Understanding your child’s report card
As you are aware, students and teachers this year have been working with the new Australian Curriculum, as interpreted through Queensland’s C2C curriculum resources. Whilst the Australian Curriculum is similar in many respects to the previous Queensland curriculum, there are some differences which have required adjustments. For example, some concepts are covered earlier than previously expected, there is a stronger focus on specific areas and in some cases a different standard of work is expected of students.
Teachers evaluate student work based on the Australian Curriculum (C2C units and assessments tasks) in English, maths, science and history, as well as the other school-based key learning areas.
Due to the fact that the new reporting system has not been in place for long following implementation of a new curriculum, report card results may also reflect students’ ‘learning curve’ in terms of the change in expectations for learning in their year level.
This is not cause for concern, as teachers are adapting and adjusting their teaching/learning to ensure that students receive the necessary prior knowledge and are supported through their learning tasks.
Also, C2C units are in ongoing review and adjustment, based on feedback from teachers. However, it is worth noting the fact that report card results in English, maths and science this semester are based on the new content descriptors and year level Achievement Standards from the Australian Curriculum, and as such may not be reliably compared to previous years’ results.
Over recent years, parents, students and teachers across Queensland are gradually becoming more familiar with a 5-point scale (e.g. A-E) process for reporting in all schools.
The new system
The new system schools are using refers to attainment standards called “benchmarks of achievement” or “criteria.” So what makes an “A”, “B”, “C” etc is predetermined by a scale of achievement. (Refer over page) Any student who shows evidence of meeting a particular level, deserves that benchmark grade.
This is what you could consider the new difference for a “C” really means:
A “C” means that the student has met the criteria for a learner to be at the appropriate age level.
A “C” means that the student is doing everything required at their Year Level at school. The best description is to say that a “C” means that the student’s academic development is exactly where it needs to be.
That means attaining a “C” for achievement means you are on target for your age level!
With all of this in mind, we must accept that it may be harder to get an “A” or “B”. These grades are not awarded simply to the top students in the class. They are only given to students who show that they are independently capable of working beyond the criteria required for their Year Level.
So what does all the information above mean?
- Many parents are likely to see more “C” grades on their child’s report cards.
- An “A” for effort and a “C” for achievement indicates that your child is “on target” for their age.
- This grade should be celebrated with students because it means they have worked hard to be where they need to be.
- The “effort” grades are also really important because they are a reflection of how, in the teacher’s opinion, the student is working consistently in class in that learning area (English, maths, science etc).
Guide to making judgments
GTMJs are also a very important teaching tool for the teacher and students. It is vital these sheets are discussed and taught in detail to the students during the early stages of the unit of study so that all terminology and concepts are understood.