Assessment and Evaluation of Movement Competence

Some teachers struggle with the evaluation of overall expectation “perform movement

skills, demonstrating an understanding of the basic requirements of the skills and

applying movement concepts as appropriate as they engage in a variety of

physical activities”. Even with experience and an understanding of the H&PE

curriculum expectations, many practitioners get caught up in the desire to evaluate

improvement rather than evaluating the performance of movement skills. The

teachers are torn between their professional duty to evaluate and report

the performance (or lack thereof), and the inclusive nature and philosophy of the


As with any curriculum expectation, it is helpful to break down overall expectation for the purposes of instruction and assessment “for” and “as” and then attempting to evaluate the overall. When you break it down the overall expectation, “perform movement skills, demonstrating an understanding of the basic requirements of the skills and applying movement concepts as appropriate, as they engage in a variety of physical activities”, you’re looking at:

  • Perform movement skills: look at fundamental, transferable skills and concepts, breaking down the components of the skills and assessing these components rather than the whole skill.

To do this, you would be providing students with a variety of opportunities to practice and demonstrate their learning and focusing on helping students understand what these fundamental skills and concepts “look like”, why they are important in helping them move competently, and how to apply these concepts as foundations. Students will have a greater chance of success over time because they will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a variety of activities. Look at what components they CAN demonstrate (e.g. a stable position to receive a volleyball pass, attempting to absorb the force of the ball etc) even if they are not successful the whole skill yet.

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the basic requirements of the skills: Look for evidence of student understanding of what they are trying to achieve

Do this by observing and critiquing their own performance using the success criteria (and potentially technology) to assess what they think they are doing well and what they cannot yet do. For example, they can explain what they are trying to do when they are performing a serve in badminton. It helps to point teachers to the Knowledge and Understanding category of the achievement chart so they can see students’ understanding of what they are trying to learn to do. They should also be directed to the Thinking category because students can demonstrate that they can analyze a movement skill even if they cannot yet perform the entire skill.

  • Applying movement concepts as appropriate: Look for evidence of students applying movement concepts – body awareness, spacial awareness, effort, relationship – as they move.

To do this, consider using the examples in the expectation for guidance in establishing their success criteria. This will help to shift from observing and assessing only the competency of performing traditional sport skills e.g. a serve, spike, a pass, to observing the phases of the movement, which through time and greater experience will increase the student’s chance of success in performing these skills. (e.g maintaining balance, bending the knees to generate force, maintain balance, lowering the centre of mass when getting ready to receive an object, using all joints to produce force. moving into position against a defender.)

  • Engage in a variety of activities look for student’s application of skills in different activities

To do this, it is important to provide students with the opportunity to practice these fundamental and transferable skills, concepts and strategies in a wide variety of activities will help the students transfer their learning and have a greater chance of achieving success in performing these skills.

There are a lot of components of the learning that you are looking at for this expectation; you would also be looking at it together with appropriate connections to the SELS/Living Skills within the curriculum. This is a key place to include explicit teaching and assessing the personal skills as students use self-awareness and self-monitoring skills, and use feedback to refine skills and interpersonal skills. Teachers can also assess interpersonal and critical thinking skills as students use communication skills and teamwork during game play (e.g. students coaching each other about how to be more successful at their serve, and problem solving to figure out what shot to use in different situations to send the shuttle so it clears the net) will also help the teacher determine what the student knows about performing a skill even if he/she cannot do it yet.

In summary, as teachers look at each of these components together with the achievement chart, they are not looking at performance excellence in isolation. Taking this approach to breaking down the expectation for instruction and assessment will support all students in demonstrating evidence of learning.

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