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NSW Syllabuses

English Years 7–10 assessment strategies

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Well-designed assessment is central to engaging students and should be closely aligned to the syllabus outcomes within a stage. 

Years 7–10 Assessment Strategies 

Teachers provide a range of assessment opportunities to gather and evaluate evidence of a student's learning.

The following assessment for, as and of learning approaches are relevant to all learning areas:

  • collaborative activities
  • peer assessment 
  • self-assessment 
  • teacher observations.

Detailed advice on these strategies is available in:

Years 7–10 assessment strategies.

Additional English Strategies 

Some additional strategies that are particularly relevant to English include:

Inquiry-based research activities

Students may develop their critical and creative thinking skills when they are provided with opportunities to research and evaluate information, consider new ideas and make connections.

Assessment activities may include:

  • extended research, composition and presentations (eg development of multimodal texts and presentations)
  • identification and analysis of components of texts, including multimodal texts (eg how sound and visual components work together in a film)
  • inquiry and design assignments (eg personal interest projects, investigations)
  • research tasks using information drawn from the library, the internet, databases and spreadsheets and other digital sources and presented in electronic portfolios and logs, seminars, interviews and discussions
  • reflective tasks (eg composing a written text, explaining the processes used to produce the text, and self-assessing the text and reviewing this against specific criteria)
  • oral and written critical responses to texts (eg explaining the strengths and weaknesses of website designs and functions) and assessing balance and objectivity in texts
  • written or spoken responses, which could be short or extended
  • use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) (eg quiz, wiki, student-moderated forum discussion)
  • designing games
  • recording thinking using graphic organisers
  • strategic, open-ended and inquiry questioning
  • developing questions, explanations or evaluations
  • comparing and contrasting tasks
  • devising learning contracts individually and in collaboration with the teacher.

When inquiry-based research opportunities are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • compare information sources for accuracy and relevance
  • analyse findings and draw valid conclusions
  • discuss areas for improvement or further research.

Presentations and Performance Activities

Presentations and practical activities may provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills to an audience. These activities may be oral or written, multimodal or a combination of these. Presentations may be prepared or impromptu, depending on the requirements of the activity. Peer and self-assessment may be used in conjunction with this assessment strategy.

Assessment activities may include:

  • prepared and impromptu oral presentations (eg role-plays, debates, dramatic presentations)
  • presentations using digital tools
  • readings
  • time-limited composition of texts in particular forms for specific contexts (eg preparation of a 20-second radio news bulletin, podcast, vodcast, documentary filmed on location using green-screen technology)
  • audio/visual digital presentations, including multimodal presentations
  • the use of social media technologies as a platform for presenting assessment activities and/or capturing evidence of student performance
  • web publication of learning (eg learning blogs, student-created websites)
  • observation of real or simulated performances
  • storyboard reports
  • planning, creating and publishing ebooks
  • speaking and listening in discussions and debates.

When presentations and performances are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • use appropriate terms and concepts
  • select and use appropriate resources, including ICT tools, to communicate their knowledge, understanding and skills
  • identify goals and project stages, set deadlines, collate and edit material for presentation
  • display a range of speaking and listening skills (eg prepared and impromptu oral presentations, debating)
  • ask questions to clarify understanding during class or group discussions
  • represent their interpretations of characters, themes and ideas after the study of a text or performance.

Collections of student work

Assessment can enhance student engagement and motivation, particularly when it provides opportunities for interaction with teachers, other students and a range of resources. Collections of student work may be reviewed at specific points in the learning process to inform future teaching and learning opportunities or as summative assessment at the conclusion of a unit of work, term, semester or year.

Assessment activities may include:

  • diaries and journals
  • student self-reflections and evaluations
  • reading tasks requiring skimming, scanning or close reading
  • drafts and completed versions of written texts or representations
  • editing texts to remove errors, improve style, shorten, lengthen or adjust for a different purpose, audience and context
  • directed reading strategies (eg cloze)
  • imaginative re-creation or extension of a text (eg writing as a character, creating an additional incident, interviewing the composer)
  • composing a visual representation that emphasises a particular point of view (eg storyboard)
  • research tasks using information drawn from a variety of sources
  • essays, short-answer and written tasks (eg essays, written reports, letter of advice or recommendation, review, newspaper article, comment on an article’s perspective, student-produced overviews or summaries)
  • extended research, composition and presentation (eg development of multimodal texts and presentations).

When collections of student work are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • use appropriate terms and concepts
  • effectively communicate their understandings
  • justify and support ideas
  • respond accurately to stimulus
  • evaluate a range of sources, including ICT sources.


Also see: