Achievement or Progress?

New Mindsets

Like many parents, I had the opportunity to attend presentation ceremonies in December. While these school gatherings acknowledge effort over the year, it is often only a select few who are singled out to receive special recognition for academic achievement. The consequence of awarding achievement is that we inadvertently sideline those students who don’t get ‘top marks’. That’s a great shame when we only ever measure success in such a narrow way!

During one of those ceremonies, I listened to the principal speak passionately about their belief that with effort, every student can achieve great things. That may be true when the measures we use to assess achievement are not so narrow but marks and grades don’t tell the full story!

I want to challenge the traditional way that success is measured in schools. Learning and achievement should be lifelong. We need to stop referring to student achievement in favour of student progress. The starting point for measuring what we have achieved should always be where we started from. Progress tells students and parents something worthwhile. Improvement, milestones and learning gain is what really matters.

I remember visiting a primary school in Canada some years ago, where every learner’s progress was visible on the walls around the school hall. This makes a powerful visible statement to students, teachers and parents about each student’s learning. It recognises that although children learn at different paces, what should matter most for teachers and schools is to that the child continues to move in the right direction - not stopping, not moving backwards.

When teachers are focused on the learning journey and not the end point (often an exam or final assessment, mark or grade), they are in a powerful position to monitor where each child is at, when intervention is needed and the impact their teaching is having on each student.

So when you are talking to your child’s teacher(s) this year or next, ask them to talk to you about how your child is progressing across all areas not just what they achieved on a particular test or assignment. Learning progress can be measured in so many other ways than a number of a letter.


Posted By Greg Whitby for NewsLocal at 21/01/2019 10:34:51 AM

Featured Albums

2019 Stations of the Cross
As schools were finishing Term 1, some took the time to reflect on the meaning of Easter and the story of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. Two schools in particular, St Andrews Primary School, Marayong and Sacred Heart Primary, Mount Druitt, focused their reflection time on the Stations of the Cross. Photos from St Andrews Stations of the Cross tour and finished off with a photo from Sacred Hearts Primary Schools dramatic interpretation.
9 Items
2018-08-22 Showcase Day 2
71 Items
2018-08-21 Showcase Day 1
68 Items
2018-08-20 Showcase Dress Rehearsal
41 Items
2018 Dance for Drought
More than 800 people attended Chisholm Catholic Primary School’s “Dance for Drought” on Thursday night, raising around $4000 for farming families doing it tough in Western NSW.
17 Items
Annual CCD Mass 2018
It was a great celebration of this ministry when over 400 SREs from across the Diocese joined the 300 student SREs from Catholic schools for the Annual Diocesan Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Mass and Awards Ceremony.
37 Items
An Education Hub
With a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the school will be an educational hub for the Science Park and integrate seamlessly with the life and work of the community. Through the use of shared facilities, business-educational partnerships and collaboration on real-world problems, this ‘thinking’ school will prepare students for the STEM-focused knowledge jobs of the future. Mentoring and internships will allow students to apply their learning to real life situations and pursue tertiary and post school opportunities within and beyond the Science Park.
26 Items
2016 Teacher Awards
On Thursday 27 October, 66 leaders and staff from Catholic schools and the education office were recognised for a collective 2570 years of service and 50 years of leadership at a special ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Staff Recognition Awards were presented by Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation, Rev Christopher de Souza EV and Executive Director Greg Whitby at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta.
145 Items
2016 Principals Masterclass
The annual Principals Masterclass, which is the key professional learning experience for principals and senior leaders from the education office, was held on 20 and 21 October at Rooty Hill RSL.
13 Items
2016 Bishop of Parramatta Award for Student Excellence
The annual Bishop of Parramatta Awards for Student Excellence which recognises the religious and academic achievement of Year 12 students across the Diocese of Parramatta, were presented at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 8 September 2016.
30 Items
2016 Ready, Set…. Read! St Agnes’ Reading Relay
On Thursday 1 September 2016, Year 7 students from St Agnes Catholic High School Rooty Hill participated in the school’s annual Reading Relay.
81 Items
2016 Way of Mercy Cross and Relics
On Monday 8 August 2016, hundreds of students, parish members and Catholic Education staff from around the diocese gathered in St Patrick’s Cathedral, North Parramatta for the official Way of Mercy launch.
26 Items
Page 1 of 14
« First    < 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  ... 
>    Last » 
Page 1 of 14
1 2  ... 

Media Enquiries

Media enquiries can be emailed to Please include your contact details, including your phone number and the deadline for your story. Alternatively call Mark Rix on 0417 442 018.

Hidden UpdatePanel, which is used to help with saving state when minimizing, moving and closing docks. This way the docks state is saved faster (no need to update the docking zones).