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PAT in action: A school’s perspective – what is a year of growth?
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PAT in action: A school’s perspective – what is a year of growth?

3 minute read

At Research Conference 2021, we heard about one school’s fascinating journey to use PAT to improve learning for every student.

Research Conference is a chance to hear from the world’s leading academics, practitioners and policymakers on the evidence from research on the big issues in education. While every session brings valuable insights for teachers, a special presentation concluding the first day of programming turned the spotlight on the practical applications of research in the classroom.

In ‘A school’s perspective: What is a year of growth?’, leaders Melissa Gould and Mark Redhead of Queensland’s Mansfield State High School shared with ACER Education Consultant Marc Kralj their experiences of using PAT.

As one of the largest secondary schools in Australia, it would be easy to lack focus on individual students, but Mr Redhead said leaders at Mansfield used data to better understand each and every student – and that PAT was a useful piece of the puzzle of describing student performance.

Ms Gould said the school used many sources of information – NAPLAN results, learning plans, report cards and more – to build a picture of attainment at the cohort and individual student level, guiding leadership decision making about next steps.

‘It’s also really nice to provide an opportunity to celebrate success,’ Ms Gould said, noting a high median score in a group report.  

Mr Redhead praised the immediacy of reporting, saying the data could be accessed almost immediately and used to get the necessary conversations started, and singled out the strand report as an especially valuable way of supporting a student demonstrating little growth. But Mr Redhead also pointed to PAT’s role in supporting the school’s commitment to continuous improvement through ACER’s National School Improvement Tool (NSIT).

‘[The NSIT framework] focuses our attention on what we’re doing and how we might do it better,’ he said, before describing the implementation of three initiatives in mid-2020 designed to improve overall student performance. ‘The results of these three initiatives come out in the PAT band report.’

Watch the presentation now.

Research Conference On Demand

This presentation was part of the Research Conference 2021 program. To access the full program, the Research Conference On Demand package is for you! That's more than 20 recordings from world-class presenters at a reduced price.

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