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Over the course of this week, students from Years 5-10 have been undertaking a series of tests provided by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). The young men completed three online exams, assessing their general abilities, mathematics and reading comprehension. Tests were completed online in the Christian Brothers Building.

Results from these tests are not reported on a report card in the traditional way, although they are very important and are used extensively by teaching staff. The results provide feedback on student strengths and weaknesses. This allows us to do many things. Initially we use the data we have obtained to establish an academic direction and focus for the College. From here we are able to track student performance more closely. The statistics we receive give us the opportunity for intervention programs where needed. A good example of this is the whole school reading program that we are undertaking this year. An analysis of our performance on external tests such as NAPLAN, combined with results on ACER testing in 2016, indicated that developing student literacy levels across the school needed to be a priority. Hence, the introduction of a whole school Reading Program in 2017.

The whole school Reading Program will be a joint project between staff and an outside consultant. Mr Lindsay Williams will spend time in the school developing reading, as well as comprehension and writing skills, across all subject areas. Literacy is the responsibility of all teachers regardless of teaching area. It is an enormous disadvantage to the performance of any student if he is unable to read well. The ability to understand key concepts is an obvious reason, but even the capacity to understand and implement basic instructions becomes an unwelcome burden to those who do not read or comprehend well. Our objective as a school is to assist in the improvement of this vital skill.

Assessment calendars will no longer be published on the Teaching and Learning page on Connect. Heads of Curriculum have entered start dates and due dates for assignments directly into our TASS learning management system. Exams will be entered this week. By accessing Student Café, all boys now have their own personalised assessment calendar. This is very timely considering the work done this week regarding study skills and the need to create effective study timetables.

Mr Christopher Campbell - Dean of Teaching and Learning