Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi nui atawhai.
‘Changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to and work through the change process’ Kelly A. Morgan.
Change is a constant in the educational field and, these past few years the rate of change just seems to be increasing. Setting aside the amount of change to learning that has occurred due to COVID-19 and online learning, the MOE is also making a number of planned changes to how we assess learning in the senior school.
There have already been changes to the subjects that are offered at Level 1 of NCEA (Art History and Latin have been removed). Te Ao Haka, a new Māori Performing Arts subject, is currently being piloted across all three NCEA levels and for University Entrance.
A change introduced this year that may have an impact on students’ endorsement rates is the change to resubmission rules. Work can only be resubmitted to move the grade from Not Achieved to Achieved. There is no resubmission for any work from Achieved to Merit or Merit to Excellence.
Achievement Standards being offered as ‘bigger’ standards, limited to two internals and two externals per subject, each worth between 4-6 credits. There is a limit of 20 credits per subject. This is currently being piloted at L1 and will become mandatory for all Level 1 students in 2023 – this will affect our current Y9 students.
One of the biggest changes is the introduction of stand-alone, externally assessed Literacy and Numeracy Unit standards. These standards will be in addition to the 60 credits needed for each NCEA level and will be available for students to sit from Y9 onwards. The key point is that no NCEA level certificate can be issued to a student until they have successfully gained these Literacy and Numeracy credits. So, technically, a student could have gained the required 60 credits at Levels 1, 2 and 3 and, if they have not gained these Unit standard credits, none of the other credits count until they do pass. I also have concerns that we are adding yet more externally assessed standards to all students’ assessment requirements and offering these at lower year levels.
We are the only country to have 3 years of high stakes assessment and we know that is negatively affecting the wellbeing of both our students and staff. Yet, we are now seeing yet more assessment being added to this load and being available to younger students – technically making it four years of high stakes assessment!
So, we will manage these changes by ensuring we are well informed and critically examine how these changes might impact our learners; we will react to these changes by continually asking pertinent questions so we fully understand the change; we will work through these changes by actively planning and keeping everyone informed of their effects.
For more information about NCEA changes, use this link www.ncea.education.govt.nz
‘Hope is the foundational quality of all change, and encouragement is the fuel which keeps hope alive’. Zig Ziglar.