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Assessment & Reporting

At The Small School, we view our students’ development holistically and respect them as individuals. We wish to make assessment as non-competitive and non-stressful for students as possible. As such, observations and portfolio assessments form a large part of the assessment process.

Experienced teachers will carry out assessment of students’ progress through our everyday practice of working with and observing children, recording their progress in teacher records and maintaining a portfolio of work samples. Each child will have a Learning Plan. It will be used to guide and monitor progress within thematic project-based learning as well as the daily Focused KLAs. Learning Plans, teacher’s records and portfolios will correspond with the learning outcomes in the NESA syllabus.


There are also regular opportunities for students to meet challenges and the culminating event of each term is a performance or presentation which is a special occasion for children in which they must endeavour to explore their own potential as they bring their term project to an end and present it to their school community.

Teachers will also rely on standardised mechanisms for assessment where necessary to ensure appropriate stage-based development is occurring.


Parental engagement is also a key component in ensuring student success. The knowledge teachers gain through their communication with parents contributes to their assessment of a child’s learning progress.

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There are 4 main mechanisms for reporting to parents.



These are made up of purposefully selected and annotated work samples which evidence the learning journey of the individual child. The portfolio is used to show the development of knowledge, understandings, and skills, over a period of time.


Annotation will come from both teachers and students themselves, and will include

commentary on:

  • The NESA syllabus outcome/s a sample relates to.

  • How the sample provides a baseline or shows skill or knowledge development.

  • The child’s feelings about the work or the process involved in its creation.

  • A teacher’s feedback as necessary.

  • Possible future learning directions.

Written Reports

Written reports are a summative record for children, parents and The Small School itself of a child’s progress. Reports clearly indicate areas of strengths, areas for improvement and are helpful aids to a child’s development.


Parent/Teacher Meetings

We have built into our daily drop-off routines opportunities for parents to chat with each other and with teachers to ensure parents feel welcomed and that information sharing is structured into the operation of each school day (read more about mornings at the school here).


Additionally, there are formal and informal meeting and reporting structures at The Small School for parents and teachers to discuss a child’s development and their learning progress throughout the year.

Three-Way Conferences 

A child, parent/guardian and teacher together share an individual child’s progress and view and discuss their portfolios. The participants collaborate to establish and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. These conferences include an opportunity for students to lead the discussion and engage in self-assessment.


Reporting Time Line

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Reporting to Parents

At The Small School, reporting on assessment is about 
communicating what children understand and can do; to 
students themselves and to their parents/ guardians. 
Effective reporting involves parents/guardians, children and teachers as partners.

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