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IEP and Assessment – transcript

[On the screen]

Leanne, Tom's mum, and Sue, teacher aide, talk about assessment for Tom.


“Narrative Assessment … uses learning stories to capture progress in students’ learning. It ‘records’ the often subtle interactions between the student, their learning environments, their peers, their learning support team, and their learning activities.”

Through different eyes, Ministry of Education, 2009

Looking at the assessment for Tom over the past, almost ten years, we have been through ORS assessment and numerous IEPs, through preschool and school. And recently we’ve been looking at assessment through the learning stories.

The IEPs have been based around learning stories, and I think the learning stories as a family, with our extended family as well, have been far more relevant to Tom because they basically say what he can do.

I think learning stories for Tom have really broadened the way we can show his achievements because we’re not limiting them to a specific area, although we can show in specific areas and link it to his curriculum what he’s done.

One of the reasons we did choose for Tom to come to a mainstream school is that he had children that would show him good social skills.

They have told new things to us that we had no idea Tom ... how Tom was communicating with the children or how much they were picking up. And so they have been learning alongside Tom just as much as he’s been learning alongside them. And I think learning stories do show that. There is no way that a traditional IEP would show that.

And we would miss that learning opportunity in celebration of Tom. 

Also the learning stories give the children a great opportunity to participant in his learning and to show things that they think they he can achieve as well.

I think that the children have really taken to the learning stories, and also, they’re really helpful for new teachers. And if you’ve got other teacher aides who are coming in, maybe just to fill in, that gives a really good background.


They also show us how we can improve in teaching Tom. We learn from other people: we learn from Annie, we learn from the teacher aides, we learn from the children.

Quite often when you are a parent of a special needs child, all you get is what they can’t do and how much they are not a learner. So, I think the learning stories do show that all children are learners. We really love the learning stories as a way of assessment.

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