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Assessment in Religious Education


The following draft material is provided for your use as we renew the Religious Education Curriculum Framework.


Assessment in a Catholic school provides information about where a student is in their learning and opens up a conversation about possibilities for new learning.


In a Catholic school, assessment engages students, teachers and families in an authentic relationship about learning. This forms the basis for learning partnerships that enable the full flourishing of every student across all learning domains. When the learning community is open to encounter, and the importance of relationships is valued, assessment becomes more than just results (Horizons of Hope, 2016).


Assessment in Religious Education focuses on the ongoing and continuous growth in a student’s ability to engage in the deep dialogue between the Catholic tradition, the issues of the day and students’ self-understanding. A student’s personal faith is not the subject of assessment or reporting in Religious Education. As teachers, you design for learning that makes knowledge, skills and dispositions explicit and it is this which is able to be assessed in Religious Education.  Effective assessment design ensures you consider a variety of ways to gather evidence of student growth. Student conversations, learning journals, observations or standardised tests all provide opportunities to gather rich evidence. You employ formative assessment practices grounded in respectful teacher-student relationships and supported by strategies including conferencing, self-assessment, peer assessment, self-reflection, and providing specific feedback in the context of learning. The achievement standards provide a well-rounded understanding of the progression of learning for Religious Education and can assist you in learning conversations with students to ensure progress is made over time. 


Discussion questions

In your learning design, what opportunities are students offered to demonstrate their learning in Religious Education?

What do you pay attention to? How do you encourage growth?


Achievement Standards

In the Religious Education curriculum framework, the achievement standards identify valued student learning in Religious Education that is observable. The achievement standards are written independently of the content areas, describing student progress on a learning continuum that is continuous from Entry level (two levels below Foundation) to post Level 12. The standards are written in terms of the three strands of learning, highlighting the quality of demonstrations of understanding:


  • the level of sophistication in explanation
  • the degree of insight and empathy in interpretation
  • the depth of self-knowledge in reflection and the ability to integrate reflections.


By highlighting the quality of learning in all three strands, the standards draw attention to, and reinforce, the actions of dialogue in a pedagogy of encounter. The standards inform your judgement about student learning and can help you make decisions that will benefit students’ learning progress. They can be used to provide students with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improvement. By inviting you, as teachers, to integrate all three strands in the learning and teaching process, both learning and assessment will attend to the full flourishing of the learner.

Diversity of learners

The Religious Education Curriculum Framework has been developed to ensure that the content and achievement standards enable continuous learning for all students including:

  • Students with disabilities
  • Students who have English as an additional language
  • Gifted and talented students

Students with disabilities

Religious Education focuses on including all students in the richness of the faith tradition. Inclusion is respectful compassion and recognition of our shared fragility in communion with one another. It focuses on what students with disabilities can teach us about strength and acceptance. It is important to involve families, parish staff and specialist support when considering Sacramental preparation. Realistic provisions must be made for persons with disabilities to participate fully in the Eucharist and other liturgical celebrations.


The aims of the Religious Education Curriculum Framework are the same for all students. The Framework offers flexibility for teachers to design learning for all students in ways that provide rigorous relevant and engaging learning and assessment opportunities for students with disabilities.


Most students with disabilities can engage in Religious Education provided the necessary adjustments are made to the complexity of the content and to the means through which students demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understandings.


For a small percentage of students with disabilities, their learning will be well below the Foundation achievement level. Most of these students have a significant intellectual disability. The Entry level and pre-Foundation level achievement standards focus on progressing students from a pre-intentional to intentional engagement in learning. Entry level and Pre-Foundation level are integrated directly into the learning progression, describing ways students may move toward the learning described at Foundation level. Teachers are able to map student progress regardless of age or year level and to identify ways of progressing learning using the achievement standards as a learning continuum.

Students with English as an additional language

Many students in Melbourne schools are learners of English as an additional language (EAL). For some, school is the only place they use English. It is important to ensure that all students, regardless of their language have the opportunity to participate fully in liturgy and sacraments and have access to Scripture in meaningful ways.


The aims of the Religious Education Curriculum Framework are the same for all students, however, EAL learners require additional time and support, along with informed teaching that explicitly addresses their language needs, and assessments that take into account their developing language proficiency.

Gifted and talented students

The Religious Education achievement standards describe a learning continuum that enables teachers to identify and progress the learning of students who are able to work well above the nominally age expected level of achievement. 

Moderation Processes

Moderation in Religious Education informs planning and teaching, as well as assessment and reporting. It is a process used to create consistent and valid judgements of student achievement in relation to the achievement standards in the local school context. Moderation is also a form of professional learning, where you as teachers can share ideas about what you are noticing about student learning, develop familiarity with the standards and be informed about what constitutes evidence of learning progress. You use your observations and evidence of student learning to differentiate between student performances for reporting and also identify ways to progress each student’s learning in Religious Education. It is critical for you to collegially moderate examples of student learning to make informed judgements about appropriate placement in relation to the achievement standards. Your professional judgement accurately reflects where the student lies on the continuum at the time of evaluating, which can be at any stage of the year. The focus is centred on growth and consistent progression through the continuum. 


                Achievement Standards Entry to Level 12




LEVEL 3 - 6

LEVEL 7 - 10

LEVEL 11 - 12