Are you sitting there staring at your computer and the syllabus trying to work WHAT & HOW to assess your Year 11 Community & Family Studies class?

Look no further, in today's Podcast episode we unpack what you can do to create purposeful and meaningful assessment tasks for your Year 11 Community & Family Studies class (year after year without tearing your hair out!)

We unpack what you need to assess knowledge, understanding and skills to set your Year 11 Community & Family Studies class for success (so they are ready and prepped for the HSC). 

I share what you can do to assess your students with big picture concepts in the course to test knowledge, through application of understanding via case studies, situations & scenarios as well as assessing their skills in the course.  


Show Notes 

Looking for more ideas? You will find countless assessment ideas and questions inside my Year 11 Community & Family Studies Course. 

My Year 11 Community & Family Studies Course supports Community and Family Studies teachers with strategic and purposeful ways to teach the Year 11 course so students are set up for success.

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Since 2004 I have been teaching PDHPE and Community & Family Studies. I love learning. It lights me up. I am so passionate about supporting you to be the best educator you can be.

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Show Transcription

(Auto generated)

Kelly - Intro

 Hey, welcome back to the CAFS podcast. This is episode number 48. And today we're gonna chat about what you can do to assess your year elevens more strategically in Community and Family Studies, because let's face it, we have two tasks, we have three officially, but one of them is traditionally an exam. So we have two opportunities to give the kids really good, some of the feedback on how they've gone at that point of instruction. And look, some of the things I've seen happening out there in New South Wales.

Look, they're okay. But I think there's lots of things we can do to improve. So I'm looking at moving away from assessing kids on a movie analysis or moving away from a presentation, moving away from having multiple tasks and having that one really strategic assessment that hits big picture concepts that makes multiple connections across the course and enables our kids be set up for success. So in today's episode, I chat about that I do get on my high horse a little bit. I'm going to be really honest. And if I haven't shared this with you before, I will now but you'll hear from our lovely crumpet now krumping is a maybe nine month old Corgi. And you can say hear her in the background to a couple of my podcasts. So I'll share a picture with you guys on socials to introduce her again. But she is the queen of killcare. Well, she thinks she is anyway. So you might hear back in the background, but I would love to hear what you guys think about today's episode, so head over to Instagram or Facebook and let me know but in the meantime, enjoy today's episode.

Podcast Intro: 

Hey welcome, you're listening to the CAFS podcast. I'm your host and CAFS coach Kelly Bell. My mission is to support Community and Family Studies teachers like you. Whether you've been thrown in the deep end or you've been doing this for a while, I'm going to save your time, energy and wellbeing by using best practice to improve knowledge, increase empowerment and alleviate stress to help you and your students make meaningful connections across the course. Early on, it was just made a syllabus in a textbook. I had no idea what I was doing trust me. Today I'll share strategic and purposeful application to CAFS from my 16 years experience in the classroom and talk is it's a go to expert across New South Wales. These strategies have been developed for you to increase student motivation, enjoyment, engagement and HSC results. Now I spend my time supporting 1000s of CAFS teachers and students inside The Learning Network through my membership, coaching and mentoring online courses, resources and masterclasses. My dream to help cast teachers full time has become a reality. Together, we'll go and transform your CAFS crew to the next level but without impacting your sleep and wellbeing in the process. If you're ready to teach CAFS with a more strategic approach, so your students love our subjects while achieving the results they want, you're in the right place. To develop their writing and fast track success and improve HSC results, I've developed a free webinar for you to access at the Ready to get started? The CAFS Podcast is your shortcut to simplified strategy to set you and your CAFS students up for success. So tune in, get inspired and let's connect, learn and grow together.

Kelly - Episode body


Hey and welcome back to the CAFS podcast. In today's podcast episode, we're going to chat about assessment in your living. Now at the time of recording, we are Feb. 22nd. So about week five of term 120 23. And it's always at this time of the year that I get conversations direct messages on Instagram messages on Facebook, emails from teachers around how they can actually assess the year elevens. And back in the day when I first started teaching CAFS 2004 probably till about 2007. I would do lots of creative tasks. So tasks that would be really outside the box, I would get my kids to use lots of their knowledge, understanding and skills, but often they would miss the mark.

So I'm talking about things like film studies, presentations, charity events, drawn out tasks that weren't really hitting the nail on the head for my kids. And I still see that in CAFS. I still see that in New South Wales, because I see assessment task notifications. When I do my coaching mentoring sessions. My one on one sessions with CAFS teachers in New South Wales, either face to face or on Zoom. You guys show me your tasks. And I'm like, that's a great start, but it's actually not really helping the kids at all. So today I'm going to share with you what you can do to help your kid really be set up for success in year 11 with their assessment tasks, and let's face it, we only have what seven opportunities to assess them. We have seven terms. We also only have three tasks in year 11. One of those typically isn't an exam so you might call it the end of course exam or preliminary CAFS exam whatever you call it, there is an exam typically in your living CAFS.


Now if you're looking for an exam over the last two years and also this year, I'll be bringing out my exam. Again for you guys. So it's $47 very different to what other organisations offer. I provide multiple choice short answer questions, I also provided an opportunity for the kids to really assess extended responses, mirroring the option. If you've heard me talk about the option, it's a game changer and CAFS kids really struggle well below the state for the HSC. So in that exam, I show you guys what you can do to really help the kids prepare for that. So that's in my exam as well. You have a choice, you don't have to do that question. It's a 15. Marker. But in other organisations, they don't have that they've never had that. It doesn't prepare the kids for the end game. And what I find often is some of those exams are very, very low order. I'm talking about multiple diagrams, you guys, you guys know what I'm talking about. I'm sure you've seen it before. And you're like, What the hell is this diagram got to do with anything related to CAFS.

So my year 11 exams are available And if you've grabbed my 2021, and 22 exam, my 2023 exam will be available very soon for you guys to purchase. So you can grab that. But in the meantime, look. Today, we're going to look at assessment tasks. And I'm going to share with you guys what you can do to really help the kids. And it is going back to basics. It's also looking at the end game and looking at the big picture with our assessment tasks and what we can do to set the kids up for success. The first thing I'd love to share with you is the purpose of assessment. Now we're talking formative assessment versus summative assessment. I love formative assessment. It's one of my actual, like areas of expertise that I've never really publicly shared with CAFS teachers. But I presented across New South Wales across Australia on formative assessment. In fact, I have a whole book, which is almost finished. But that's a whole nother story.

So formative assessment is teaching the kids where they are and what you can do to help them I suppose, change and improve what you can do to change your teaching at the point of instruction. So assessment for as learning. And, you know, we need to kind of differentiate between the two of them between formative assessment and summative assessment. So somebody's assessment is traditionally like a formal assessment and assessment tasks that we might assign marks towards, or would go towards a grade or the Rosa here in New South Wales that end, of course, you know, result that the elevens get, and of course, the HSC. So when it comes to some new tasks in your 11, I would love for you to keep out on keep an eye out on a few things. The first one is what knowledge that's the first one, the first thing to keep an eye out for is what knowledge are you trying to assess the kids on?

Common mistake I see though, is schools trying to over assess either over assess content within that main that main content, or that main core, or actually trying to assess two units of work in the one assessment task. Now I know that we only have three tasks. Now we only have two opportunities really to assess the kids. In a task, aside from an exam, many schools are trying to over assess the kids and jam pack an assessment task on multiple concepts, or multiple areas of the course.

That's my first tip, try to steer away from that just focus on that core. And then you might not have to actually assess every single core. Say, for example, if you follow my typical my go to scope and sequence for year 11, you would go resource management, families and communities have two assessments, one on resource management and one on families and communities and not formally assess individuals and groups and then hold them back in the exam. So actually wait for the exam and justice isn't on them. The reason why I do it like that is because a lot of the content in individuals and groups doesn't hit the HSC. It's a lot of airy fairy concepts that the kids already have nailed in year seven to 10. And in terms of leadership and power, communication, it's been done. Let's try to focus on things that have multiple connections across the course, both within your 11 CAFS but also into 12.

Now that's not to say that we actually assess the kids on content from year 12. We can't do that. But we can assess concepts and what I mean by concepts is things like well being things like needs, concepts like resources, concepts like informal and formal support. These are things that the kids are going to be assessed on later on in both year 11 And you 12 And what I get my my CAFS members within the CAFS collective to look at is look for the big picture concepts. So say for example, we're sitting down to do our research method. big task, and we're looking at okay, what big picture concepts am I going to focus on here, you might hit well beam, multiple connections across the course, you might hit needs multiple connections across the course, it comes up quite a few times, we also might look at resources.

Again, it comes up in multiple units of work, we also might like to maybe choose a research methodology to assess or possibly look at informal and formal support, it comes up again, in other areas of the course, parenting caring, we also talk about different support through our options. So looking for multiple ways to embed those concepts to teach those concepts, and to also assess them. So really, focus number one is looking at what knowledge are we going to assess. And obviously looking at the learn tools that would be associated with us with that. A common misconception is that the Learn to should mirror like the glossary of key word that's in there.

Now NESA have gone away from that that hasn't been publicly stated. But NESA have gone away from having that learn about learn to. And if you followed any of my resources are my free webinars around strive. That was one of the things I was I taught you guys that that learn about learn to then the HSC question being a direct link to the Learn to? It's not? Look, it's not a direct question anymore. In the first few years, it was like, the Learn to was pretty much the question in the exam. Now it's looking for multiple connections across a cause, looking for big picture understanding, but also getting the kids to think about other Glossary of key words. So first of all the knowledge. Once you've got that down, Pat, you would then go okay, what, what kind of application or understanding Am I looking for here? Where do I, I want to get my kids to show that they actually understand the concepts. If you just regurgitate content, you're only going to get maybe three out of eight. If you show your understanding of the content, of course, it moves up the scale. If you show knowledge, understanding and skills with the content and the skills, the glossary of key word in a clear and concise peel paragraph structure with really unique and specific examples. You're going to get more towards that seven and eight.

So what I've been advocating to my CAFS collective members, is to really look for understanding, what can you do in an assessment tasks that actually test the kids understanding of content, not just regurgitate information from the textbook or some or from Google slides that you guys have maybe given? Or from somewhere else looking for things that actually test their understanding? And what I mean by this is what scenario what case study, what situation? Are you going to get the kids to think about in a unique context to actually write about? Now? I know that there's a lot of discussion area around AI at the moment. So artificial intelligence, chat, GPT, all those sorts of things. I would probably love to do a whole podcast episode around that. But I'm not scared of it yet. No, I'm not scared of it. Because I think any assessment tasks that I've done for probably the last 10 to 12 years. You can't google that stuff like you couldn't Google any question I come up with, because it's from the syllabus. And it's from using contexts and situations and case studies and getting the kids to apply it. It's not heavily research base. And that's quite often seen CAFS is that people give the kids really heavily research based tasks, or really creative tasks. And the kids can find the answers on Google Making copy from somewhere else, or it's fairly lower order.

So I'd really love for you to have a look at the understanding that you're trying to get the kids to think about, because that's where the application is. That's where the difference between, you know, a kid who's maybe getting a band three or four is that they've in a band five and six, they've really applying that understanding specifically across the content. So that's the second one looking for understanding of those concepts. So the examples that you're going to maybe get the key to think about the case studies or scenarios how you set up your questions.

The final one is around what skills are you trying to assess? Of course, you're going to be assessing skills, you're going to be assessing things that are related to the outcomes. Again, a common misconception a common mistake many CAFS teachers are making especially ones who haven't been teaching CAFS for very long is that people really focus on skills that not really outcome. So I'm talking about things like presentation skills. You can't actually assess the kids on their presentation. You can't assess them on their colours. You can't assess them on their Google slide.

Right, you can assess them on their voice projection. If they're doing a speech, you can assess them on their research skills, it has to link back to the outcomes. Again, that's a common mistake I see across New South Wales is that people are still not really looking at the outcomes when they're developing their assessment tasks. So in saying that we're looking for skills that that are applied, obviously, but also skill sets, get the kids to think about, you know, how that how the answer might be structured, or it could be skills around, embedding well being that's a skill in itself, or Part C have the option, skills around knowing and applying the glossary of key words.

So when I talk about skills, I'm talking about those unwritten skills that we have to assess the kids on, and where their marks will be coming from, in a marking criteria. Of course, linking back to the outcomes, we know that the outcomes guide our assessment tasks, so looking for those, and making sure that every single question that we include, every single facet of our assessment task actually gets a kid to apply their knowledge, apply that understanding and apply their skills of the course. And again, like I said, the beginning, it's of the course with big picture concepts. well being, I'm talking about your living here, of course. So wellbeing needs resources, informal and formal support, maybe something to do with one of the research methods early on. That's what it should look like. Instead of posters instead of a presentation instead of a hands on activity that doesn't hit the mark.

We want our kids to really be thinking about their knowledge, understanding and skills in the course, preparing the kids for the end game. Of course, we have to have differentiated assessments, I know that we have to have a variety of tasks and nessa have said that very clearly, that we need to have a variety of tasks. We can't have multiple exams, we can only have one exam in your living. And one examiner told that replicates the HSC, which for most schools would be the trial. So we have to look at ways to assess a kid that is beyond just regurgitating content. Beyond watching a movie, like the number of movie analysis, or analysis analysis, I'll just go with that, that I've seen in the past is mind boggling. And look, it's all great to watch a movie, but a lot of these movies that we're watching aren't actually real life.

So things like I don't know modern family or pursuit of happiness or Happy Feet, I even saw a task the other day mentioned around Remember The Titans now remember the times I love that movie. It's more related to pass with coaching or some of the stage X PHP stuff. But it's not a CAFS thing. I'm sorry. But yes at CAFS course, links to our content, links to life but it's not specific content. And it's made up it's fiction. It's not real. We want our kids we really looking at things that are going to test it understanding that's higher order that gets into show their knowledge, understanding and skills. Now rant over Kelly, Kelly rental enough. But look, I'm really passionate about these because I've seen so many tasks out for your living that still aren't hitting the mark still aren't getting the kids to prepare for the end game. And as I said the beginning we only have seven opportunities to do that. One of them's the child one of the end of course exam.

So let's go all in and really think about how we can assess the kids in a much more meaningful and purposeful approach in the year 11. Now if you've done exploring your living CAFS, or I've now renamed it your living the year 11 CAFS course, you would know there's a bonus in there on meaningful assessment in year 11. I unpack what this looks like. Looks like for you. So if you'd like to see what that is the forward slash 11 CAFS so you get access to lots of goodies to teach your 11 really strategically really purposefully. And we also have a bonus with learning intention success criteria. We also have a bonus with a whole a whole mini course on meaningful assessment in CAFS and things with writing that sort of thing.

So if you want to check it out is where you want to go. But look, I would love to hear what you're working on. I'd love to you for you to think outside the box. Because our kids deserve it. They don't deserve to have the same task that you've been using for the last 10 years. Or a task that you maybe got from another school that doesn't hit the mark. I would love to see really meaningful assessment tasks created. And at the end of the day, it's to make sure we're assessing the outcomes to make sure we're actually testing the knowledge that our kids need to know, more geared towards learn to use to test their understanding of the course. Again, if they just regurgitate information if they just remember a definition, lower level lower order, they're going to get those really low marks. We're looking at, you know, band twos and threes. And also their skills, assessment tasks should show their skills through how we set it up. Whether you set up with a case study, or a situation or scenario, or some sort of question that guides them those skills also need to be there and their skills are preparing them for the end game, which is a HSC.

So let me know come and find me on Instagram Kelly Bell dot coach is where you can find me, send me a message on Facebook, send me an email even. And let's chat about what you're thinking about assessing the kids on for your 11 I'd love to throw in a bonus here as well and I I share this with my CAFS Colette did members. And I talked to him about assessing early. We should have spoken at least when we spoke about formative assessment. But at that point of instruction, you can hear our dog going off.

I'm not sure if you've, if I've shared this with you guys before but we've got a corgi back in July, she is a feisty little thing. We she thinks she owns killcare and barks everything that moves up and down the street. She can see over the fence, she has tiny little legs, but because we're kind of on a bit of a hill, she can see everyone in the area. So she barks her head off, I'm not sure if you can hear in the background. But if you haven't heard it before, that's comput saying hello to you in her aggressive voice.

But yeah, with with formative assessments, we need to be getting the kids to think about at that point of instruction. So a task when we assess in summative ly should do that should actually test them right there and then not bulk it up not put three things into one or you know kind of go I'm just gonna wait to the end. I'm just gonna get them to learn all the stuff, excuse me and then assessing right at the end of like, you know, in week nine or 10, we should be assessing them at the point of instruction week five or six. See how that going and then actually tweak and change and make a judgement, excuse me make adjustments to your teaching, but also make adjustments to the way the kids are understanding the content. So I hope that you have come away with a few little gems in there that I talked about within CAFS, but also, what you can maybe maybe do to assess the kids a little bit differently this year in community family studies in your living room. So if you love today's episode and you want to continue our conversation around it, it goes crumpet again. Come and find me on Instagram and Facebook and I can't wait to support you. Teaching your live and really purposefully this year.

Kelly - Outro

This podcast was brought to you by The CAFS Collective, which is only CAFS membership providing ongoing support to CAFS teachers across New South Wales. Check it out at along with so many free resources to support your CAFS journey. If you love today's episode, please share it with your colleagues. Take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram! Don't forget to stay connected by subscribing to Apple podcasts or Spotify and if you devoured today's episode, I'll be so honoured if you could please leave me a review. Come and say hi, send me a DM on Instagram so we can work together in one of my courses, resources masterclasses, coaching & mentoring or membership. I'm Kelly Bell. See you again next week. Let's continue to connect, learn and grow together to make a huge impact on the students we teach. 

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traditional custodians on whose land I walk, work & live.
This land was and always will be the land of the First Nations People.