Mapping a path to success
Student mapping. It sounds clinical, a process of mapping a student’s results to track their progress. But it’s actually much more than that.
Student mapping has been around for years, largely managed by individual teachers using their own methods. In the last five years schools have seen a far more formalised approach with most implementing a data analysis program.
Stuartholme’s Student Performance Data Coordinator, Shannon Lacey, explains how student mapping is an invaluable tool that provides a real-time overview of how a student is performing across not only their subjects but external testing.
“When we look at a student’s performance we’re looking at data from three areas; internal assessment, such as assignments; external assessment, such as QCS results, and any psychometric testing similar to careers testing.”
The data can inform a teacher’s decision-making about student performance through firstly identifying students who require support.
“The data gives teachers an opportunity to engage in informed, professional discussions about student achievement and their needs.
“In consultation, the teacher and student can set realistic, achievable and specific targets that allow the student to experience success and improvement,” Shannon said.
Fundamentally, by maintaining high expectations of the students, where teachers have the data they can intervene early. This results in students being better supported in growing in their capacity and capability.
“The ultimate goal of student mapping is for teachers to create an individual learning plan for each student.”
“The plans take into account students who are not meeting state benchmarks, all the way through to high performing students who need extension and everyone in between.
“Unlike some other schools, Stuartholme does not look at the data in isolation, we look at the student behind it,” Shannon said.
As a School of the Sacred Heart, Stuartholme’s philosophy is to educate the whole child, taking into account not only academic, but also her emotional and physical needs.
“It is not enough for us to make judgements based solely on what the data says. If we are to have realistic and beneficial discussions with both students and their parents we need to look at the whole child.”
Due to the imminent changes to senior assessment and tertiary entrance testing, to be rolled out in 2018, we are introducing a data analysis programme to the school with a particular focus on our Years 7 – 9 students’ learning journeys. This will work in partnership with our ‘high stakes testing tracking’, currently in use in our senior school.
“Most parents want their child to be successful, in whatever that means to them. Stuartholme’s progressive curriculum coupled with a holistic approach to student mapping will provide our students with clear goals for their future and a pathway to achieve them.”