What is a Psycho-educational Assessment?

What is investigated in the assessment?

A test battery (all of the tests and measures used during an assessment) is specially developed according to the specific concerns of each client. Such measures investigate the following areas:

  • Cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal and non-verbal problem-solving abilities, working memory, processing speed and attention control)
  • Scholastic functioning (e.g., reading skills, numerical ability, written expression and oral language skills)
  • Visual-motor integration and perceptual skills (e.g., motor coordination, visual perception and auditory discrimination screening)
  • Attention and organisation (e.g., sustained attention, hyperactivity, organisation)
  • Social-emotional functioning (e.g., mood, anxiety, social and familial functioning)

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Private psycho-educational assessments

Whilst there is a team of qualified psychologists working at the BSU, some parents may choose to have their child assessed by a private educational psychologist. Parents are strongly advised to contact the BSU for referrals in this regard.

It is important that the psychologist concerned administers tests that are approved by the BSU at Diocesan College. The tests used at the BSU are in line with the assessment requirements stipulated by the University of Cape Town. It is therefore important that private psychologists also plan their assessment battery in line with the school’s guidelines. Private practitioners are welcome to contact Mrs Verna Leverzencie  (vleverzencie@bishops.org.za) at the BSU for further information.

A psycho-educational assessment aims to obtain an overall picture of a learner’s cognitive and scholastic strengths and weaknesses, with the aim of identifying interventions to support overall functioning in an academic setting.

The assessment provides an in-depth investigation into individual learners’ information-processing styles, thinking patterns, and problem-solving abilities. There is potential to uncover learning disorders or barriers to learning that may hinder academic progress. In addition, learners’ strengths can help facilitate effective learning, as well as inform decisions regarding subject choice and tertiary study paths.

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What is the assessment process?

Parents, teachers or various health professionals can refer children and adolescents for an assessment. Once an assessment has been scheduled, parents are asked to meet with the educational psychologist for an intake interview. During this meeting, parents and educational psychologist discuss various factors such as developmental history, health and overall current functioning, which helps to assist the psychologist in planning for the assessment.

An assessment at the BSU is usually conducted by an intern educational psychologist over the course of two mornings. Boys are excused from some of their classes on these days. The intern psychologists are Masters graduates registered with the HPCSA who bring forth a wealth of current and innovative knowledge and expertise, and who are closely supervised by a qualified and experienced educational psychologist.

Following the assessment, the results and recommendations are discussed with parents and the child or adolescent during a feedback meeting. Parents are provided with a full psycho-educational assessment report, which outlines all the assessment results and recommendations. This report is crucial for qualifying the child or adolescent for any concessions, be it at Bishops or for applications for final Matric examinations concessions.

For more information regarding psycho-educational assessments at the BSU, please visit us at the BSU, or contact Mrs Verna Leverzencie on 021 659 1010 or bsu@bishops.org.za.