Appendix 2: Glossary of terms

Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs)

ARBs are a large collection of online assessment resources on the TKI website.  Teachers can select tasks designed to assess learning objectives from Level 2 to Level 5 of The New Zealand Curriculum in science, mathematics and English.  Detailed marking is provided for each task. 


asTTle (Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning) measure Year 4 to Year 12 students’ achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics.  Teachers devise each test by selecting the items they wish to assess.

asTTle is also designed for students learning in Māori‑medium including Kura Kaupapa Māori. 

asTTle tests enable teachers to collect and use both summative and formative achievement results. 

Formative assessment

These assessments are intended to inform changes to teaching and learning activities to improve student achievement. They typically involve qualitative feedback (rather than scores) for both student and teacher, and focus on the details of content and performance. They are commonly contrasted with summative assessment that occurs at the end of a learning exercise.

Nature of Science Strand

The structure of the science learning area in The New Zealand Curriculum.


Through this strand, students learn what science is and how scientists work – they learn to think and behave like scientists. The other strands provide contexts for students to develop their understanding about the nature of science.[1]

Progressive Achievement Test (PAT)

The listening comprehension PAT is for Years 3 to 10 students.  Reading comprehension and reading vocabulary PATs are for Years 4 to 10. 

The main functions of the multi‑choice tests include: grouping students, selecting resources to match ability, identifying students requiring support and extension, and identifying students not reaching expectation or who are working erratically.

Running Records

Using Running Records (Ministry of Education, 2000) points out that reading running records are most useful for students who are not fluent readers. Students read aloud to the teacher who marks the words read correctly and records any errors or self‑corrections.  Teachers analyse error and self‑corrections determine the student reading level and mastery of reading strategies.

Summative assessment

Summative assessment measures educational outcomes at the end of an activity or course. It is often used as part of external accountability and contributes to the data used by teachers, school leaders and boards of trustees to determine the effectiveness of programmes of learning. By contrast, formative assessment is ongoing and used to tailor the curriculum as students are learning.

Teaching as Inquiry

A process for educators to investigate the impact of their decisions and practice on students. In The New Zealand Curriculum, this course of action is described as a cyclical process in which questions are posed, evidence is gathered and decisions are made.

[1] Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI). Retrieved from: