Assessment for PYP

Assessment Policy for PYP

This document is a guide for principles, policies, and procedures related to assessment. It is a work in progress. Please study the document carefully and apply the policies thoughtfully. These policies and procedures will be reviewed each year by the leadership team with input and feedback from all staff. (This version was updated on 1 June 2016)

  1. Assessment is a continuous process of gathering data about how well a student has attained the aims and objectives of a lesson, unit, or course. It is feedback and information for the student, teacher, parents, and supervisors.

  2. Assessment is an integral part of the curriculum; it is derived from curricular goals (aims and objectives)

  3. Therefore, we assess to:
    • Support curricular goals (i.e. the attainment of knowledge, concepts, skills, and attitudes in course aims and objectives)
    • Help students learn how to learn, thereby becoming independent, self-directed learners
    • Help teachers diagnose students’ needs
    • Help teachers assess the effectiveness of their instructional strategies
    • Help the school leaders to assess effectiveness of policies and professional development needs
  1. Assessment is integrally planned with the curriculum
    • Curricular aims and objectives refer to knowledge, concepts, skills, and attitudes that we expect of students.
    • These aims and objectives are an embodiment of the Learner Profile, which is itself derived from the IB Mission Statement.
  2. Assessment tasks systematically probe all the knowledge, concepts, skills, and attitudes contained in the course aims and objectives and taught in the course (as in figure A, not as in figure B)  
    • Assessment practices that teachers must perform include
      1. Developing strategic tasks and clear assessment rubrics
      2. Providing exemplars or representative samples of students’ work to show what success looks like
      3. Collecting evidence of students’ learning processes, as individuals and groups
      4. Analyzing qualitative and quantitative data about learning and taking subsequent action
    • Assessment practices that students must perform include
      1. Using a variety of methods to demonstrate their learning
      2. Contributing to the design of meaningful assessment tasks and rubrics
      3. Evaluating against the rubrics work produced by themselves and their peers
      4. Reflecting on and analyzing their learning outcomes
      5. Sharing their learning with peers, teachers, parents, and others
  3. Assessment must be criterion referenced, meaning that we measure student learning against common standards (that are indicated or symbolized by grades or performance indicators)
    • These criteria are derived from lesson/unit/course aims and objectives (or scope and sequence)
    • These criteria are made known to students before they do a task (e.g. through rubrics)
  4. Formative assessments are ‘assessments for learning’. In the first instance, they help teachers and students find out their prior knowledge and skills. Teachers then use this information to adjust their planned curriculum. During instruction, formative tasks help students understand and practice meeting the criteria by which learning will be measured. These tasks give opportunities for students to reflect, self-assess, and self-monitor, thereby becoming independent learners.
  5. Summative assessments are ‘assessments of learning’. They are tasks that indicate a final level of attainment at the end of a learning unit. As such, summative tasks help students demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Being comprehensive in nature, these tasks should also assess students’ attitudes and encourage them to take action. Summative assessments help teachers evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process.
    • Summative assessment and test procedures
      1. Teachers must inform students at least 2 lessons before conducting a summative assessment
      2. Teachers must make students write in the diary the specific topic, concept, or skill that will be tested
      3. Assessments must be typed with the standard header
      4. Assessments should have been reviewed and signed in the header by the coordinator in the weekly review
  6. Teachers must inculcate the value of academic honesty in all kinds of assessments
    • The following pledge expresses the school-wide commitment to academic honesty: “I pledge to do my own academic work. I do not steal the words or ideas of others. I do not lie or cheat. I make this pledge because my honour and character are more precious than marks or popularity.”
    • Teachers should help students to interpret and practice this pledge in ways that are appropriate for their age and the tasks at hand.
  7. Correcting students’ work
    • Teachers must take a great deal of care in correcting students work, keeping in mind the following
      1. Ensure that corrections are correct!
      2. Do not simply tick mark unless the work is actually entirely correct
      3. Give helpful information and comments to help the student improve
      4. Provide encouragement; do not humiliate, insult, or ridicule
      5. Give feedback on handwriting, grammar, spelling, etc. in such a way that the student can still see the mistake (i.e. do not overwrite)
      6. Teachers are to use red pen for corrections; coordinators and principal will use green pen for their comments
      7. Sign and date the corrections
    • Encourage self and peer corrections
      1. Teach children about the assessment criteria for any task
      2. Help them to monitor and assess their own learning
      3. Provide opportunities for reflection and improvement on assessed work
    • Teachers must analyse the outcomes of assessment and take appropriate action
  1. Assessment strategies are methods or approaches that teachers use to gather information about students’ learning
    • Observations: gathering information about learners individually or as a group; during a task or in a ‘natural’ setting
    • Performance assessments: skill based tasks that pose authentic, significant challenges or problems to be solved, such as using trigonometry to measure the height of a tree
    • Process-focused assessments: skill based tasks in which the execution of a process is assessed, such as writing a persuasive essay
    • Selected responses: paper-pencil tests that are conducted on one occasion and focus largely on knowledge, comprehension, and possibly application
    • Open-ended tasks: tasks in which students must generate original responses to a stimulus or situation, such as using drama to explore a social issue
  2. Assessment tools or instruments used to collect data
    • Rubric: a table that describes criteria and achievement levels for a task
    • Exemplars: samples of students’ work that serve as concrete standards for evaluating other students’ work
    • Checklist: lists of desired learning outcomes (e.g. actions, attitudes, etc.) that are ‘checked off’ as they are observed
    • Anecdotal records: brief, written (or audiovisual, photographic) observations about students at work, systematically organized for analysis
    • Continuums: simple multi-point range (from high to low), used to judge extent to which a student demonstrates specific behaviours, attitudes or understanding
    • Blueprint or mark scheme: a table or index of expected responses that helps to analyse student performance; expected responses are indexed to curricular objectives
  3. Records to be maintained by PYP teachers
    • Working portfolio of student tasks with rubrics, annotations, and feedback
    • Assessment register containing checklists, continuums, and data on ‘selected response’ tasks
    • Anecdotal records in written and other forms (photos, video) organized student-wise and chronologically. Each student’s records must identify the units or tasks and the dates.
  1. Reporting on assessment involves communication about student learning. As such, it must be honest, comprehensive, and meaningful.
  2. Reporting in the PYP occurs through the following four means:
    • Performance reports
      1. Performance Reports are issued twice each year, after Unit 3 (Unit 2 for PP) and after Unit 6 (Unit 4 for PP).
      2. In the reports, teachers determine attainment levels in various curricular strands (including knowledge, concepts, skills) according to the following descriptors.
      3. Beginning Developing Competent Advanced
        The student needs more experiences, opportunities, and support to demonstrate knowledge and skills. The student uses knowledge and skills in familiar contexts but often needs support and guidance. The student consistently uses knowledge and skills in familiar contexts. The student uses knowledge and skills independently and thoughtfully in a variety of contexts.
      4. Feedback on attitudes, action, and learner profile traits is also included in teacher’s written comments.
    • Conferences
      1. Parent-Teacher-Student meeting is held soon after the end of Unit 1
      2. Parent-Teacher-Student meeting is held with the distribution of the first performance report
      3. Student Led Conference (SLC) is held after Unit 6 (Unit 4 for PP) and before distribution of the second performance reports. Some further guidelines are given below:
        • The importance of the SLC is explained at the curriculum orientation at the start of the year
        • Notices informing parents are distributed at least 2 weeks before the conference takes place
        • Classroom teachers and specialists meet together to plan what is to be shared
        • All year levels should be consistent in their approach to the SLC
        • Students are involved in choosing what is shared with parents
        • Students report to parents addressing all five of the essential elements (knowledge, skills, concepts, attitudes and action)
    • Portfolio of student’s work
      1. Purpose:
        • empowers students to be active participants in their own learning
        • provides opportunities to show growth in different subject areas over time
        • develops a sense of pride in each student’s work and builds self esteem
        • provides evidence and celebration of achievement during the student led conference
        • provides a tool for students’ self-assessment and reflection
        • enables students to see learning as a continuous process
      2. Expectations:
        • Selection of work samples should be ongoing by providing regular opportunities to add samples
        • Portfolios should be managed mainly by students with guidance from the teacher
        • Portfolios should include work from all subject areas, including specialist subjects
      3. Contents:
        • Cover page
        • Goal Sheet
        • Learner profile reflection
        • Student chosen elements: 1 selection per curriculum overview (2 units) in English, Math, UOI and Urdu/Hindi (annotated by students - total 12 pieces); 1 single subject selection per year – Music, Art, PE, Telugu (C3-C5), ICT (annotated by students- total 4/5 pieces)
        • Teacher chosen elements: 1 selection per curriculum overview (2 units) in Language (English), Math and UOI (annotated by teacher - total 12 pieces); 1 single subject selection per year – Music, Art, PE, Telugu (C3-C5, ICT (annotated by teacher- total 4/5)
    • Exhibition
      1. Students in the final year of the PYP carry out an extended piece of work/research based upon collaborative inquiry – the PYP Exhibition. This takes place towards the end of C5.
      2. One of the purposes of the PYP Exhibition is to provide a forum for student-driven reporting.
      3. Other key purposes include the following:
        • For students to engage and report on an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
        • To provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence in and responsibility for their own learning
        • To provide students with an opportunity to experience research into a particular topic over an extended period of time as a precursor to more advanced research later
        • To provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
        • For students to synthesize and apply their learning from previous years, and to reflect on their journey through the PYP
        • To provide an authentic process of assessing student understanding
        • To demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
        • To unite students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP
        • To celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle/secondary education
  1. Language Policy

  2. Counseling & SEN Policy
  1. This policy will be reviewed each year by the pedagogical leadership team and by a committee of PYP teachers.

  2. The review will take place in December to be implemented in the coming academic year.
  1. This policy will be published for teachers in the Teacher’s Handbook and/or the shared drive.

  2. The policy will be published for parents and students in the school blog and/or website.
  1. Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education, IBO (2009)

  2. Assessment Policy, The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad (2012)