Plan assessment strategies to gather evidence of learning

Plan assessment strategies to gather evidence of learning (How do I know when my students get there?)

Conceptual programming and assessment

Decisions about assessment will include what students will respond to and compose. These decisions need to be made early in the process in order to:

  • keep the deep understanding of the concept at the forefront of the learning design process

  • ensure that the assessment strategies inform teaching and learning throughout the unit.

The responding and composing graphic represents the relationship between Composing–which includes writing, speaking and representing–and Responding–which includes reading, listening and viewing. Text in the centre says 'Make meaning through language.'

Graphic representing Composing and Responding: Click for text version.

Assessment and key processes

Two key processes in the English K–10 Syllabus are Responding and Composing. Their relationship with assessment is explained below:

The processes in this syllabus are intended to emphasise student agency through students developing and applying knowledge and understanding of context and language forms and features, and reflecting on their learning.


Key processes


The activity that occurs when students read, listen to or view texts. It encompasses the personal and intellectual connections a student makes with texts.
Responding typically involves:

  • reading, listening and viewing that depend on, but go beyond, the decoding of texts

  • identifying, comprehending, selecting, articulating, imagining, critically analysing and evaluating

Graphic representing Composing and Responding: See 'About this graphic' in previous section for an explanation of this image.

The activity that occurs when students produce texts. Composing typically involves:

  • the shaping and arrangement of textual elements

  • knowledge, understanding and use of the language forms, features and structures of texts

  • awareness of audience and purpose

  • the processes of imagining, organising, analysing, drafting, appraising, synthesising, reflecting and refining

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Responding tasks

Can students:

  • describe characterisation in a text?

  • evaluate the effectiveness of the characterisation?

  • alter the characterisation to produce a different effect?

Text: 'Assessment of concept, outcomes and content' with arrows pointing to the sample responding and composing tasks left and right, respectively.

Composing tasks

Can students:

  • develop characterisation in their own composing?

  • explain and justify their choices?

Activity 3: Assessment

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Suggest responding and composing tasks appropriate for your students by completing Activity 3: Assessment (.pdf 215kB).

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The Board of Studies NSW K–10 syllabuses promote a standards-referenced approach to assessing and reporting student achievement. Syllabuses emphasise the importance of assessment for, as and of learning as essential components of good teaching and learning.

Familiarise yourself with the assessment resources available on the Board of Studies NSW Syllabuses for the Australian curriculum website.