At Salesian College, Chadstone, we foster an environment that encourages students to do their best at all times. We also want to assist boys to take responsibility for their learning. Accordingly, we have very clear College expectations that: (1) students will work purposefully and cooperatively in their classes; and (2) that they attempt all assessment tasks to the best of their ability.
We have formalised a process to support students in their endeavours. All assessment tasks in all year levels are marked on a percentage basis and results will be posted on the Parents Access Model within 1 – 2 weeks of the task having been completed. An analysis of semester results for the period 2013 – 2017 shows that well over half of boys in Years 7 – 11 have averages of greater than 65% for their work requirements. The historical experience here at Salesian College is that most students achieve a result of 65% or better for each task. Consequently, we wish to challenge boys in instances where they receive less than 65% and the teacher believes that this grade is due to a lack of effort.
Determining Lack of Effort
It is important to consider that teachers will not be arbitrarily determining if a student has or has not devoted a reasonable amount of effort to completing a work requirement. Teachers have ACER data, NAPLAN data and 2017 Salesian College assessment results to draw upon to gauge ability levels. They also have their own observations relating to student participation in class, homework completion, application in class etc. in addition, there will customarily be other protocols teachers use in the lead up to work requirements such as quizzes, drafts, comprehension activities and the like. Equipped with these details, teachers have a solid amount of evidence to use in order to arrive at a professional judgement. Finally, if a teacher has any doubts as to whether they believe a boy has/has not devoted sufficient effort, they will give the benefit of the doubt to the student.
When a boy receives a mark of less than 65% and the teacher believes this result is the consequence of insufficient effort, the processes outlined in the accompanying flowchart will apply. Please note that the intention is not to punish students. Rather, it is designed to assist boys to reflect upon gaps that may exist in their learning and to organise themselves so they can devote their best efforts to completing work requirements.
Feedback to Students
By means of criteria sheets, rubrics and teacher comments, boys will receive explicit advice regarding where improvements in their work are required. If students are still unclear about what they need to do, they should contact the teacher for further clarification. When boys re-sit tasks, they will receive further feedback from their teacher. Whilst their original grade will be retained, teachers will be encouraged to give an indicative grade for re-sit tasks. It is especially important to acknowledge that boys who have worked diligently and yet fall below the 65% threshold will be encouraged to take note of teacher feedback. However, boys in this situation will not be required to re-sit the task.
Unless the work is of a very poor standard, students will simply complete just those parts of the task which are of particular concern rather than the whole assignment. The teacher will decide whether this will be completed at home or as an in-class exercise. Detentions and further consequences will be preserved for what we anticipate will be a small number of boys who consistently do not put in reasonable efforts.
As this is very much a new initiative, the College will regularly review the process. The first review will take place towards the end of Semester One, 2018. Feedback will be sought from staff, students and parents.
Mr Neil Carter