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Determining, responding to, and describing student progress and achievement across the curriculum

Image taken from Page 5 of Assessment for Learning Local Curriculum Guide

Select the image to view at full size.

This resource aims to support teachers to deepen their understanding of assessment for learning principles and practices in their classrooms with a particular emphasis on measuring, responding to, and reporting progress and achievement across the curriculum.

The Leading Local Curriculum Guide series has been developed to steer review of your curriculum, assessment, and design decisions as you strengthen your local curriculum, respond to progress, and reinforce learning partnerships with parents and whānau. 

As schools go about the process of curriculum design and review this diagram shows how local curriculum weaves the elements of the national curriculum framework within contexts that provide rich learning opportunities, to provide a coherent pathway that supports teachers to be responsive to all learners for the classroom curriculum.

Whilst the guides are intended primarily for curriculum leaders to help with planning and school review, we've taken the following question from the Assessment for learning guide to steer deeper thinking for teachers, as well as leaders, around progress and achievement across the curriculum:

How well can we locate a student’s performance across the breadth of the curriculum and along the continuum of curriculum levels? 

Accessed from: Leading Local Curriculum Guide series – Assessment for Learning 

Focus questions to guide you to answer the above question: 

  • How do we ensure that we provide rich learning tasks across the breadth of the curriculum that are differentiated, to ensure that progress made is appropriate for curriculum expectations for learners?
  • How do we know students have made expected progress across all learning areas?
  • How do we describe this progress to students and parents?

Rich learning tasks

How do we ensure that we provide rich learning tasks across the breadth of the curriculum that are differentiated, to ensure that progress made is appropriate for curriculum expectations for learners?

To ensure the provision of rich learning tasks, we need to have a thorough understanding of each subject area and how students make progress through them. Importantly, we also need to know our learners – their strengths, identities, needs, and aspirations.


As you plan differentiated rich learning tasks across the breadth of the curriculum:

  • Start or continue to review your school curriculum. It’s a challenging but essential process. The guidance in Local curriculum: Designing rich opportunities and coherent pathways for all learners provides effective pathways to curriculum review. Use the curriculum expertise you have within your school or bring in outside expertise if necessary.
  • Use the activity from the Local curriculum guide to determine the strengths, needs, and aspirations of your learners. Information gathered from each classroom can be shared and consolidated in a staff meeting.
  • At a staff or syndicate meeting, work in groups to "think, pair, share" what you can do in your classroom programmes to ensure you are providing rich learning tasks (either within or across curriculum areas) that meet the needs of your students.
  • Use a T-chart to list the learning you have planned for this term in a particular subject. On the other side of the chart, list rich learning opportunities across the curriculum that could be taught. 
  • Work in small groups to differentiate the learning outcomes for groups/individuals for a particular subject. The Learning Progression Frameworks are a useful tool for determining the "where-to-next" for student progress. How could you adjust your planning to ensure that the expected progress for each group remains the focus?

Planning example

School stories