About the work samples and the grade alignment process
On this page:
Where did the work samples and activities come from?
The work samples are all authentic pieces of work from real students. The activities and work samples on the site have come from Board of Studies publications, and from practising teachers in New South Wales. Further activities and work samples will be added to this website over time.
What is the purpose of work samples aligned to grades?
Work samples aligned to grades assist teachers to have a clear understanding of the standards at each grade level. For the subject areas in Stages 1 - 5, the samples of student work, together, show the standard of work typically produced by students performing at that grade level.
Teachers can use this information to assist them to consistently apply the common grade scale to award grades to their students.
What does it mean to align a work sample to a grade?
Aligning a work sample to a particular grade indicates that the work sample is of a standard that would typically be produced by a student whose overall performance, on balance, best matches that grade description.
How have the work samples shown on this site been aligned to a grade?
Practising teachers have made a professional judgement about each work sample, based on their knowledge and their experience of teaching students in that subject area at that stage.
In making their judgements about the work samples, the teachers carefully considered the grade descriptions from the common grade scale (and course performance descriptors for Stage 5), and pictured the types of knowledge, skills and understandings in the subject area that students at each of the grade levels typically demonstrate at the end of the relevant stage or (year). In doing this, they looked closely at the syllabus outcomes and content for the stage, and at the descriptions in the Foundation Statements (K–6) or Stage Statements (7–10) of the nature and scope of learning in that subject area.
The teachers looked at the activity, and considered what it asks students to do, especially the criteria for assessing learning. They then thought about how students at each of the grade levels would respond to the task, and the types of work they would produce. The teachers then looked in detail at the work sample, and made a judgement about which grade description best matched the work sample.
Who aligned the work samples to grades?
This project is coordinated by the Office of the Board of Studies in conjunction with the NSW Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Commission NSW and the Association of Independent Schools of NSW. Practising teachers, nominated by their corresponding sectors, have participated in the process, either working together in groups, or online. The teachers represented a range of different types of schools and locations.
What is a grade commentary?
To assist teachers to understand why a work sample was aligned to a particular grade, each sample is accompanied by a 'grade commentary' that describes aspects of the sample that relate to performance as described in the common grade scale.
The grade description for that grade is included below the grade commentary and the related Foundation Statement strands (K–6) or Areas for Assessment (7–10) are shown below the grade description.