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Whiringa-ā-rangi 2021 November

Kia ora, welcome to our Term 4, 2021 newsletter.

We would like to acknowledge all the hardworking teachers and school staff across New Zealand - Aotearoa during these challenging times. We hope that Term 4 goes as well as possible for you, your students, and your local communities. Kia kaha!
We've looked to provide some helpful information and resources to try and make your jobs a little easier, wherever you are teaching.

In this newsletter, we will discuss:
  • Helpful hint and tips on the Assist site for Term 4
  • Development updates on our NZCER Assist platform
  • Using the Teaching, School, and Principal Leadership Practices Survey Tool (TSP)
  • The Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs)
  • Term 4 - a critical review

We look forward to supporting you with teaching and learning in your school.
We are only a phone call or an email away.

 (04) 802-1630 or email us at:

NZCER Assist Platform - Hints and Tips for Term 4

Assessments in Term 4
If you are planning to assess your students in Term 4, an SMS upload is the quickest way to complete this process. The SMS upload functionality (in the Admin section of your Assist site) will update any new student details since the last time you completed an upload and at the same time the system will create new assessments for Term 4.

Open the following link for instructions to: 
Create your SMS file 

Differentiating Assessments
Students do not have to sit the default assessment for their year group. To give you accurate information on a student's ability you will need to differentiate tests for students who are at least a full curriculum level above or below their expected level. Click this link to find information on choosing the appropriate test for your students.
Student Progress
These links show you how you can look at the progress of your students:
Stanine vs Scale Score
Average Scale Score Progress 
Transferring student data from Assist into your SMS system
You are able to transfer student data from your Assist site into your SMS system. The first step is to download an SMS file from Assist and then upload this via the NZCER section of your SMS.

NZCER Assist development updates

Progress reporting updates
We are very pleased to advise that Learner progress and Progress over time reporting is available in NZCER Assist. We have further enhancements and features coming this term for the Progress over time report, so watch this space. We will be updating our FAQs and help information to support the use of these new reports. But please contact our team at assessment services if you need any support with reporting.

SMS upload changes
The Assist SMS upload process has been updated for Term 4 and now offers similiar functionality to our previous NZCER Marking site. There are also some new features we have added, such as the ability to bulk change assessment choices, to better support schools using adaptive assessments.

Migration of PAT data to Assist
Migration of historic PAT data is underway and we will be updating schools individually as your data is migrated. We have worked closely with our IT and stats teams to ensure our handling of student data means we are importing accurate records into Assist. We anticipate this mahi will continue into early 2022 due to the volume of data, and the quality checks we have built into the process. The migration project involves hundreds of thousands of assessment records from over 2300 schools being imported into Assist. It's a big job but we are excited to have this underway. Once your historic data is imported you will be able to access it via the current suite of reports we offer in NZCER Assist. 

Assist feedback
A big thank you to customers who have been in touch throughout 2021 to offer feedback about NZCER Assist. We really value your feedback and suggestions. Even if we can't act on them immediately, they do get collated and help inform future developments in Assist. 

Teaching, School, and Principal Leadership Practices Survey Tool (TSP)

The Teaching, School, and Principal Leadership Practices survey tool (TSP) aims to give busy principals good quality data from their teachers that is useful for school review, planning, and principal appraisal and development. It’s free, quick, and confidential, and open for use in Term 3. 

The TSP items are based on robust research about effective practices that underpin the New Zealand Curriculum’s dimensions of effective pedagogy, ERO’s school evaluation indicators, the Standards for the Teaching Profession, and the Educational Leadership Capability Framework. Questions about teachers’ workload and morale are also included.   

We have recently released a research report which looked at how ten principals were using this tool. They told us that the TSP is particularly useful for: 

  • their own development and for appraisal.
  • identifying priorities for development and change.
  • checking teacher wellbeing and the pace of change.
  • relating TSP data to other school data.


Learning from the data you collect - examining the alignment of resources with school/Kāhui Ako priorities:

Term 3 is a good time to make adjustments to the annual plan using what you learned in your mid-year self-review of how the plan is going. Did you define the right goals or targets? Did you have clear evidence indicators for what you wanted to achieve? Does the evidence you've gathered match the indicators? How do you really know what you think you know?

These questions are hard to work through on your own. Our Education Advisers are useful as 'confidential critical friends'.

We run Zoom sessions for senior and middle leaders andf Kāhui Ako leadership teams that help hone their use of the evidence they've gathered, and to gain clarity and confidence around what they've achieved.
Email us and we can have an initial conversation to see if this would be useful for you:


Further Support:

Our Education Advisers run customised ZOOM workshops to support valid interpretation of reporting against individual school goals or Kāhui Ako or cluster achievement challenges, and levers for improvement.  

Kāhui Ako and school clusters can also request aggregate reporting across their member schools. Email: 

To find out more about the tool and/or to register, head to
Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs)  

We know that teachers all over the country are working harder than ever at the moment, and from all sorts of locations. The ARB resources are available free of charge to educators from all New Zealand schools and educational organisations. They can be accessed from anywhere teachers and students are working and can be completed online - easy!

ARB assessment resources:

  • are aligned to the New Zealand curriculum in English, Mathematics, and Science at levels 1 to 5.
  • are piloted and trialled in NZ classrooms.
  • intended to support classroom assessment for learning within New Zealand schools.
  • consist of tasks for students to complete and teacher support information and, in some cases, have examples of students' work.
  • include support information for teaching and learning discussions. 
  • include a broad range of assessment tasks. 
  • are regularly reviewed and revised.
  • can be used to provide evidence to support overall teacher judgement (for the Learning Progressions Frameworks).

Links to helpful ARB videos:
Introduction to the ARB site
Viewing an ARB resource and saving it to a folder
Sharing and completing an ARB resource

Click to register for a password and you will receive an email to verify your account. Once verified registration will be reviewed and followed by a confirmation email.
Term 4 Critical Review and Alignment 

This has been a challenging year for schools and teachers to monitor and track their students.

  • How are you tracking student progress this year?
  • Do you have what you need to understand the impact lockdown may have had?
  • Have your teachers been involved in professional learning that you think should have had a direct impact on students' scale progress?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you probably have good reason to bring in Term 4 data and review the hard evidence, from the learners' point of view.

Annual goals and targets:
This term we are offering workshops that support you to use the evidence you gather in specific ways: to gain insight into what happened and why, and to develop robust reports for the BOT that are directly relevant to what you think needs to happen next.

Data sources

  • Survey data - W@S, TSP, IPT, Me & My School
  • Academic data - PATs, STAR, S:TwE, Te Reo language assessment

Contact our Education Advisers if you would like to discuss where and how a workshop like this can make sense for your school:
P: 04 802 1386

We want to help you get the most from our tools and services. If you would like any advice or support, please contact us: 
(04) 802-1630

We look forward to working with you,
Assessment Services Team

Please forward this email to others in your school or print out a copy for your staff room.
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