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NSW Syllabuses

Using Syllabus Outcomes in Standards Referenced Assessment

Standards-referenced assessment refers to the process of collecting and interpreting information about students' learning. It uses syllabus outcomes as key reference points for decisions about students' progress and achievement. 

Syllabus outcomes:

  • indicate the knowledge, understanding and skills expected to be acquired by most students by the end of a stage as a result of effective teaching and learning
  • are derived from the syllabus objectives
  • present a sequence of learning for each stage and take into account prior and subsequent learning of students.

Syllabus outcomes are used by teachers to:

  • plan and develop learning and assessment opportunities
  • monitor student progress throughout each stage
  • assess and measure student achievement against intended learning at each stage
  • report student progress and achievement during, and at the end of, a stage.
Standards-referenced assessment:   Standards describe:
  • links the achievement of students to specified standards, through evidence collected from a number and variety of activities and from observations over time
  • involves teachers gathering evidence of student achievement formally and informally, to make judgements and to facilitate and monitor students' progress using syllabus outcomes. 
  • what students are expected to know, understand and do at each stage, described in NSW syllabuses through outcomes, content and stage statements
  • how well students have achieved.

Using outcomes to develop assessment activities

This model for developing assessment activities emphasises:

  • that outcomes are central to the decisions teachers make about teaching, learning and assessment
  • the importance of gathering evidence about student learning in relation to the outcomes
  • how teachers use evidence to determine how well students are achieving in relation to the outcomes
  • the importance of teacher feedback and student reflection
  • how evidence of student achievement informs future teaching and learning.

Outcomes diagram


Also in assessment: