This paper reports on the Transition: Improved Literacy Outcomes Research Study established by the Department of Education and Training (DET). The purpose of the study was to identify the most useful and usable data for educators to access in order to ensure that student literacy learning is maximised during the transition from Primary to Secondary school.1. The research followed a mixed-methods approach, combining a statistically defensible sample of schools selected to represent school types (primary, secondary, combined), locations (rural, regional, urban) and all regions with a survey and follow- up interviews.2. The results are presented as a mixture of statistics, case studies and discussion. The case studies were developed from both survey data and interview data.3. Leaders and teachers overwhelmingly valued teacher judgement (through AusVELS) as the most useful data in understanding students’ strengths and weaknesses, followed by On-Demand testing.4. NAPLAN results were frequently transferred between schools, but were found to be less useful than other data by teachers.5. School leaders and teachers are currently using data for ability streaming, or for tailoring curriculum for individual student needs. A number of schools use the Literacy data for achieving a balance of student abilities within classes.6. Support for access to, and use of, data is mainly manual, with some use of spreadsheets.7. As the number of feeder Primary schools to a single Secondary school increases, data management becomes a much larger burden on the Secondary staff concerned.8. In Secondary schools, there was a clear demand for Literacy data, but these data were not always those that were being provided by their feeder Priamary schools. This mis-match appears to lead to some frustration among Literacy transition staff at both levels of schooling.9. A gap that needs filling is around the nature of the pedagogies at the two school levels. Not knowing, or misunderstanding, the approaches and needs of each level of schooling leads to the passing on of irrelevant Literacy data in some instances.10. The need for a common template for transition data was expressed by many Transition staff, both Primary and Secondary. In some instances the secondary school had set up a local template for this11. It would be advantageous for data to be directly up-loaded or transferred into a system via electronic tools already in use, such as an Excel spreadsheet.12. We would recommend that the capacity to provide some visualisation of data, and the compilation of internal Literacy data such as teacher judgements and AusVELS levels, or additional testing carried out by the school.13. Student background data was seen by many Secondary transition staff as being equally as valuable as more formal Literacy data for determining student needs.
Field of Research
130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Lote, Esl and Tesol)
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