School operations

Assessment of Student Achievement and Progress Foundation to 10

including EAL students


The following guidance is provided to support schools to develop and implement quality school-based assessment of students across Foundation to Year 10.

VCAA guidance on assessment

To support schools to improve their formative assessment practices, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) has developed a series of online resources: 

  • Formative Assessment — provides advice to teachers about how to develop formative assessment rubrics and put formative assessments into practice in the classroom.
  • Insight Assessment Platform — a collection of online assessment tools aligned to the Victorian Curriculum F-10. The platform supports high quality assessment practices and provides teachers with information they can use to target the learning needs of students as they progress along the continuum.  
  • Education State Sample Assessment Programs — a set of assessment tasks to support teachers to assess the capability Critical and Creative Thinking.
  • Digital Assessment Library (DAL) — formative assessments to support teachers to know what students have and have not learnt, identify strengths and weaknesses, and to plan their instructions effectively.

Department guidance on assessment  

The Department provides guidance to schools on strengthening assessment as part of the broader guidance on improving student outcomes.

Framework for Improving Student Outcomes

Under the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) the Curriculum planning and assessment dimension is identified as an essential element for improving student outcomes and includes:

  • documented curriculum plan, assessment and shared pedagogical approaches:
    • the assessment plan includes formative and summative assessment
    • assessment is ongoing and integrated in the teaching and learning cycle
  • moderation of common student assessment tasks
    • moderation of student assessment occurs regularly and explores a range of assessment data sets to inform curriculum development and teacher practice and is used as the basis for regular feedback and reporting to students and their parents and carers.

Schools are expected to align school-based assessment embedded in their curriculum program to FISO.

Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning

The practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning provide additional guidance for school leaders and teachers to deliver the curriculum and engage students, including guidance on the school’s approach to assessment. The practice principles support teachers to determine student learning needs and how students can demonstrate their level of understanding.

An essential practice principle regarding assessment to supports schools to improve student achievement and motivation is Practice 6 Rigorous assessment practices and feedback inform teaching and learning. This includes four actions:

  • teachers design authentic, fit for purpose assessments to reflect the learning program and objectives
  • teachers use assessment data to diagnose student learning needs and plan for learning
  • teachers provide regular feedback to students on their progress against individual learning goals and curriculum standards
  • teachers analyse student achievement data to improve their practice.

The Reflection tools booklet and Essential resources support schools to reflect on the use of the practice principles and evaluate their impact. These resources are available on the Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning page.

To support teachers to evaluate the impact on student learning growth, Evaluate the impact of your teaching, a toolkit, is provided. One essential element to support schools reflect on their school-based assessment is the Understand assessment design — the what, when and how of assessment. This tool comprises of six elements and supports teachers and leaders to evaluate and improve assessment processes and practices in their schools:

When considering assessment of student achievement and progress, effective teachers see formative assessment as an integral part of teaching and learning, for both themselves and their students. Using data and feedback, teachers identify important issues, which drive inquiry and actions. Teachers monitor the impact of their actions and adjust their practice accordingly.

The Department provides guidance and advice to support high-quality assessment practices and provides teachers with specific information to target the learning needs of students, see Assessment, theory and practice within the teaching and learning cycle

Assessment of English as an Additional Language (EAL) students

The English language proficiency of EAL students should be assessed using the Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL.

The length of time during which a student will be assessed against the EAL standards depends on many factors, such as the existing English language proficiency of the student, the number of years of schooling completed, level of literacy in their first language and background experiences.

If a teacher’s assessment of an EAL student against the English achievement standards places the student well below their peers, and the student still requires substantial support in learning English as an additional language, then teachers should continue to use the EAL standards.

The progress of students who have not yet reached an achievement standard can be reported using a Reporting Resource developed by the Department. It will allow teachers and schools to use the Beginning (.1) and Consolidating (.2) proficiency levels for assessment and reporting purposes. These additional levels allow schools to demonstrate that EAL students are making satisfactory progress in learning English as an additional language before they reach the achievement standards described in the EAL curriculum.

It is not appropriate for an EAL student to be assessed against the English standards in one mode, such as Speaking and Listening, and the EAL standards in other modes. While the oral language proficiency of an EAL student may appear to correspond to that of their peers, the demands of the curriculum become more complex as students progress through the year levels, and these students can struggle to cope with the academic requirements of the English curriculum.

Once an EAL student has reached the end of their respective A, B or C pathway and achieved the standard  in all three language modes of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing and Writing, they can be transferred to the Victorian Curriculum F-10 English for assessment and reporting purposes.

Sample progressions along the pathways of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL are provided by the VCAA. The Department has developed additional pathways and transitions resources that can support teacher understanding of the typical language learning pathways of EAL learners.

Teachers should use a range of assessment data and strategies to inform their judgements regarding EAL students’ progress. For more information about the assessment of EAL students, refer to: Tools to Enhance Assessment Literacy for Teachers of English as an Additional Language.

Guidance to support schools develop and implement quality school-based assessment of student achievement across Foundation to Year 10, including assessment of EAL students

Reviewed 06 May 2021

Was this page helpful?