The assessment policy

 

„UNIVERSA VIA“  INTERNATIONAL  SCHOOL 

THE ASSESSMENT POLICY 

 

 

Policy Assessment Guidelines 

“Universa Via“ international school states that assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning process. Students, teachers, parents and administrators have to come clear understanding in terms of reasons for assessing, why assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning, what is assessed as well as the criteria for success and methods by which assessment is made. Students and teachers are actively involved in the assessment of the students‘ progress. 

In our kindergarten students aged 3-6 are assessed in accordance with the following documents: 

  • Standard C4 included in IBO “Programme standards and practices”. 

  • The Ministerial order by the Minister of Education of Lithuania, February 25th, 2004, ISAK-256, 'due to the concept of assessment of the progress and achievements by students'. 

 

In our Primary school students aged 6-11 are assessed in accordance with the following documents: 

  • Standard C4 included in IBO “Programme standards and practices”. 

  • The Ministerial order by the Minister of Education of Lithuania, February 25th, 2004, ISAK-256, 'due to the concept of assessment of the progress and achievements by students'. 

 

 

 

 

Instructional practice in the Primary Years Programme at Universa Via international school is guided by the following IB Key principles of assessment: 

 

  • Assessment is central to planning, teaching and learning. 

  • Assessment practices and strategies are made clear to everyone concerned with assessment, including students, teachers, parents and administrators. 

  • Students and teachers are actively engaged in the process of assessment in order to develop their wider critical thinkings and self-assessment skills. 

  • Reporting to parents is meaningful, comprehensive and understandable. 

  • Assessment is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. 

  • Students receive feedback as basis for continued learning. 

  • Data collected from the assessment is analyzed to provide information about teaching and learning, needs and successes of individual students and to possibly improve teaching and learning process. 

  • There is a balance between formative and summative assessment. 

  • The Learner‘s profile, the transdisciplinary units and the subject-specific teaching are addressed in the assessing. 

  • Reflections from both students and teachers is valued as means of assessment and curriculum improvement. 

  • Prior knowledge and experience are assessed before teaching a new subjects. 

The assessment must meet the needs of students at every age and stage. 

 

The Purpose of the Assessment – What and why do we assess? 

Assessment in the PYP is internal (happens within the school), and aims to provide feedback on the learning process. The purpose of the assessment at Universa Via international school is to provide information on student learning, improve student learning and contribute to the efficacy of the learning programmes. Assessment is an ongoing process of collecting evidence for and of learning. 

In grades K-4, assessment incorporates multiple types of tasks which are varied and adapted to support the inquiry. Tasks are focused on assessing not just the products of learning, but also the process of learning. Assessment tools measure and support students‘ successful achievement while they are learning. 

Assessment practice – How do we assess? 

Assessment of student growth is an important element of the curriculum, and helps to inform continued development, learning and teaching. Different assessment types work together to provide a complete, valid, reliable, reliable and fair picture of a student’s abilities.  

Taking into account the IBO perspective on the assessment, the kindergarten and primary school use the following types of assessment described below: 

Prior assessment – enables to access prior knowledge and experiences of students in relation to the particular topic or task. It provides an opportunity to refine the teaching and learning programme or meet individual or groups needs. 

Formative assessment – aims to provide information useful for further planning of educational experiences. It helps both a teacher and a student to know what the students already know and what they are able to do. 

Self-assessment - is a process of the formative assessment. Self- assessment encourages students to reflect on the quality of their work, judge the degree to which it reflects explicitly stated goals or criteria, and revise accordingly. 

Peer assessment – happens during and at the end of learning. It enables students to evaluate their peers’ work and have their work evaluated by peers. Peer assessment gives students feedback on the quality of their work, often with ideas and strategies for improvement. 

Summative assessment – occurs at the end of the teaching and learning process at each stage. It provides students with an opportunity to present what they learnt. 

 

Assessment strategies and tools help construct the base of a comprehensive approach to assessment and reveal how we know what we have learned. PYP teachers use a variety of assessment strategies at “Universa Via” international school. Strategies are the approaches in which “Universa Via” international school teachers in the Primary Years Programme use during the process of collecting information about a student’s knowledge and understanding.  Those strategies include but are not limited to the following: 

Observations - all students are observed often and regularly, with the teacher taking a focus varying from wide angle (for example, focusing on the whole class) to close up (for example, focusing on one student or one activity), and from non-participant (observing from without) to participant (observing from within). 

 

Performance assessment - The assessment of goal-directed tasks with established criteria. They provide authentic and significant challenges and problems. In these tasks, there are numerous approaches to the problem and rarely only one correct response. They are usually multimodal and require the use of many skills. Audio, video and narrative records are often useful for this kind of assessment. 

 

Process focused assessment - Students are observed often and regularly, and the observations are recorded by noting the typical as well as non-typical behaviours, collecting multiple observations to enhance reliability, and synthesizing evidence from different contexts to increase validity. A system of note taking and record keeping is created that minimizes writing and recording time. Checklists, inventories and narrative descriptions (such as learning logs) are common methods of collecting observations. 

Selected responses - Single occasion, one-dimensional exercises. Tests and quizzes are the most familiar examples of this form of assessment. 

Open-ended tasks - Situations in which students are presented with a stimulus and asked to communicate an original response. The answer might be a brief written answer, a drawing, a diagram or a solution. The work, with the assessment criteria attached, could be included in a portfolio. 

 

Teachers also use a variety of assessment tools to record student progress in the PYP, including: 

Rubrics – an established set of criteria that includes scaled levels of achievement or dimensions of quality for a given type of performance, for example, a paper, an oral presentation, or use of team works skills. Rubrics can be developed by students or teachers. The set or criteria enables an assessor to know what characteristics or signs to look for in students’ works. 

Exemplars – an authentic piece of students’ work, annotated to illustrate learning, achievement and quality in relation to the levels of curriculum. Generally, there is one benchmark for each achievement level in a scoring rubric. Teachers are encouraged to set benchmarks that are appropriate and usable. 

A Checklist – an assessment tool that states specific criteria and allow teachers and students to know and to reflect on what students know and can do in relation to the outcomes. The checklist is a systematic way of collecting data about students’ behaviours (specific), knowledge and skills. 

Anecdotal notes/records - a brief written notes based on observation of individual student’s behaviour, skills and attitudes in relation to the learning outcomes. Such notes provide teachers with cumulative information on student’s learning and direction to further instruction. These records are systematically compiled and organized. 

Continuums – visual representations of the development stages of learning. They characterize student’s progression or performance at a given level. 

 

Recording – How do we collect and analyse the data? 

Documentation 

The documentation of the evidence of student learning is relevant to all students throughout the PYP. Teacher use range of methods to document student learning as a means of assessing student understanding. Those methods include videos, audio, photographs, graphic representations, written records of student conversation, comments and explanations. 

One of the most frequently used method is students’ portfolios. 

Portfolios 

Portfolios are used in the kindergarten and primary school. The portfolios contain samples of student’s work and show growth over time. The portfolio is used to show the development of student’s knowledge, transdisciplinary skills, attitudes and attributes of learner’s profile. It enables students to reflect with teachers, parents and peers in order to identify strength, areas of improvement and then to set individual goals and establish further teaching and learning plans. Each portfolio entry is done with reference to its specific learning objectives and goals. The balance of ‘teacher-selected’ versus ‘student-selected’ content in portfolio depends on the age and maturity of students. Teachers help all students to learn how to thoughtfully choose which pieces of their work to include and keep in their portfolios and how to thoughtfully remove them. While using and building portfolios students are encouraged to explain the basis for their choices.  

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting - How do we choose to communicate information? 

 

Reporting on assessment is communicating about students’ knowledge, abilities and understanding of the curriculum. Also, the assessment helps teachers and students to know and identify places for growth that leads to the effective teaching practices. Feedback on assessment enables teachers to evaluate the effectiveness and use of what was taught and helps to improve teaching in general. 

Reporting at “Universa Via” international school involves a student, teachers and parents. It is very important that reporting would be based on the school community and the IBO values.  

Reporting is clear, comprehensive, honest, fair, credible and understandable to all parties. What is more, reporting includes feedback on student’s development according to the attributes of learner’s profile. 

 

 

Reporting to parents occurs through: 

 

The Exhibition 

 

In grade 4, the final year of the PYP Programme at “Universa Via“ international school students participate in a final culminating project – “The exhibition“. This project requires that every student exhibit understanding and comprehension of the five essential elements of the PYP: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. Also, the project is a part of a summative assessment which celebrates students moving into the middle school programme, comprises all of the learning students have experienced throughout their years in the PYP. The fourth grade exhibition at ‘‘Universa Via“  international school reflects the following purposes: 

For Students: 

  1. To explore various perspectives. 

  1. To engage in deep and collaborative inquiry. 

  1. To synthesize and apply previous learning. 

  1. To reflect on the learning process in the PYP. 

  1. To take a stance on an issue or concern of global significance. 

  1. To put the Learner Profile and Attitudes into action. 

 

For Teachers/Mentors: 

  1. To provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own actions and learning. 

  1. To provide students with opportunity to study and examine different perspectives. 

 

  1. To offer students an authentic process for assessing their understanding. 

  1. To demonstrate how students can take action as a results of their own learning. 

  1. To connect students, teachers and other members of the school community in a collaborative efforts under five essential IB elements. 

  1. To celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle years. 

  1. To support and guide each student towards desired results and success. 

 

Written reports 

 

The written reports provide an overview of child’s learning in relation to various areas of learning, including the curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. These reports are provided to parents twice per year – after first and second semester.  

 

The report presented in the middle of the school year shows a child’s progression toward meeting the curriculum expectations for their year level. The end year reports shows how the child has achieved against the curriculum expectation for their year level. 

 

The achievement levels they will be marked against for reading, writing and mathematics reports are: 

 

1. Satisfactory – this level denotes acceptable but substandard achievement. 

2. Basic - this level denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade. 

3. Higher - this higher level signifies superior performance. 

 

Conferences 

 

The main purpose of conferences is to share information about learning process between teachers, students and parents.  

Three way conferences (student – parent – teacher) 

Students discuss their learning and understanding with their parents and teacher, who are responsible for supporting the student through this process. During the three way conferences, students demonstrate their level of understanding and reflect upon work samples they have chosen to share, that have been previously selected with guidance and support from the teacher. The student, parents and the teacher collaborate to establish and identify the student’s strengths and areas for improvement; therefore this could enable students and teachers to set new goals, with all determining how they can support the achievement of the goals. The teacher is an integral part of the process and takes notes of the discussion.  

 

Teacher–student conferences 

 

These are designed to give students feedback so they can reflect on their work and further refine and develop their skills. These individual conferences occur frequently in order to support and encourage the student’s learning and teacher planning. 

 

Student-led conferences 

 

Student-led conferences involve the student and the parent. The students are responsible for leading the conference, and also take responsibility for their learning by sharing the process with their parents. During the conference, students will be discussing and reflecting upon their own individual samples of work that are previously chosen to share with parents. Teachers and parents should show the support during and after the conference so that a student could be able to draw conclusions. 

 

 

Formal and Informal Meetings (teacher or parent initiated) 
  

Parents are encouraged and welcome to arrange a mutually suitable time with the teacher to discuss progress or raise any areas of concern anytime throughout the year.  

Summary 

 

‘‘Universa Via“ international school teachers use criterion referenced assessment. Assessment is an integral part of the learning process. Students are involved in the assessment of their work as well. Teachers experiment with various tools and strategies to help students achieve their goals.  

In the PYP students play an active part in the creation and development of their assessment tasks and criteria expectations which measure both the process and the product. 

 

Committee 

 

The Pedagogical Leadership Team 

All grade 1-4 teachers 

Kindergarten and preschool teacher 

The PYP coordinator