William McKee

Report
“The difference between school and life?
In school, you are taught a lesson and then
given a test. In life, you are given a test
that teaches you a lesson.”
We live in a technologically advanced
society, where facts are just a click of a
button away.
Learning is no longer merely memorising
facts and answering questions.
Today we need to equip our children with
the skills that they need to interpret,
analyse, criticize and utilize this
information.
We need to look at a benchmarking system
which will tells us whether our children
have these skills in place.
Marketing
tool?
School
positioning
academically
Evaluating
standards
Why
Benchmark?
Provide
teachers
with
feedback
Analysing
skills
Conquesta Olympiad
Mathematics Olympiad- AMESA Challenge
National Science Olympiad
I.E.B. Shared Assessment – Maths, English,
Afrikaans, Natural Science etc.(for Grade 7)
I.E.B. Core skills assessment – Grade 3, 6 & 9
Own school Benchmark – Mathematics &
English (In –house school bench mark)
Duration
Cost
Dates
•Grade 4 – All papers 60 minutes ; 30
questions
•Grade 5 -7 All papers 90 minutes ; 50
questions
•Once off Enrolment Fee of R10 per
student plus R9 per subject chosen
•4 Term schools – mid August
•3 Term schools – mid September
•Easy
to write
•Multiple choice
•Grade 1 – Grade 7
•Variety of subjects
•Children receive
certificates
•School gets quantitative
results and can see how
they performed in relation
to other schools. In form
of National averages
Multiple
choice often ends up as
a multiple guess!

Timing
Layout
can be confusing for the
child
Feedback
No
to schools
breakdown given – skills
Top
results are only calculated
from the 10 highest percentages
Currently South Africa is
statistically ranked as one of
the weakest countries in
Sciences and Mathematics
particularly in the junior
grades. In seeking to address
this status it is imperative that
an understanding and love of
Mathematics and Science is
inculcated in the younger
learners.
Aims:
•Intended
as a vehicle to enhance
the quality of the teaching and
learning of Mathematics.
•To generate an interest in
Mathematics.
•To promote problem solving in
Mathematics education.
•To emphasise the importance of
reading in mathematical activity.
•To provide a diagnostic tool to
enable teachers to identify
learners’ problem areas
Structure
Nature
• Creative
• Multiple Choice
• Conceptual Knowledge
• Application of Knowledge
• Problem solving, reasoning, communication and general mathematical thinking.
Skills
Format &
Organisation
• First & final rounds
• Dates.
• Memorandums provided for teachers
• First round free, final round requires a R5.00 donation to AMESA
Cost
• Certificates awarded for averages of 50% and above
Awards
The Olympiads are run Nationally by the
National Science Olympiad & the KZN wing
of SAASTE (The South African Association of
Science and Technology Educators)
Assessment
• Used in
Grade 6 &
9
Purpose
Benchmark
• To
determine
academic
proficiency
of learners
at the end
of Grade 6
&9
• Formative
diagnostic
intention
• Positive,
qualitative
impact on
teaching
Non
curriculum
based
Focus on
skills and
outcomes
Duration
Marking
Process
IEB
Workshops
 IBT
(International Benchmark Test)
 ICAS
– (International Competitions &
Assessments for Schools)
IBT



English (Grades 3 – 10)
Mathematics (Grades 3 – 10)
Science (Grades 3 – 8)
SIAT



English (Grades 3 – 12)
Mathematics (Grades 3 –
12)
Science (Grades 3 – 12)
IBT
SIAT
Locating
information
Reading and
language skills in a
range of texts.
Inferring,
predicting, drawing
conclusions and
reasoning.
reading for
meaning in literary
& factual texts
Strands: Reading,
comprehension,
spelling,
punctuation,
grammar &
vocabulary
Syntax and
vocabulary
IBT
Interpreting data
SIAT
Mathematical
skills:
Inferring
Number and
Arithmetic
Predicting
Algebra and
Patterns
Drawing
conclusions
Measures and
Units
Reasoning &
problem solving
Space and
Geometry
Chance and Data
IBT
SIAT
Focus Areas: Life,
Earth, Physical
Focus Areas: Earth
and Beyond, Natural
and Processed
Materials, Life and
Living and Energy
and Change
Various Skills
Covered
Various Skills Covered
SIAT
IBT
Costs (2010)
Costs (2011)
R80 per learner per subject
Duration, Format & Dates
Duration:
50 minutes to 1 hour
Format:
Multiple choice (40 – 50 items)
Date:
September?
Orders of less than 20 papers per grade, per
subject = R120 each
Orders of 20 papers or more per grade, per
subject = R90 each
Duration Format & Dates
Duration:
55 minutes to 1 hour
Format:
Multiple Choice (40 – 55 items)
Date:
August
IBT
SIAT
 Graphs
 Graphs
 Excel
 Excel
Spreadsheets
 School Report
 Individual Report
 Regional, National,
International
Placing
 Question by
Question Analysis
 Certificates
Spreadsheets
 School Report
 Individual Report
 Regional Placing
 Question by
Question Analysis
 Certificates





The majority of benchmark tests use multiple choice
testing technique
Questions are graded
Pupils should be exposed to this form of testing and should
be practised in it
Used in secondary and tertiary institutions
Pupils should be confident in this technique and should
have the necessary skills for it
As schools we are always looking towards
improving our products and ensuring that our
pupils are well equipped for high school and
tertiary education.
 In order to achieve this we need to critically
analyse our strengths and weaknesses
curricularly.
 Benchmarking is an essential tool to measure
where the school is on a regional, national &
international level.
 It should not be seen as negative or threatening
it should be viewed in a constructive and
positive light.

“Education is what survives when
what has been learned has been
forgotten.”
B F Skinner

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