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New metrics make student achievement more than just a number

Students across Victoria recently marked the end of their formal years of study with the release of their VCE ATAR score. But what about their ‘other’ learning capabilities? How do we measure the prior achievement, service, character, strengths, passions, potential and endeavour of our young people?

While academic prowess can be an indicator of some of these capabilities, a ranking system such as the ATAR creates misalignment between educational success and the types of real-world skills employers are seeking in our graduates.

Wesley College has been part of the New Metric’s research-practice partnership for three years now, working alongside other leader schools from across Australia and New Zealand under the guidance of the University of Melbourne to determine how the current ranking system could be reframed to better capture the holistic skills and attributes of our students.

To capture students’ competencies in these areas, the University of Melbourne Assessment research unit has launched the inaugural Australian Learner Competency Credential (the Australian LCC), issuing students in Years 6, 10 and 12 from nine participating schools across Australia with this credential in November. Wesley is proud to be one of these nine leader schools.

The competencies being credentialed include Agency in Learning, Acting Ethically, Active Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication and Quality Thinking and are designed to complement the International Baccalaureate learner profiles and existing measures of domain-based knowledge and skills, such as school reports, NAPLAN and the ATAR.

Over 50 Wesley teachers have been involved in trialling tools for New Metrics over the last three year.  Teachers at Clunes were particularly involved in 2022 and will continue to build on this next year. We also expect a number of our Year 6 teachers to start using this model in 2024.

Cameron Paterson, Director of Learning at Wesley College, explains: ‘Young people are entering a highly unpredictable world and the skills required to thrive in this environment are complex. Traditional educational assessments fall short in capturing the richness of a student’s educational experience. Wesley is proud to be involved in the creation of a new learning credential that recognises a range of learner competencies and we are embracing the opportunity to recognise more of what young people know and can do.

It is essential that we create new metrics that are more than just academic, so that each student leaves school feeling confident, capable, empowered, and prepared for lifelong learning. At Wesley, we aim to transform lives through an educational journey that enables every child to grow and thrive to become thoughtful, engaged and contributing citizen of the world. Our motto, ‘Dare to be wise’ resonates in our pioneering role as a school contributing to the development of this innovative credential, marking a significant stride towards a more holistic and inclusive approach to education.

This is a powerful opportunity for significant impact, not only from a national workforce and productivity perspective, but more importantly, for the health and wellbeing of our young people. Rethinking our antiquated ranking system and exploring possibilities for a new and innovative metric for success will go a long way to future proofing this next generation.’