Academic expectations

About this resource

How difficult will the activities be in secondary school? How will we be assessed?

  • Build student awareness of academic expectations in secondary school;
  • Build student confidence that they will be able to succeed; and
  • Develop basic understanding of secondary school curriculum, assessment and reporting practices.

At the end of the activities, students will:

  • understand academic expectations in secondary schools, in general;
  • understand some assessment and reporting practices; and
  • be confident to ask questions about their own learning and assessment journey.

Students will be able to provide the following evidence:

  • have participated in discussions on secondary-level schoolwork, compared to primary-level schoolwork;
  • can explain how a rubric works, and how this relates to reports; and
  • can identify if they are unsure about their own learning and assessment, and communicate this to a teacher.

Peer assessment

Students assessing other students’ learning, with a simple rubric or other instructions to guide feedback


Students assessing their own learning, with a rubric or other instructions for guidance

Teacher observation

Teacher observation of student learning, with a simple rubric, tick-box or other protocol to record observations

Teacher questioning

Guided questioning from a teacher intended to prompt thinking related to the topic

Direct instruction

Explicit teaching of knowledge and skills to students. This could be through a variety of formats – lecture, readings, demonstrations, etc. Often used at the beginning of a unit or module to cover basic knowledge and set pathways for learning.

Inquiry and problem-based learning

Inquiry learning is focused on a question or questions that guide the learning goals for a unit or module. Problem-based learning is focused on a problem or problems that guide the learning goals for a unit or module. Questions and problems may be generated by the teacher, the students, or by teacher and students together.

Work in class independently

Students working by themselves in the classroom, with support from the teacher and available learning materials.

Work in teams or pairs

Student working with other students in the classroom, with support from the teacher and available learning materials. Student groups/pairs can be set by the teacher or formed by students themselves, depending on the needs of the learning task.

Work with family members

This activity involves working with a parent and/or carer, or other responsible adult in the student’s home environment.

  • Laptop computer or tablet device
  • Smart Board or display TV
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