PaCT pilot: a learning journey

Issue: Volume 94, Number 4

Posted: 9 March 2015
Reference #: 1H9cqc

“The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) helps you to look at where children are on their learning journey. It helps to show what comes next for them.”

That is the view of a principal who participated in the PaCT mathematics pilot held in term 4 of 2014. Five regional clusters of schools from various parts of the country took part in the pilot and collectively made judgments on more than 2,000 students using the tool.

The PaCT is an online tool designed to help teachers make dependable judgments on students’ progress and achievement in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum and National Standards.

Its frameworks, developed in partnership with New Zealand Curriculum experts, break down and illustrate the different aspects of mathematics, reading and writing. Its ‘engine’ captures judgments on the aspects and recommends an overall judgment that a teacher can confirm or review.

The PaCT pilot was held to user-test the tool in the school environment, identify areas that need fine-tuning and ensure the support materials and resources met the needs of school leaders, teachers and administrators.

Feedback from the pilot helped with the development of the PaCT website(external link) and the roll-out of the reading, writing and mathematics frameworks. There is a small pilot to assist with the development of reading and writing resources in term 1 this year.

Making judgments using the PaCT

Teachers in the mathematics pilot were expected to make judgments for a minimum of 10 students, using the PaCT. Many chose students who they thought were on the cusp of achieving a standard or made judgments for students with a range of achievement levels, to see how they related to the PaCT framework. Some teachers made judgments for all the students in their class.

The experience of making judgments using the PaCT ranged from teachers who found it difficult when they first started, to a school that made the bulk of student judgments in a day.

“We had a teacher-only day on the Friday,” said one principal. “Teachers separated into groups of two or three and by the end of a day had completed judgments for three-quarters of their students. By the time we reconvened at our Tuesday staff meeting, PaCT judgments had been made for 650 students.”

Benefits for teachers

71 percent of teachers who gave feedback on the pilot said that using the PaCT had improved their understanding of the mathematics curriculum and 74 per cent indicated that using the PaCT had increased the use of moderation processes within the school. One cluster of schools said the PaCT puts school moderation practices ‘under the spotlight’.

About two-thirds of those who gave feedback reported that the PaCT mathematics framework had helped them to think about what it means to progress as a learner in mathematics and 65 per cent had changed, or intended to change, how they teach mathematics.

One of the other benefits that teachers identified was guiding their planning. “The mathematics framework revealed what should be taught when in the curriculum, which was very useful in telling us how we should approach our learning plans.”

Not all the feedback was positive; one school talked about frustration and a lack of confidence among teachers using the PaCT.

Teachers were asked if the PaCT recommendations were generally the same as the Overall Teacher Judgments (OTJs) they would have given the students and 59 per cent of those who gave feedback confirmed they were the same. One school said it did OTJs the normal way first, then used the PaCT and found only a 1 per cent difference “which made our teachers confident they were doing the right thing already.”

Twenty-four per cent of respondents found the PaCT recommendations were higher than judgments made without the tool and 3 per cent found the PaCT recommendations lower. If the PaCT recommendations did not align with a teacher’s judgments, most indicated they discussed this with others at their school.

Practice time is important

Feedback from pilot schools emphasised the importance of taking time to become familiar with the PaCT frameworks and practising using the tool, before making judgments.

One school also highlighted the value of leaders and teachers supporting other teachers in introductory workshops and hands-on sessions. “This deepened their understanding of the tool and assisted in working through questions about use.”

PaCT Director Rose Cole said schools that sign up to use the PaCT are given some funding, to support teacher release time and the administration time involved in setting up the PaCT for the school.

“We also recommend that schools appoint a PaCT Leader, to lead the implementation in the school, coordinate the set-up of the PaCT and plan for the future.

“There is advice on planning and implementation, plus in-depth advice and training on using the tool, available on the education website(external link)

“Schools can also attend an information presentation in their area or mail the PaCT team at

PaCT presentations for interested schools

Introductory presentations on the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) are being held around the country on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in term 1.

If your school is interested in using the PaCT and wants to find out more about it please contact and indicate the date and time for the session you would like to attend.

Location Date Time
West Auckland
Trusts Stadium, 65-67 Central Park Drive, Henderson 10 March 2015 9-10am
Auckland North  
QBE Stadium (North Harbour), Stadium Drive, Albany 10 March 2015 1-2pm, 2.30-3.30 pm
East Auckland  
676 Mount Wellington Hwy, Mt Wellington, Auckland 11 March 2015 9-10am, 10.30-11.30am
Central Auckland  
Stardome, 670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill Domain, Royal Oak 11 March 2015 1-2pm, 2.30-3.30 pm
 Woodlands Motel and Conference venue, 126 Kerikeri Rd, Kerikeri 12 March 2015 9.30-10.30am
Kingsgate, 100 Garnett Avenue, Te Rapa 18 March 2015

9-10am, 10.30-11.30am, 12.30-1.30pm, 2-3pm

Hotel Armitage, 9 Willow Street, Tauranga 19 March 2015 9-10am, 10.30-11.30am, 12.30-1.30 pm, 2-3pm 
Addington Raceway & Events Centre, 75 Jack Hinton Dr, Addington, Christchurch  24 March 2015  9-10am, 10.30-11.30am, 12.30-1.30pm, 2-3pm 
Ashley Hotel Rimu Centre, 74 Tasman Street, Greymouth  25 March 2015  11-12pm, 12.30-1.30pm 
Rutherford Hotel, 27 Nile Street West, Nelson  26 March 2015  9-10am 10.30-11.30am 
Marlborough Convention Centre, 42a Alfred Street, Blenheim  31 March 2015  10.30-11.30am, 12.30-1.30pm
War Memorial Conference Centre, 48 Marine Parade, Bluff Hill, Napier  31 March 2015  10.30-11.30am, 12.30-1.30pm, 2-3pm 
Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club, 190 Derby Street, Gisborne 1 April 2015

9-10am, 10.30-11.30am

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 2:14 pm, 9 March 2015

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