Assessment for Learning

Ramesh Mahalingam, Nossal High School:
Elizabeth Morgan, Nossal High School:

The Catalyst for Improved Learning and Teaching

Teaching at a select entry school for gifted students can be both a blessing and a curse. Our students, for the most part, are aspirational and therefore compliant. They are hard-working but may not always know how to work with optimal efficiency. They will seek feedback but struggle when there is not a ‘correct’ answer or an absolute ‘recipe’. Further, like many young people today, many of our students are fearful of failure, do not necessarily recognise the positive power of ‘knowing what they do not know,’ or appreciate that learning is a gradual process.

When you place the teaching of English against this backdrop, you add the complexity of students who might not see English as a learning priority, particularly if it does not come easily to them; who become confused by the subjective nature of English marking which can, at times, appear quite arbitrary; and who, because of their profound respect for their teachers, believe that their teacher alone is the purveyor of all truths in terms of feedback and assistance with learning.

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