Sunday, 10 July 2016

Holy Spirit Strand Assessment- Final results of a three year comparative assessment

In 2014 and 2015 we worked through the theology and key concepts for each RE strand.  Bearing these in mind the staff came up with key ideas which we could keep constant and develop through each child’s journey at St Joseph’s school.  The need for this was based on the high number of children who enter our school at different levels, many missing out on junior and middle teaching in RE.  The concepts had to be ones which would be accessible to both 5 and 13 year olds, at different stages of RE knowledge and at different stages in their faith journeys.

We proposed to “test” these concepts over three years, 2016 being our final year.  We hoped that keeping these concepts at the forefront supported by the strand teaching at each level, we would see a deepening of understanding of these concepts as children move through the school.  2016 is our fourth year of using the SOLO thinking taxonomy in RE to promote and assess depth of thinking and we are using this to guide our assessment.

SOLO rubric for the Holy Spirit





Extended Abstract
I’m ready to learn about the Holy Spirit but I don’t know anything yet.
I can give one story or example of the Holy Spirit
I have several stories or examples of the Holy Spirit (e.g. the Fruits of the Spirit)
I can make connections between Holy Spirit stories / between the stories and my life / the Sacrament of Confirmation
I can recognise and evaluate the work of the Holy Spirit in my life / school / community.
I can create a sense of the Holy Spirit through the Arts.
Four main concepts decided as a teaching staff we want our children to know. 
1. How the Holy Spirit is active in people. 
2. How the Holy Spirit is represented in the Bible. 
3. God is a Trinity- God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and this is a faith mystery. 
4. Images of the Holy Spirit.
Theses four concepts will be the context of the Holy Spirit Strand teaching throughout the school. We continue to teach the learning outcomes for the Religious Education Curriculum at each year level in the context of these four concepts

Mid term 2 our first comparative results for the Holy Spirit strand across all three years is available.  As we are tracking over three years we are tracking the year 1-6 cohorts of 2014:

In most year groups the 2016 total is above the 2014 and 2015 total which shows that groups of children have improved their understanding over time.  The baseline data is the results of the year group that were two years ahead of the year group in 2014.  Without intervention, this would be the expected achievement level for that group in two years time.  Our results show that most groups exceeded their two year projection.  

2014 cohortbaseline 2 years ahead 2014 total2014 total2015 total2016 total
year 152.25%41.00%50%54%
year 259.75%50.50%69%75%
year 361.50%52.25%65%77%
year 458.25%59.75%86%84%
year 552.50%61.50%70%81%
year 650.00%58.25%49%71%
Our second comparison shows many things:

1)That it looks as if children’s understanding of the key ideas have increased over two years of teaching the key ideas, when compared with the class which was two years ahead of them in 2014.  Over two years they have already exceeded the achievement we would be hoping to have seen in three years.  It would seem that returning and reinforcing the key ideas has helped children to deepen their understanding.

2) We discovered that many of the children who have just joined our school this year or are English language learners need extra support in articulating their learning particularly at assessment time. Taking this into account an overall teacher judgement is made between hubs and children may have received extra support throughout the strand. Our Pasifika teacher Tua Misiloi has also supported children by reinforcing the main concepts taught in her weekly Tongan Language class. 

3) Whanau groupings across the school happen at the end of each strand and help to reinforce the main concepts taught with children learning off each other and sharing their learning in many different ways

 4) In 2016 we have had four new members of staff start and for all of them this is the first time they have taught and assessed using both the Religious Education curriculum, Holy Spirit strand and St Josephs main concepts as decided by staff in 2014. To combat this we have made sure that when we came to forming OTJs we did this in hubs and that teachers new to Catholic Schools were given a tagged teacher as a mentor. 

5) Overall we are steadily improving and maintaining the teaching of the main concepts in the Holy Spirit strand throughout the school.

6) We can be very proud of these achievements and it all comes down to effective teaching and learning strategies, we have great support in place and we also had many children celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation during this strand.

Specific assessment information is available at:
Assessment Overview for 2016 Open here
Holy Spirit Assessment 2016 Teachers can access link here
Three Year comparative results/data Teachers can access data here

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