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National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement

National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) monitors student achievement in New Zealand across the New Zealand curriculum at Years 4 and 8.

NSMAA at a glance

This is a yearly study whose aim is to evaluate student achievement across the curriculum in years 4 and 8. 

At a glance – new science resources –  a quick overview and a downloadable PDF 

NMSSA 2017 Insights for teachers: Science – a report for primary teachers, which is centred on learning progress in the  science capabilities between curriculum levels 2 and 4. 

Nature of Science – It also provides clear indicators of progress between curriculum levels 2 to 4, across the five science capabilities that make up the Nature of Science

The purpose of NMSAA

The National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSAA) report provides information about what students know and can do in specific learning areas, how they are achieving against the New Zealand Curriculum and progress made by students between year levels. 

The report has four parts: 

  • Introduction – to NMSAA and NMSAA science assessment 
  • Practical insights – about learning in science 
  • Literacy and numeracy – what the NMSAA results reveal about the skills students need for learning science 
  • Science knowledge and science capabilities – the relationship between knowledge and the developing science capabilities.  

NMSAA gathers information such as: 

  • identifying trends in educational performance and achievement 
  • determining factors that influence student achievement
  • how to assist policy makers, curriculum specialists, and educators with their planning.

About the NMSAA resource

In the resource, you can find: 

  • a summary of outcomes from the studies 
  • practical insights about learning in science at years 4 and 8 
  • advice on literacy and numeracy skills students need to achieve in science at these year levels. 

Making the most of the NMSAA resource

Use this resource to ensure your science curriculum is robust. 

Although designed for teachers of science in years 4 to 8, NMSAA is useful for teachers at all year levels. 

For example, the science study found many year 8 students were unable to demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills apt for science. These students fell short of expectations at curriculum level 4. 

Knowing about this finding means you can be intentional about providing your students with the science capabilities they will need to be critical, informed, responsible citizens, especially where science plays a role. 


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