We firmly believe assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. It is central to the PYP goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding students through the 5 essential elements of learning: the acquisition of knowledge, the understanding of concepts, the mastering of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take action. The prime objective of assessment in the PYP is to provide feedback on the learning process. At ISL, we develop assessment procedures and methods of reporting that reflect the philosophy and objectives of the programme.
The PYP stresses the importance of both student and teacher self-assessment and reflection. The PYP approach to assessment recognizes the importance of assessing the process of inquiry as well as the product(s) of inquiry and aims to integrate and support both.
Everyone concerned with assessment, including students, teachers, parents and administrators, have a clear understanding of the reason for the assessment, what is being assessed, the criteria for success and the method by which the assessment is made.
At ISL, through assessment, we aim to:
|Build up a clear picture of the student and his or her interests.
|Identify what and how the student is thinking and learning.
|Assess the effectiveness of the environment on the student’s learning.
|Extend the student’s learning.
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How do we discover what students have learned?
Student learning is promoted through planning and refining the teaching and learning process to meet individual or group needs. Assessing the students’ prior knowledge and experience as well as monitoring their achievement during the teaching period enables our teachers to plan and refine their teaching accordingly. Teachers bear in mind that a well-designed learning experience will provide data on students’ knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding and is consequently a vehicle for summative or formative assessment.
Summative assessment aims to give teachers and students a clear insight into students’ understanding. Summative assessment is the culmination of the teaching and learning process, and gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what has been learned. It can assess several elements simultaneously: it informs and improves student learning and the teaching process; it measures understanding of the central idea, and prompts students towards action.
Formative assessment provides information that is used in order to plan the next stage in learning. It is interwoven with learning, and helps teachers and students to find out what the students already know and can do. Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked and function purposefully together. Formative assessment aims to promote learning by giving regular and frequent feedback. This helps learners to improve knowledge and understanding, to foster enthusiasm for learning, to engage in thoughtful reflection, to develop the capacity for self-assessment, and to recognize the criteria for success. We recognise that increased use of formative assessment particularly helps those students who are low achievers to make significant improvements in their understanding.
|Using representative examples of students’ work or performance to provide information about the student.
|Learning, collecting evidence of students’ understanding and thinking.
|Documenting learning processes of groups and individuals.
|Engaging students in reflecting on their learning.
|Students assessing work produced by themselves and by others.
|Developing clear rubrics.
|Identifying exemplar student work.
|Keeping records of test and task results.
How do we choose to communicate information about assessment?
Reporting on assessment is about communicating what students know, understand and can do. It describes the progress of the students’ learning, identifies areas for growth and contributes to the efficacy of the programme. Assessment without feedback is merely judgment. Feedback is the component of assessment that lets us interpret the judgment and improve our work. Reporting in Primary School may take many forms including conferences and written reports.
|Involving parents, students and teachers as partners.
|Being comprehensive, honest, fair and credible.
|Being clear and understandable to all parties.
|Allowing teachers to incorporate what they learn during the reporting process into their future teaching and assessment practice.
Conferences at ISL
Our conferences include parents, children and teachers. They are an excellent way to keep everyone informed and allow children to see the most significant adults in their lives showing an interest in their learning and demonstrating a commitment to supporting them.
Teacher-student conferences are usually informal, ongoing and individually designed to give children feedback so they can reflect on their work and they further refine and develop their skills.
Teacher-parent(s) conferences are usually formal and designed to give the parent(s) information about the child’s progress and needs, and about the school’s programme. Teachers take this opportunity to answer the parents’ questions, to address their concerns, to help define their role in the learning process and communicate if any additional support is required. Parents are encouraged to take the opportunity to provide the teacher with the cultural context of the child’s learning.
Student-led conferences are formal ones where children are responsible for discussing their work and their progress with their parents whilst the teacher is available. The children with the support and guidance of the teacher select the work to be discussed. The format of these conferences depends on the age of the child. During the conference, students share evidence of learning through portfolios and cross curricular learning engagements. The participants must understand the format and their roles prior to the conference. The value of student-led conferences is that the children reflect on and consolidate their progress and share the responsibility of informing their parents.
Primary Reporting Dates
The reporting dates for Primary School are as follows :
In the first week of school in August, there will be a Parent Information Evening where the Year Group teachers in the primary faculty will inform parents of the PYP curriculum their children will be following and some of the classroom procedures and expectations for the year ahead.
At the mid-point of the first semester, a brief interim report will be written for each student and issued to parents through Managebac along with an invitation to an optional parent / teacher conference to be held in the week after the issuance of the interim report.
A full first semester written report on each student’s progress will be issued. A follow-up formal parent/teacher conference will be scheduled for the week following the issuance of this report. This will be a week before school closes for the Christmas break.
A whole day in the school calendar is devoted to student–led conferences. This is a non-teaching day on which each student spends one or two hours guiding their parents through the learning activities that they have been involved with in the year to date. The presentation is supported by a student portfolio which is authored by the student and constitutes a record of progress for the year.
At least one week prior to the last day of school a final full second semester written report of student progress will be issued. This report will be followed by an optional parent/teacher conference in the last week of the semester.
Regardless at which time in a school year that a new student joins the Primary School, an interim report is written and issued to the parents after 6 weeks.