Regular appropriate assessment is regarded as an integral part of the curriculum. Academic progress is monitored regularly and staff analyse and act on the results as appropriate.
Ficino School adopts within each class an ongoing assessment programme of two types, regular and informal formative assessment and more structured summative testing.
Formative assessment takes many forms designed so that students understand and have a sense of ownership of their learning, with teachers and students working collaboratively to address learning needs. Students have immediate feedback, direction and help towards their learning goals.
For summative testing the school makes use of several available assessment tools in New Zealand. Currently we use the Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) annually from Year 3 to Year 8. Prior to that we have our own version of the national ‘Six Year Check” (phonics based) and an ‘Eight Year Check’ (incorporating a Neale analysis). These are used to assess early intervention needs and monitor progress against expected norms. Other summative testing may take the form of End of Unit tests, often drawing on assessments provided through the Cambridge Resources.
Formal exams are held at the end of Term Three for the middle and senior school. In English and Mathematics, the Cambridge Progression Tests are used. In Year Six, students sit the Cambridge Checkpoint tests in English, Maths and Science, which are externally set and marked. Annually students can be entered in for the Australian Mathematics Competition and also ICAS, the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools.
Ficino School has a reporting system of interviews and written reports. There are full reports in Terms 2 and 4, and Parent Teacher Meetings take place in Terms 1 and 3, but teachers are very happy to meet more regularly with parents as the need arises.