ISP Pre-school and Primary school Assessment Policy and Handbook
PYP Definition of Assessment
“Assessment is the gathering and analysis of information about student performance. It identifies what students know (knowledge), understand (concepts), can do (skills) and feel (attitudes/action) at various stages in the learning process. It is the means by which we analyze student learning and the effectiveness of our teaching and acts as a foundation on which to base our future planning and practice. It is central to our goal of guiding the child, from novice to expert, through the learning process.”
(Primary Years Program Assessment Handbook, January 2000 .© International Baccalaureate Organization)
ISP Assessment Philosophy
The International School Palermo Assessment philosophy directly relates to the two mission statements below:
IBO Mission Statement: The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences can also be right.
International School Palermo Mission Statement
“Educating children to become principled, caring and responsible individuals”
International School Palermo focuses on the development of all aspects of the child’s personality (spiritual, physical, emotional, social, cognitive and linguistic), instilling in each a love of learning. Its aim, in line with PYP philosophy, is to move students toward becoming principled, caring and open-minded individuals and life-long learners, who will help to create a better and more peaceful world. CEI International School Palermo is a school that fosters human values and aims to encourage families’ full collaboration in the learning process. It is a school that adapts to the changing times and to new educational needs making a fusion between IB philosophy and Ignatian pedagogy.
ISP has adopted a philosophy where assessment is the means by which all members of its school community can increase their own potential and strive to emulate the Learner Profile. Assessment should be to inform and guide further progress, whether that be teaching, learning, school or personal growth. Assessment is for the clear purpose of continual improvement for all members of our school community.
Components of Assessment
This handbook will focus on the taught curriculum. It seeks to communicate ISP’s philosophy regarding assessment and the three components the PYP that further divides it into: assessing, recording and reporting.
Assessing: how we discover what the students know and have learned.
Recording: how we choose to collect and analyse data.
Reporting: how we choose to communicate information.
Purposes of Assessment
At ISP, we believe that assessment has many purposes.
• Informing teachers of the success of their teaching
• Informing students and parents on progress
• Providing evidence of acquired knowledge
• Serving as a base for reflection on teaching and learning
• Providing the school staff with a measure of progress towards goals and proficiencies
• Allowing students to share their learning with others
• Providing a picture of student learning and progress over time
At ISP, we believe that assessments should be given at several different times during a unit of inquiry in a transdisciplinary way. Units of inquiry should include the following assessments:
Pre-Assessment: These are assessments given to check the previous knowledge students have regarding the unit of inquiry. By pre-assessing, a teacher has information on which students will need modified or accelerated work, what content is already known and therefore does not need to be taught and what content that is not well understood and will need further instruction.
Formative Assessment: A formative assessment is any assessment during the instruction of the unit that would provide teachers with knowledge of how students are progressing toward learning objectives in order to plan future lessons and next steps in a unit.
Summative Assessment: A summative assessment is given at the end of a unit to allow students to show what they have learned and to provide feedback to the teacher on how well objectives of the units were reached. The summative assessment expectations should be known by the students before the unit of inquiry begins.
Student Self Assessment: Students will use self assessment throughout their time at ISP to reflect on their development as international citizens and their understanding of the learner profile and attitudes. Within the context of units of inquiry, they will assess their knowledge of the transdisciplinary themes and the essential elements. Students will reflect on their growth as learners by examining their own skill development and setting goals accordingly.
Peer Assessment: Students will assess their peers’ understanding and progress throughout the learning process, to encourage progress toward goals. Peer-assessment should include reflection on the learner profile, attitudes, and effort. Peer-assessment should serve as a catalyst for improvement.
ISP believes that it is important to use a variety of strategies and tools for assessment in order to allow students different opportunities and methods to show what they have learned.
Assessment Strategies and Tools
Teachers may use the following strategies and tools in the classroom for assessment purposes.
Bodies of Evidence
It is important to understand that ISP believes strongly that no one assessment is enough to make decisions about a child’s progress or achievement. A body of evidence, consisting of multiple assessments of various types should be in place in order for a sound instructional decision to be made regarding a student at our school.
Reporting of Assessment
Reporting on student assessment should have a goal of communicating what students know, understand and can do.
• Involves parents, students and teachers as partners
• Reflects what the school community values
• Is comprehensive, honest, fair and credible
• Is clear and understandable to all parties
• Allows teachers to incorporate what they learn during the reporting process into their future teaching and assessment practice
From: Making the PYP Happen ©International Baccalaureate Organization; 2007.
Major forms of reporting used at ISP:
Learner Profile Reflections
Conferences- teacher/student; teacher/parent; student led
Report Cards ISP uses a report card that has been developed and created by Managebac in line with our school philosophy. Students are evaluated on their progress toward standards over the course of a school year through units of inquiry, standalone units and the Learner Profile. Report cards are sent home twice a year.
Learner Profile Reflections An important part of assessment at ISP includes the periodic reflection of progress on the Learner Profile by the whole school community. At the end of each week students in grades kindergarten through 6th self-reflect on their progress towards the Learner Profile.
Teacher/Student – These conferences are given throughout the school year as needed to provide students with feedback on their progress towards a learning goal. They occur in all subject areas and in all grades.
Teacher/Parent – At least one conference each school year is held between a parent and their student’s teacher to discuss the progress towards learning goals. At ISP, these parent/teacher conferences occur half way through a trimester, six weeks before report cards are sent home.
Student Led Conferences – Students at ISP lead their parents through the learning they have accomplished at least once a school year. The student discusses and reflects on their learning as well as identifies strengths and areas for improvement. Often, student portfolios are used in conjunction with student led conferences to provide examples of the student learning being discussed.
The most comprehensive way we show growth in students over the entire 7 years they could be at Alpine is through Student portfolios. Each student in our school has their own portfolio. Inside this portfolio is student work for each grade that they have attended at Alpine Elementary. The work represents not only their accomplishments as a learner but also the growth they have made throughout their years at Alpine.
Students play a strong role in creating their own portfolios. Work is chosen and reflected upon by students so that they can gain a better understanding of how they are progressing as learners. The portfolio also shows students how they are doing when it comes to the Learner’s Profile. This is essential because it is the goal of the PYP program to create students who express the attributes of the learner profile.
The International Baccalaureate program has many standards for its schools in order to ensure that the best practices in education are being used. There are standards that address the need for documentation of a child’s learning through time and to have them reflect on their own learning. Portfolios are an excellent way to accomplish the goals listed below:
International Baccalaureate Programme Standards and Practices
Standard C1:2: The curriculum is developed with consideration for students’ previous learning experiences and future educational needs.
Standard C1:13: Where appropriate the curriculum provides for learning experiences to be made visible to others through displays, posters, public performances etc.
Standard C3:14: Students are shown how to reflect on their development and understanding through careful consideration of their work over time, and are able to articulate this development to others.
Standard C4:15: Assessment at the school requires the storage of and easy access to student work showing evidence of the process of learning and progress over time.
During sixth grade, students participate in a culminating project of their learning of the PYP program, called exhibition. Students must show the five elements of the curriculum through a transdisciplinary unit of inquiry. Assessment of the exhibition includes two parts:
• An ongoing assessment of each individual student’s contribution to and understanding of exhibition
• A summative assessment and reflection on the event itself