Minister outlines intentions for assessment and aromatawai

The Minister of Education has outlined her intentions for developing a consistent, coherent system of assessment and aromatawai - one that is used throughout students’ school years. 

Changes will be introduced in phases. In the first phase, the Minister confirmed:

Introduction of phonics checks for students in their first year at school at 20 weeks, and then again 40 weeks

This check will focus on what students need to become confident readers and identify those who need additional help. Two phonics checks will be provided - 1 in English and 1 in te reo Māori. Both checks will be trialled in Term 4 2024, with the phonics check being available for schools and kura to use from the beginning of Term 1 2025.

Schools and kura will transition to using 1 of 3 assessment tools for twice-yearly Year 3 - 8 progression monitoring

Schools and kura will do twice-yearly assessments for students in Years 3 – 8 to monitor their progress in reading, writing, maths, pānui, tuhituhi and pāngarau. There are 3 tools available and schools and kura are encouraged to start using their preferred tool from 2024. The assessments are expected to be in use in all schools and kura from 2026. The tools are:

  • e-asTTle for both The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.
  • Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) for the New Zealand Curriculum.
  • Te Waharoa Ararau (TWA) for Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

The Curriculum Insights and Progress study will be expanded

The Curriculum Insights and Progress study will be expanded to assess reading, writing and maths annually for Years 3, 6 and 8. Options are being considered for those learning through te reo Māori to create an equivalent national monitoring study.

Work is underway to understand and scope further opportunities for assessment and aromatawai at key learning milestones, so we can develop a more consistent and coherent approach across the whole education system. Guidance and professional development will be available to help implement this change.

Achieving consistency in monitoring student progress is 1 of our 6 education priorities, each designed to work together to achieve our target of 80% of Year 8 students being at, or above, the expected curriculum level for their age in reading, writing and maths by December 2030.

Read the Minister’s announcement:

Government delivers consistency for assessing Kiwi kids – link)


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