National Moderator's Reports

February 2022

Show: Social Studies Homepage
Download PDF: Social Studies National Moderator's Report (PDF, 139KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internally assessed Social Studies 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 Social Studies include:

  • Making Assessor Judgements (91282, 91283)
  • 91040 What are we assessing?
  • Points of View.

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

At the end of 2020, updated clarification documents were published for each of the Level 2 and Level 3 Internal Achievement Standards. These were updated to address issues identified through moderation that could benefit from further unpacking.

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 91282, 91283).

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

Points of view, values and perspectives

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At levels two and three, all internal standards require students to discuss the points of view, values and perspectives of different groups and individuals in relation to a social issue, social action, policy or campaign. Being able to sufficiently explain how and why people think differently about issues and social actions is integral to Social Studies. In 2021, moderators noted that insufficient evidence was frequently provided to demonstrate this part of the Achievement Criteria.

To help support sector understanding of this requirement, a bite-sized module that is free, interactive and easily accessible is now available. This can be found under the Online Assessor Support section on the Social Studies subject page of the NZQA website. This module provides multiple examples of student evidence demonstrating the nature and possible structure of the ‘points of view, values and perspectives’ requirement for the level two and level three standards.

Using templates to scaffold the assessment task

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There has been a noticeable increase in the use of templates to scaffold an assessment task. The successful use of templates (particularly those that accommodate students who wish to complete the task digitally) has helped students provide appropriate evidence for each of the several elements that need to be specifically addressed to meet the requirements for Achieved.

Using templates works best when each criterion is individually addressed. For example, a template for 91043 that provides a single space to ‘Describe the points of view of different people involved in the campaign’ or ‘Describe what different people think about the social action and how they were involved’ may not as easily elicit sufficient student evidence to satisfy the standard’s requirements as a template that prompts students to ‘Describe people’s involvement in the action’, and then in a subsequent section ‘Describe points of view of the participants in the action’.


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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.

For example, if all of the awarded grades were not agreed with due to insufficient evidence when describing points of view, values and perspectives (and all other requirements of the standard reflected the expectations of the grades awarded), then it is most likely a Not Yet Consistent would be used by the moderator, as only one aspect of the standard has been misinterpreted.

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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