Increasingly, schools throughout Australia are required to complete mandatory testing in a variety of subjects, across several year levels. We have just completed the NAPLAN assessments and will now be required, like every other school in the country, to complete the Australian Early Development Census and the Program for International Student Assessment. The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) The AEDC is a nationwide measure that looks at how well children across Australia are growing up or ‘developing’.

The AEDC looks at five different elements or domains that are important for children’s development.

These are:
• Physical health and wellbeing
• Social competence
• Emotional maturity
• Language and cognitive skills (school-based); and
• Communication skills and general knowledge.

Every three years since 2009, teachers of children in their first year of full-time school (Pre-Primary) used an early development instrument – similar to a questionnaire – for every child in their class.

The Early Development Instrument is completed based on a teacher’s knowledge and observations of the children in their class. There is no need for parents or children to provide any new or extra information to schools for the AEDC. Children are not taken out of class and do not need to be present while their teacher uses the Early Development Instrument.

The AEDC was first completed by teachers nationwide in 2009. It was completed again in 2012 providing the first Australian snapshot of young children’s development over time. The next AEDC collection will be undertaken this year. The value of the AEDC is that it provides information for schools, communities and governments to pinpoint the services, resources and support for children and families to help shape the future and wellbeing of Australian children.

Pre-Primary students at The King’s College will undergo this assessment before the end of this term.

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) PISA was designed to assist governments to monitor the outcomes of education systems in terms of student achievement on a regular basis and within an internationally accepted common framework. In other words, to allow them to compare how students in their countries were performing on a set of common tasks compared to students in other countries. In this way, PISA helps governments to not only understand, but also to enhance, the effectiveness of their educational systems and to learn from other countries practices.

Every three years, PISA collects information on student achievement and contextual information about students, teachers and schools, and derives educational indicators that can monitor differences (and similarities) over time.

Some examples of how PISA findings are being used internationally include:

• Comparisons of literacy skills of students in one country to those of students in other participating countries;

• Establishment of benchmarks for educational improvement, in terms of the mean scores achieved by other countries or in terms of a country’s capacity to provide high levels of equity in educational outcomes and opportunities; and

• Understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual education systems.

PISA is administered by ACER on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Education, (DoE) and the State and Territory Departments of Education. PISA is part of the National Assessment Program (NAP) in Australia. Participation in NAP sample assessments is an obligation for all sampled schools under the Australian Education Act 2013.

All students enrolled at The King’s College and born between 1 May 1999 and 30 April 2000 will be eligible to participate in PISA. The majority of students will be 15-years-old, and may be enrolled in Year 10 or higher. PISA is an inclusive assessment and encourages all sampled students to participate. You will be notified if your child has been chosen to be part of the PISA testing. The PISA assessment process will take place during third term.

If you have any questions regarding the above testing regimes, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Mr. Aaron Guppy

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