Literacy at Tamaki

In Term 3 Marc (Literacy Leader) and I decided to put in place a Literacy Action Plan for the school. It was obvious from the asTTle and PAT results and the excel spreadsheets on NCEA data/credits that many students were not achieving.
An analysis of  NCEA results and NZQA Assessment Reports on each subject that a colleague and I had done in 2008 had proved that literacy - vocabulary, reading, writing, was a factor for students not achieving the NCEA standards across all subjects. I repeated this for 2016 here:

NCEA Examiners'comments relating to Literacy
Maths 2016
Level 1
  • some of the technical statistical words relating to interpretation of time series graphs were not fully understood.
  • Candidates also need to ensure that the specific directions in the question are actually addressed, such as: compare, describe, justify, give statistical evidence, comment on showing numerical working.
Level 2
  • The vocabulary of algebra needs to be understood so that candidates fully understand the meaning of each question.
  • However, there was weakness in the use of statistical language and in using a methodical approach to compare shape, centre and spread.
English 2016
Level 1
  • Essays at this level are essentially two-part questions – describe, then explain
  • spending more time breaking down a question, noting the subtleties of phrasing, and key words
  • focusing on the keywords in the question
  • showed an understanding of the text by rephrasing in own words.  
  • If a definition of an aspect such as a language feature is required it should be succinct, and the time spent on the explanation or analysis.
  • Some quoted too long and too frequently without explaining or analysing what the quote(s) actually showed.
Social Sciences 2016
Level 1
  • It should be noted that social studies concepts should be incorporated into candidate responses rather than given as stand-alone paragraphs. 
  • Using the wording from the task in their responses helped candidates provide a more structured response and ensured all aspects of each of the tasks were covered.
Level 2
  • Some candidates wrote overly lengthy responses that included repetition of main points and/or giving numerous examples to support main ideas rather than a carefully chosen, well developed few.
Level 3
  • They must also have had practice at extracting the required information from sources of information provided. 
  • .. wrote short, poorly constructed answers that did not include all components of the standard.

Level 1
  • Candidates are advised to focus on the wording of all three questions, specifically instructions that direct them to answer in their own words…
  • Candidates are advised to read the question carefully and understand that the standard requires a discussion of causes and consequences, as well as clearly linking the causes to their event. They should avoid spending a lot of time writing about the event at the expense of describing the causes and consequences.  

Level 2
  • Candidates are reminded that they must thoroughly read and process the essay task before planning a response, or writing their paper
  • Candidates who used the planning page often wrote papers that clearly responded to the essay task in an organised, focused, and structured manner.
Level 1
  • some candidates focused too much on telling the story, i.e. what happened, rather than explaining the processes involved. 
Level 1
  • Many candidates were aware of the key concepts but some failed to use scientific terms, or used terms incorrectly, which inhibited their ability to fully explain phenomena
  • In order to fully explain concepts, it is important to use appropriate physics terms accurately
  • The correct use of scientific terms is important to clearly explain concepts. 
Level 2
  • Candidates are also expected to use the language in the standard, rather than unexplained terms such as “van der Waals forces” and “like dissolves like”.
Level 1
  • Successful candidates correctly responded to the key words and ideas in the questions and addressed all bullet points within the question. They also provided clear, concise answers, using accurate biological terminology.
  • Candidates who were successful in this standard generally had a good understanding of the terminology used
Level 2
  • Candidates who achieved this standard correctly responded to the key words in the questions and addressed all bullet points
Level 1
  • Candidates should note that a lot of writing does not necessarily contribute to higher grades
  • Candidates needed to read questions carefully, along with using the scenarios provided, to ensure they provided correct information to develop their answers.
Level 3
  • Many candidates answered the questions effectively and in a coherent and concise manner

We presented the plan to Curriculum Committee in Term3. Marc gave an explanation of how it would rollout

  • Literacy observations of each teacher doing Jump Start as baseline data
  • Literacy PLD from Marc & Cheryl
  • Observe again to see what difference has been made.


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