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Devonport Primary School – Moving forward with PaCT

Beverley Booth - Principal

Devonport School is a year 1–6 primary school situated on the North Shore of Auckland. It has a roll of around 400.

This is our story of our approach to assessment in literacy and numeracy. In particular, it is my approach, as Principal, to assessment, but I do have good evidence of staff, family and student buy-in.

We have been a PaCT user since 2015 – reading, writing, and mathematics, all students. We are a PaCT support school and we contribute to two advisory groups concerning PaCT. It works well for us.

How we are using PACT

  • We have been a PaCT school since 2015. We started using it with writing in order to improve our confidence in our OTJs. We started with writing because we felt this was our least reliable assessment.
  • Maths introduced in 2016.
  • Reading introduced in 2017.
  • Data on every child is entered twice a year – interim judgement and end of year.
  • PaCT was used for the first time in 2017 for reporting to parents.

How we introduced each PaCT subject area


  • discussed the descriptor for each of the aspects and what each entailed (whole staff). This lead us to have a staff-wide, common interpretation of terminology.
  • used the exemplars to talk about progression and the difference between each aspect.
  • discussed where we would find the evidence for each aspect – what would the aspect look like in our broader curriculum.
  • shared resources, success stories…and failures!
  • dedicated time so we could help each other:
    • to moderate and discuss samples of work and how they related to the descriptors
    • to listen to each other to appreciate each other’s perspective.

Using PaCT to build our assessment capability

Staff need ways of thinking simply about the progress and achievement of students in their class – who has made good progress, who has not, for whom do I need to learn how to support more effectively? PACT provides us with excellent, simple graphical devices to shape an understanding of these issues in our classes.

Class overview

Below is the overview of one class for one PaCT subject area. The overall performance of the class can be viewed and students who are not at the expected level, for example, can be identified. As of May 2018, PaCT has been revised to reflect curriculum levels rather than “after...years”.

Select the image to expand to full view.

Individual Student Progress

Below is the data for one individual student in one learning area (writing) The question is, why has the student’s progress stalled? Which aspects are stronger? Which may need focused teacher input?

The reports to the parents comprise the PaCT report for each subject. We have helped parents to understand the Learning Progressions through information meetings, reference to the online exemplars, discussions in three-way conferences, and with older students being enabled to talk about their PaCT report. 

Select the image to expand to full view