Senior Assessment

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Assessment in the senior school

The following information is designed to cover assessment practices at Papanui High School that all staff must adhere to. It is long, but please take the time to read it and understand it.

Dishonest practices or any other breach of the following rules will be investigated:

  1. Influencing/assisting/hindering candidates - a person is alleged to have influenced, assisted or hindered candidates, whether dishonestly, fraudulently or unwittingly
  2. Dishonest practice by candidate - a candidate is alleged to have attempted or dishonestly or fraudulently access information or materials not permitted in an assessment, or access information or materials or other help from other person, or altered an assessment prior to seeking a review or reconsideration
  3. Performance based authenticity - a candidate is alleged to have submitted material for assessment that is not their own, or not verified as their own, whether dishonestly, fraudulently or unwittingly

If students are found to have breached the rules, they will not receive any credits or marks for the assessment. When a teacher suspects a student has submitted work which is not their own, they are to refer the work to the HOD. The HOD will investigate the situation and take any necessary action. Where uncertainty exists the teacher/HOD has the right to request the student to reproduce work of a similar standard to validate the authenticity of the initial assessment. The student(s) involved and their parents will be informed in writing of the action taken along with teacher concerned, HOD, appropriate Dean and Principal. A student can appeal the HOD’s decision to the Principal whose decision is final.

MISSED ASSESSMENTS AND REASSESSMENTS (Including extensions and Derived Grade procedures)

  1. To be eligible for assessment, work must be handed in or carried out on the date set. The final due date is at the discretion of the subject HOD.
  2. Students will be given at least seven days notice of the specific date and time for assessments.
  3. Students must take assessment dates into consideration when arranging work, holiday’s exploration, doctor and dentist appointments etc. Avoidable absence is not acceptable.
  4. In special circumstances, extensions to the due date of assessed work may be granted.
    1. students are to apply to their teacher before the due date
    2. The subject teacher must detail reasons for granting the extension. If there are more than one class doing the same assessment subject teachers need to discuss the situation with HOD/TIC before giving approval.
  5. Students who miss the assessment or unable to hand in an assignment on the due date for a legitimate reason must provide evidence of a legitimate reason acceptable to HOD or delegate i.e. a medical certificate or signed parent letter. The student may be assessed, if possible, at another time (procedures as for extensions) or be considered for a Derived Grade.
  6. Derived Grade processes
    1. Students may apply for a Derived Grade for any assessment that has been missed.
    2. The application is to the Principals Nominee who will then liaise with the HOD/TIC.
    3. A Derived Grade is possible where the school has grades recorded in its Student Management System from valid end-of-topic tests or practice exams. Where there is no grade from practice assessments for an external standard, whether it is because a student was absent or didn’t complete an assessment, or because the timing of the teaching has meant no assessment was given, no derived grade will be possible.

APPEALS Students are able to lodge an appeal if they are unhappy about an assessed or recorded result, have not being given a reassessment opportunity (if applicable) or about any alleged moderation inconsistency.


  1. The students must firstly approach the teacher conducting the assessment (normally the subject teacher) and discuss the problem. Unless otherwise stated in a specific subject department’s appeals procedures, the appeal must be made within three school days of the assessment result being given to the student. By mutual agreement, a satisfactory solution can usually be worked out at this stage. Work that has been altered will not be considered for appeal.
  2. If the problem still exists, the student can approach the HOD who is responsible for overseeing the assessment policies and recording of marks and appeal the decision of the marker or recorder. At this point the student will need to complete the appeal form which will be made available by the HOD. (If the teacher is the HOD, then the NZQA Liaison teacher is to be approached).
  3. The HOD will investigate the appeal and make the decision. The student will be informed of the result in writing.
  4. A further appeal can be made to the Principal whose decision is final.


  1. Subject teachers keep a record of student assessment results in their mark book and on KAMAR and students are able to check the record of their own results.
  2. Students are to be encouraged to keep a record of their own assessments for each subject.
  3. Students who are unhappy with the assessment or recording of their results are to follow the appeals procedure.

KEEPING STUDENT WORK The school may be required to keep student work for the purpose of moderation or during the time frame for any appeal. Students will always be informed of this and will be given the opportunity to look at the assessed work to check marking. If your random list is generated during the year then you may choose to dispose of work earlier.

REPORTING N, A, M, E AND V GRADES The following information is summarised from NZQA circulars S2009/026, S2009/022 and S2008/003. The full document can be found at 

go to ‘SecQual’ then select ‘archive of previous circulars’ and select using the above numbers.

Clarification of use of the “V” grade code in data files For clarification, the code V should only be used after withdrawals from standards are no longer possible and where the student did not have an “adequate assessment opportunity”. Examples of this might be that the student was away for a prolonged period of time, the teacher may not have ended up teaching the standard or an agreement was made between the teacher and student to withdraw before the teaching began.

“Adequate Opportunity” Guidelines The guidelines published in 2008 for reporting Not Achieved results when students have been given an adequate opportunity still apply. Where a student has presented work or evidence for assessment OR has been given an adequate opportunity to achieve the standard (consistent with school internal assessment procedures), the outcome of that assessment must be reported to NZQA as Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit or Excellence.

See SecQual circular S2008/003 Reporting Not Achieved Results

A result is expected for each internal standard. Where the student has an adequate assessment opportunity, Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit and Excellence are the reportable grades. The Standard Not Assessed or V code should only be used when the student was not given the expected adequate assessment opportunity after September 18. Where no result is reported, Standard Not Assessed (SNA) will be automatically recorded for internal entries, as it is for externals that are not attempted.

Reporting Not Achieved Results The purpose of reporting Not Achieved is to provide comprehensive information about students’ strengths and weaknesses and to report results for internal and external assessment in a similar way. Not Achieved (N) is a valid result like Achievement (A), Achievement with Merit (M) and Achievement with Excellence (E).

Entries and Withdrawals – good practice Schools will manage entries and withdrawals for internally assessed standards in the same way and to the same deadlines as for externally assessed standards. Results will also be reported in the same way as for externals.

Schools’ initial entries files in May will include both internal and external standards. Schools should enter individual students only for those standards that they intend to assess them against during the year, and not enter all students in a course for all possible standards that may be assessed. This will avoid problems later in the year with the selection of a random sample of learner evidence for external moderation, excessive N or Standard Not Assessed (SNA) results or with the extra administrative workload of individual withdrawals.

The school will then refine and update these files at the start of each month and report internal results, including N grades, progressively through the year.

Late entries and withdrawals In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to enter or withdraw students later than the deadlines. This may be due to student illness or because a teaching and assessment programme has not been completed as planned due to factors such as staff changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I withdraw students who fail to achieve at a later date rather than record ‘N’ against their names?
    No. Where a student has presented work or evidence for assessment or been given adequate opportunity to achieve the standard, the outcome of that assessment must be reported to NZQA as an N, A, M or E. They can not be withdrawn for this reason.
  2. If a student partially completes the work in class but fails to hand it in on the day of submission is this an SNA?
    No. By completing some of the work or providing some evidence during the assessment period they have presented some work or evidence for assessment. If they fail to achieve by not handing in the completed work or evidence then they must receive N.
  3. If a student, in consultation with their teacher, states from the outset that they do not want to be assessed against a particular standard and they make no attempt to provide any work or evidence but were present in class during the assessment activity do I give them an N for failing to achieve?
    No. The student should be withdrawn by 19 September. As they have produced no work or evidence to achieve the standard an SNA is then appropriate if they can’t be withdrawn.
  4. If a student is in a course and decides on their own that they do not want to do the assessment, as they would rather get an SNA than an N do we report an SNA?
    If they have been given an adequate assessment opportunity they must be awarded an N and not an SNA
  5. One student in a group contributes little and the combined group effort gets an A result. Should this one student get an N, A or SNA?
    This is not a case for an SNA. The result of A or N depends on the school’s own policy and procedures with regard to assessing group performances. In some cases it may depend on the requirements of the standard.
  6. If there has been a change in the assessment programme because the school was unable to provide the assessment opportunity do we report N?
    No. This is a case for SNA as there was not an adequate opportunity for assessment.
  7. If the department has scheduled two opportunities for assessment, one before 19 September and one after and a student gets N on their first attempt but has not had their second attempt can I report nothing for now until they have had both opportunities?
    No. Each opportunity is an adequate opportunity to achieve the standard. So the first N must be reported. If they achieve the standard at a later date you can update the reported result, but a blank result or SNA is not appropriate.
  8. Will SNA’s affect school results and the way these are reported in the media?
    No. School Result Summaries will include N’s but not SNA’s.
  9. If we make mistakes with our entries and don’t realise this until after 19 September can we make additional entries and withdrawals?
    No. In line with good practice schools must have procedures to check and verify both entries and reported results. Schools that discover issues after 19 September must contact NZQA and any changes after this date will be monitored and reviewed as part of the regular MNA process.
  10. I don’t want to report a lot of N results as it does not reflect well on the students or the school. Is it okay to just leave these results blank?
    No. Where a student has presented work or evidence for assessment OR has been given an adequate opportunity to achieve the standard (consistent with school internal assessment procedures), the outcome of that assessment must be reported to NZQA as N, A, M or E. Leaving it blank would generate an SNA and this is not an appropriate grade in these circumstances.
  11. Does this mean that internal and external assessment results are different?
    Yes. If a student has an adequate opportunity to achieve the standard in an internal standard they must get an N, A, M or E result. However, in an external exam they may have an opportunity to achieve the standard but if they do not attempt the paper they will get an SNA. The reason for this difference could be because withdrawals were made after exams papers were printed and put into personalised packs or simply because a student ran out of time so an N would not be a fair result.
  12. Are the results codes now the same for both internal and external assessment?
    Yes they are but they may mean slightly different things. SNA was introduced for external standard results to separate out the V (did not attempt) codes from the N codes. Students who were absent or did not attempt the paper do not count as an N.