By Steve Read | Posted: Wednesday April 29, 2020

Guide for Parents, Caregivers or Whānau to help students manage NCEA assessment remotely during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3-4

What can parents/caregivers do if you are worried about your young person’s achievement?

• Remember you are not expected to be your young person’s teacher. If you have any concerns about your child, it may be appropriate to contact the subject teacher by email if the issue is about one particular subject. If you have a general concern, please contact the tutor teacher by email in the first instance.

• Support and encourage your young person to keep engaged with their learning, and their classmates.

• Check communications from the College and teachers. Our main method of communication will be via email and weekly Newslettter.

Ensure that your contact details (phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses) are up to date so that the school can contact you

· To update any details please contact Maria Menzies, School Secretary, at

What will be different and the same as going to school each day

• Our school will have different expectations for senior students depending on their remote learning environment and the level of alert in the community. Some staff are creating video lessons that will be uploaded and others are using Zoom or Google Meet to have face to face ‘classes’ with groups of students. Where it can provide valuable skills practice, Education Perfect and Language Perfect will be used.

• Teachers will be communicating with students, and setting and marking work regularly throughout the week, just as they would if they were at school.

• Parents, caregivers and whānau can help their young person by supporting them in their learning and encouraging them to: establish a routine, check communication from their teachers regularly, develop aplan/timetable to complete the work set by their teachers, communicate with their teachers if they need help and guidance.

Evidence from changes made to assessment following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes showed that:

• More flexible assessment opportunities do not affect the expected performance or the credibility of the results.

• The flexibility of NCEA means teachers can gather assessment evidence from individual students at any time and in a variety of ways to meet the needs of the student’s situation e.g. oral, visual, as well as written.

• Schools already make decisions about NCEA assessment to meet the needs of their students. The flexibility of NCEA will also allow us to meet students’ needs now.

• Students will still have opportunities to gain credits, including NCEA qualifications, Vocational Pathways, and University Entrance award.

• We can have confidence in the professional judgements of teachers and schools to make valid assessment decisions in stressful times.

Students can still get their NCEA – Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Vocational Pathways, University Entrance, Merit and Excellence grades, and endorsements

• NCEA is a flexible qualification and teachers are using its flexibility to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 disruption.

• We are making sure that any changes we make to learning and assessment programmes will still enable students to get credits, achieve their qualifications and awards.

• Merit and Excellence grades, course and certificate endorsements are all still available.

• Students are still able to move on to the next qualification level if they have not completed the previous level qualification. For example, Level 1 students can fill any qualification gaps using credits achieved from a higher level.

• You may find it useful to watch a video on how NCEA works

(available in Te Reo Māori, Cook Islands Māori, Vagahau Niue, Gagana Samoa, Lea Faka Tonga and NZ Sign Language).

Your young person can still do assessments, although there may be changes to what they will ‘hand in’ and how:

Assessment could include:

· Work done on the computer. Your young person can get work to their teachers through Google Classroom, One Note, email, messenger or another application. Their teacher will tell them what to use.

· Work done on paper. Your young person can complete activities on paper or in workbooks and keep these to hand in later or keep in a file or portfolio.

· Class activities. These can include discussions in Zoom, Facebook, Google Hangouts, Skype, message threads, or in-person activities.

· Practical or physical work. This could include technology, art, design, science, and performance work that students record or hand in later.

· NCEA internal assessment does not have to be done under test conditions so teachers have ways to assess these remotely, where this is possible.

Assessments requiring supervision can be deferred until the alert level permits.

How teachers know a student’s work is their own

• Teachers check that work is authentic by: having checkpoints or milestones for big assignments, checking plans, drafts, notes and working, using digital tool features such as revision history, plagiarism checkers, and ‘googling’ content, talking to the student to check the depth of their understanding.

• Submitting work for assessment that is not their own work can result in the student getting a Not Achieved grade and not being allowed to sit a reassessment opportunity.

What about exams?

• The timing of our school practice exams may change or may not be possible, depending on the extent of COVID-19 disruption in our communities and the alert level we are in. Currently these are set for 16 – 22 September.

• Even if our practice exams are not possible, teachers will be collecting evidence of student learning for external assessments in the same way they collect evidence for internals. Grades can be derived from this evidence and may be used when student performance in NZQA examinations is affected by circumstances outside their control.

• NZQA‘s preparations for end of year external paper-based and digital online examinations are on track. However, if a student or group of students are unable to sit them due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will follow the usual process for NZQA to award derived grades in examinations.

Students with special learning needs

Special Assessment Conditions These are still available, where practicable. Students who have approval to use a reader, writer, or other arrangements for assessments in school will continue to have access to this support. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Dr Vicky Jones

Parents or family members can’t act as writers, but students may use a computer.

High achievers Students who are working at different NCEA levels at the same time can continue to do this. It is still possible to achieve Merit and Excellence grades, course endorsements, and NCEA Certificate endorsements.

Gateway / work experience / STAR / Trades Academy Some assessments that your young person would usually complete out of school, such as booklet work, will still be able to continue while they are working remotely. They may not be able to be fully completed, depending on the practical work and observations that are required. We advise students to stay in touch with us and the course provider to keep up to date with arrangements.

For further information or enquiries please email Steve Read, Deputy Principal, at