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Assessment for qualifications

The national curriculum enables schools to design programmes that will engage students and offer them appropriate pathways through science learning. The New Zealand Qualifications Framework enables students to gain credits towards qualifications through the recognition of this learning. The clear focus is on teaching and assessing students’ scientific thinking and scientific literacy within a range of science contexts.

An assessment programme should give students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of a range of learning, not necessarily all their learning.

NZQA, 2011

(New Zealand Qualifications Authority (2011). Mythbusters #1: The Number of Credits. Wellington: NZQA.)

Designing flexible assessment options

Early in the design process, once the overall direction of the learning programme has been established, teachers will begin thinking about appropriate assessments to use in individual courses.

Some flexibility should be built in to allow individual students to be assessed when and how is appropriate for them.

Ideally, students will have a say in how they provide evidence of their learning. For example, they may choose to sit an external examination or create an internally assessed portfolio.

Keep in mind that certificate and course endorsements require “quality credits” rather than “a large quantity of credits”. Each standard is either internal or external.

Learn more:

  • The Course Endorsement Guide on NZQA's website has information about how schools can help students gain course endorsement when they perform exceptionally well in an individual course.

Last updated November 23, 2023