National Moderator's Reports

February 2022

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Download PDF: History National Moderator's Report (PDF, 189KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internally assessed History standards in 2021. It provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year.


Using Internal Assessment Evidence Gathering Templates

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The purpose of the Internal Assessment Evidence Gathering Template is to help teachers identify and record evidence of student achievement seen or heard within the teaching and learning programme. These templates do not signal a reduction in what is accepted for each grade, but rather a means of summarising evidence for reporting achievement when more formal assessment has not been possible.

These templates must be viewed in conjunction with the assessment advice forwarded to schools, to ensure that valid, credible and reliable assessment has occurred before the standard is awarded. Further guidance can be found here.

Where evidence gathering templates have been used to identify evidence in lieu of a formal assessment opportunity, these should not be sent in for moderation. 

Assessor Support

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The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by Assessment and Moderation Services continue to be viewed by the sector as significantly contributing to improved assessor practice:

“The workshop helped to review my own knowledge, and great to share ideas.”

“It was great having time to challenge my thinking in assessment.”

Based on the success of the ‘on request’ model and the ability to have targeted support, Assessment and Moderation Services will continue delivering this support model in 2022. Workshops or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to regional or national audiences.

Additionally, we will continue to run the Transforming Assessment Praxis programme, an online course relevant to all subjects which helps assessors learn about re-contextualising assessment resources and collecting evidence in different ways to better meet the needs of learners.

New online subject-specific short courses introduced this year have complemented the traditional workshops. These can be accessed using your Education Sector Logon. Courses available for History include:

  • Making Assessor Judgements (91230, 91232)
  • Annotations for 91229 and 91434
  • Combining 91230 and 91232
  • Combining 91435 and 91437.

Check the NCEA subject pages on the NZQA website regularly, as more online courses will be added throughout 2022.

Updated clarification documents were published for 91229, 91230, 91232, 91434, 91435 and 91437 in December 2020.

There have been no updates to the annotated exemplars. However, full samples of student work, accompanied by commentary from the moderator, can be found in the Making Assessor Judgements course (focusing on 91230, 91232). Further standards will be added in 2022.

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop or online course, can be found on our Assessor Support pages or by emailing

Historical contexts for 91435

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History Achievement Standards allow for extensive flexibility in the choice of topics, and care should be taken to match the chosen contexts to the requirements of the standard.

When selecting a historical event or place of significance to New Zealanders for 91435, the ideal choice is a context that has complex causes, sits within a wider context of a historical trend or has been debated by different groups and individuals. This should provide students with better opportunities for analysis at the higher levels of achievement.

For example, students might identify the differences in the debate surrounding the historical event and then make comments and judgements about these differences. In doing so, they are likely to demonstrate their understanding of the complexities of the chosen context.

A context that enables student analysis might include divergent opinions on aspects such as what motivated key historical people to take action, the significance of the event or how a historical place should be preserved and protected.

An academic, comprehensive and succinct explanation of the event or place and its significance may not necessarily provide any evidence of student analysis. This is often the case if the student has mostly repeated a commonly accepted version of what occurred, or the causes and consequences of an event.

Defending or attacking a stance and comparing the views of different historians in order to draw supported conclusions may help to ensure that the student’s evidence is analytical.

Therefore, to help elicit analysis for 91435, it may be helpful for students to address a moot or respond to a question. For example, rather than choosing a context such as ‘The early interaction between Māori and Pākehā’, students could be provided with a moot such as ‘In light of early Māori and Pākehā relations, how valid is the theory of fatal impact?’

91229 and 91434: annotation requirements

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Since the 2020 updates to the 91229 and 91434 clarification documents there has been a noticeable improvement to the quality of the annotations provided. In general, student annotations of both the evidence and source have been more succinct and specific.

To award Excellence for this standard, comments which frequently focus on the same aspect of reliability (such as the credentials of the source’s author) have less impact on the potential for Excellence than comments made which demonstrate an awareness of the range of ways historians might assess reliability, even if they occur less frequently.

A reminder that a bite-sized module looking at the expected student evidence for annotations at Level 2 and 3 is now available for free through the ‘Online Assessor Support’ link on the History subject page of the NZQA website.   

Integrated assessment of standards

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This refers to assessing multiple standards via one submission of student evidence.

There is considerable overlap in the skills required for 91230/91232, and 91435/91437. An explanation of how this overlap can be utilised to reduce teacher and student workload, without leading to large volumes of evidence, is explained in the free bite-sized online learning modules mentioned earlier in this report.

The ‘Combining the standard’ modules include full and partial exemplars and an assessment task. These modules may give history teachers greater confidence when considering a combined assessment activity.


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Changes to moderation requirement for 2022

Changes have been made to what schools are required to send in for moderation in 2022. Only 6 samples of student evidence must be sent in, one sample each at N, A, M, E, and two more from A, M, E. There will be no level 1 external moderation, unless requested by the school. 

Outcome statements in external Moderation Reports

Moderation Report outcomes are reported using consistency statements. These are not based on a numerical assessment of how many grades the moderator agreed with, but on a qualitative assessment of how the overall judgements align with the standard.

Consistent” is used where clear and accurate understanding of all (or most) aspects of the standard have been demonstrated. There may be some misunderstandings, but these are minor.

Not yet consistent” does not imply major issues on the part of the assessor. This is used where a clear understanding is shown of some aspects of the standard, and any issues can be identified and corrected using the feedforward in the Moderation Report.

Not consistent” is used where there are significant issues with the assessor decisions. This may include issues such as assessment materials not being at the correct curriculum level, or when the intent or criteria of the standard have been misunderstood.

Moderating assessment materials

For most moderation submissions in 2021, the assessment materials were not moderated, as most assessment tasks were variations of the NZQA Approved tasks developed by the Ministry of Education.

NZQA welcomes the submission of innovative assessment tasks. An overview of case studies showcasing how innovative assessment practices have been implemented in schools can be found on the Spotlights homepage, with the full case studies on the Future State section of the NZQA website.

Please click on this link to give your feedback about this report.

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