munro Manager School Quality Assurance and Liaison 8 July 2015 NZQA Vanguard Military School MNA Report

5 FINDINGS OF THIS REVIEW Response to External and Internal Reviews Previous external reviews Evidence was sought that external review recommendations and findings have been appropriately and effectively addressed. (CAAS Guidelines 3v) Vanguard Military School was granted Consent to Assess Against Standards in 2014 and enrolled its first students at the start of that year. This is the school s first Managing National Assessment Review. The senior managers have actively sought advice from NZQA about establishing sound assessment practices during the school s period of establishment. The school s response following the 2014 external moderation round demonstrates its capacity to identify issues, devise a plan to improve and monitor that the planned actions are completed. Internal review Evidence was sought that the school was effectively using its self-review and evaluation processes to identify areas for on-going improvement in assessment practice and procedures, which are then actioned. (CAAS Guidelines 3iv) Vanguard Military School provided evidence it has reviewed aspects of assessment policy and practice and outlined the improvements made as a result of its review at the end of its first year of operation. The following changes have resulted: In 2015 the school made applications for identified students to use special assessment conditions. The school has reviewed how it meets student needs. In particular it has looked at how it can identify and support students who are at risk of not meeting the literacy criteria for NCEA qualifications. The school reviewed how it manages students sitting external examinations. It has planned changes both to student entries and to how students are organised at the examination centre. The school s senior managers plan a major review of its assessment practice at the end of 2015 when the school has been operational for two years and sufficient data is available. It expects that this will enable it to identify if there are any further areas for improvement. No action required No issues with the school s response to NZQA external reviews and its self-review of assessment systems and practice were identified during this review. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

6 Assessment Practice How does the school s assessment practice allow for the effective management of assessment for national qualifications? (CAAS Guidelines 2.5v-vii, 2.6, 3) Vanguard Military School has effective processes and procedures for managing: assessment opportunities when students miss assessment deadlines student appeal of assessment-related decisions breaches of the assessment rules. A range of strategies allow for individual student needs: The school has identified that students have a very wide range of ability and prior learning. To give them the best chance of success, deadlines for completion of assessments are negotiated for all standards so students are assessed when ready. The school has selected standards for students at Level One that are less reliant on a student s prior learning, while still retaining a cohesive programme. There are two classes in Mathematics and English so students can be challenged and are also able to succeed. Students spoken with explained that teachers provide extra tuition at intervals and lunchtimes to help them to do their best. The school has made a number of successful applications for special assessment conditions and confirmed these conditions are made available for internal assessments. Effective tracking of student progress against NCEA requirements and students personal goals Each student s progress is tracked against goals agreed between them, their family and the school. The goals may include completing an NCEA qualification, getting a Merit or Excellence endorsement or completing the requirements for entry into the armed forces. The Principal explained that, for some students, the achievement of their goal means they transition out of the school to the next step in their career. For others, success means they remain in the school and set more ambitious goals. Teachers are using a range of ways to gather evidence of achievement Vanguard Military School s assessment policy gives very clear guidelines on how to manage assessment tasks completed under examination conditions. However, teachers described also using portfolios, performances, practical activities, observation, video evidence and conferencing to assess students. NZQA encourages schools to use a range of activities to collect authentic, valid and verifiable evidence of achievement as it leads to effective learning. No action required No issues with the school s management of assessment for national qualifications were identified during this review. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

7 Moderation How effectively does school internal and external moderation assure assessment quality? (CAAS Guidelines 2.6, 3) Robust internal moderation processes evident Vanguard Military School has robust internal moderation processes for ensuring that grades reported to NZQA are valid, authentic and verified. The process is documented in the staff handbook. At the start of the year, the Heads of Departments devise a plan to ensure they meet the school s and NZQA s requirements to quality assure all results submitted. As part of this plan, teachers must establish contact with a suitably qualified subject expert to verify a sample of assessor grades. The school s managers are aware these verifiers need to have up-to-date experience. All teachers spoken with confirmed that they have colleagues both within and beyond the school as verifiers. The Principal's Nominee monitors teachers adherence to the plan by collecting a copy of all completed internal moderation cover sheets before any grades are submitted to NZQA. The school encourages the verifier to initially look at the student work without knowing the assessors decision. This good practice means the verifier is looking at the work in relation to the standard rather than being influenced by a prior decision. Where there is a difference between the assessor and verifier grades, there is a discussion so the marker and verifier come to an agreement. The senior managers agree that brief notes to capture the discussions arising from the verification process would allow teachers to identify benchmark samples and inform future decisions. The Principal's Nominee will include evidence of any discussion as part of the monitoring process. Appropriate follow up from external moderation The school s first external moderation round was in September 2014 and six standards were selected. Student work was submitted for all standards as requested. The moderators agreed with all or nearly all assessors judgements for five standards. For one standard, the moderator noted issues with the task and the resulting assessor judgements. The school devised a plan to ensure this issue was addressed and, at the time of this review visit, had implemented the planned actions. This demonstrates that the school has the capacity to make an appropriate response. Agreed 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: require all teachers to summarise the discussions between the assessor and verifier and note this on the internal moderation cover sheet. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

8 Data Quality and Use How effectively does the school manage and make use of assessment-related data? (CAAS Guidelines 2.6, 2.7, 3) Vanguard Military School effectively: manages assessment-related data by: o o timely reporting of results to NZQA regularly comparing the data held by NZQA, the results entered in school s student management system and its own purpose-built tracking spreadsheet. makes use of the following assessment-related data: o o Key Indicators Principal s Reports. The school ensures that it has a complete picture of students prior achievements Vanguard Military School offers a core curriculum focusing on English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Physical Training and Science. The school ensures it has details of any standards the students have already completed. In some cases, the school found enrolling students had completed NCEA Level 2 without the prerequisites that would allow them to progress to further learning or transition into their career choice. Where the planned programme includes assessment against standards already completed by a student, an individualised assessment programme is negotiated. As a result, the school considers that students are better prepared to move to the next phase of their lives. Management of external entries reviewed The school analysed the results from the 2014 external examinations and concluded that students were less successful than anticipated. The school s policy was to enter all students for all assessments in the course regardless of whether they had a genuine opportunity to complete adequate preparation. In many cases, students did not turn up to sit the examination, or had in fact left the school. In 2015, the school intends to manage the entries much more closely so they match each student s individualised learning programme. It will require teachers to check entries on the NZQA website prior to the key date for external entries. Analysis of results leads to planned changes in courses Heads of Department analyse the results of each standard with a view to improving teaching and learning programmes or reviewing the standards on offer. No action required No issues with the school s management and use of assessment-related data were identified during this review. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

9 Communication How effectively does the school maintain the currency of assessment policy and procedures, and communicate them to staff, and students and their families? (CAAS Guidelines 2.4i(f), 2.4v, 2.6, 2.7ii, 3) Vanguard Military School has effective processes and procedures for: maintaining the currency of assessment policy and procedures communicating assessment policy and procedures to staff, students and their families. Accurate handbooks for students, parents and teachers A range of communications means that the school s key stakeholders have access to quality information. The handbook for teachers is supplemented by discussions in staff meetings where the expectations are discussed and reinforced. The newly appointed Head of Department spoken with confirmed that he had been given clear communication regarding expectations and knew where to find additional information if needed. An information evening is held to inform students and caregivers of the expectations and processes around assessment. The student handbook contains information about all the courses offered. It is suggested that it notes that a programme may change during the year depending on the prior learning and aspirations of the cohort as the school cannot be sure of these when the course is designed. Agreed action NZQA and senior management agree on the following action to maintain the currency of assessment policy and procedures, and communicate them to staff, students and families. Senior management undertakes to: add information to ensure that students and parents understand that courses may be adjusted to meet student aspirations and prior learning. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

10 APPENDIX SCHOOL PROFILE Vanguard Military School (Partnership School) Consent to Assess granted 21/02/2014 Last MNA review This is the first review Background Vanguard Military School is a Partnership School that was established in The school started with students in Years 11 and 12. In 2015, a small number of Year 13 students have returned to study at Level 3. Number of NCEA candidates* Number of participating NCEA candidates** (Twelve students had already achieved NCEA Level 2 but were working to meet -further targets at that level, six students were non-participants) Number of results reported by school Number of external entries made by school Number of internal results reported with an external provider code Signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students Course approval for courses mainly or exclusively for international students No No *NCEA candidates are those Year students that the school entered in at least one standard in the particular year **Participating NCEA candidates are those Year students who, in conjunction with credits gained in previous years, have been entered in sufficient credits in the particular year to achieve an NCEA qualification by the end of the year. Vanguard Military School MNA Report

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