For the next several weeks, we’ll look at report cards from around the world.
~ Unpack Your Bag… ~
~2nd Excursion ~ Sydney~
Sydney, the largest Australian city and state capital of New South Wales, has a population of about 4.3 million. Known for landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the multicultural city attracts tourists from all over the world. Sydney also boasts a well-established educational system, including public, denominational and independent schools as well as several universities. An Australian degree is recognized and well-regarded around the world.
Report Card Basics
- Type of School: Independent, Presbyterian for boys (day and boarding)
- Academic Year: 2002 (Did you know? Australian schools run January to December)
- Class: 9
Here’s the report card! The blue numbers highlight a few interesting aspects of the report and the numbers correspond to notes below the image.
1. One Class, Three Subjects: English, History and Geography
This school offers Integrated Studies, which combines English, History and Geography in order to develop “essential skills common to all subjects, such as research, note-taking and report writing.” New Zealand and Australia have been revolutionary in adapting this new style of teaching.
A British concept, the House System originally applied to boarding schools, where each house had a name, housemasters (adult caretakers) and house captain. Houses also function as teams for in-school competitions, such as sports days!
2. Words, Words and MORE Words
Where are the percentage grades? Where is the B + and A –? Much like the second grade report card we looked at, this school specifies specific outcomes, for instance, “Identifies, locates, selects and organizes information from a variety of sources.” This student can achieve this outcome on an advanced level. His ability to “demonstrate a sense of place and chronology within the context of 20th century Australia” is competent. Shown here are 4 of 13 outcomes for Integrated Studies… This is another LONG report card!
3. EXCELLENT Effort, Attitude and Homework
The teacher also assesses the student for soft skills, such as effort, attitude, as well as homework (completion and quality). The teacher may comment on the student as well, “I was particularly pleased with his recent class presentation.” Well done!
4. PDHPE ~ Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
The Australian education system takes physical education seriously, linking physical activity to life skills, such as setting and achieving goals. While this student chance accomplish each outcome at an advanced level, the teacher comments on participation, “He could benefit from participating more in class”—note the positive phrasing of this critique.
5. A Modern Walkabout
The walkabout is an Australian Aboriginal tradition that functions as a rite of passage for boys, consisting of an extended stay in the bush. At this school, all Year 9 students participate in “residential outdoor education program” intended to “discover the tools they need to grow into fine young men.” Activities include climbing and abseiling, camping and canoeing.
The first two paragraphs describe the program. In the final paragraph, teachers assess the student’s effort, social rapport, teamwork and perseverance. I want this adventurer on my team!
6. I believe I have done quite well… I might have been able to do a little better if I had studied more, but not by much.
The Student Self Assessment is a relatively unique aspect of this report card. The student writes about academic success, the Outdoor Education Program, dorm life (I do not really like dorm life…), the fitness program (now I can run 10km), and learning to trust people.
The highlight of the year? “Probably our trip to Canberra, because I had never been there before, and we also got McDonald’s that night.”
See Report Card from: Sydney, Australia, week 1; Dalhousie, India; Kathmandu, Nepal; Soro, Denmark
Report card analysis to look forward to: Palestine, Malawi, Canada, Mexico and more!