KING ABDULAZIZ SCHOOL
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
IN EDUCATION FOR A BETTER FUTURE
PYP Assessment Policy
The purpose of assessment is to provide information for teachers, children, parents, and administrators regarding the efficacy of the learning programme and analysis of the child’s performance within it, to guide future planning and practice.
Purposes of Assessment
The Primary Years Programme divides assessment into three components:
Assessing – how we discover what students have learned
Recording – how we make notes of our findings about what students have learned
Reporting – how we pass that information on to parents, administration and other parties directly involved in students’ learning.
Types of assessments:
Pre-assessments: These are diagnostic tools used to determine the leaners prior knowledge before embarking on new learning experiences. This includes the learning styles, skill levels and identifies any learning misconceptions. Examples of these tools include and are not limited to KWL charts, class discussions, mathematics and language skills tests and written responses. Many pre-assessments involve the ‘tuning in’ activities for each unit of inquiry. Teachers make this initial assessment to ensure that their teaching is relevant.
Formative assessments: These are designed to inform instruction and are on-going to ensure correct understanding and progression of the taught objectives. Formative assessments are conducted during the instruction and aid to help plan future lessons. Examples include; anecdotal notes, checklists, rubrics, observations, learners’ work samples, performance tasks and learner/teacher conferencing.
Summative assessments: These inform the overall understanding and achievements of the set objectives and are designed to provide learners with the opportunity to demonstrate their deep understanding of the five elements of the written curriculum embedded in the central idea of each transdisciplinary theme.
Peer-assessment: It is uniquely designed to give learners the opportunity to assess peers’ understanding and progress. Peer-assessment should serve as a catalyst for improvement.
Self-assessment: It allows students to reflect on their learning.
Assessments are used to improve performance and reporting periods reflect this by providing opportunities for feedback. Reporting methods includes:
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP and sharing them with the whole school community.
The exhibition happens in the last year of Primary School (Grade 5).
MYP Assessment Policy
The primary aim of assessment at King Abdulaziz School is to support and promote students’ learning. Rigorous assessment is essential in providing students with ongoing evaluations and feedback on their academic achievements within the subject areas to monitor and measure student progress. Pre-arranged, clear criteria are provided to students so that they know what expectations are placed upon them, thus motivating students in their learning in order to meet subject objectives. These tools also allow teachers to tailor their approaches to teaching to meet the needs of individual students. Assessment tools are in place so that students make the transition between the Primary Years Programme to the Middle Years Programme and to build upon their knowledge and understanding.
Assessment is used as both a learning experience for the students as well as to gauge an understanding of their level of competence in their skills associated with learning, and their understanding of significant concepts. Through challenging and open-ended assessment tasks, we aspire to create an environment that values self-inquiry and individual motivation to learn.
PRINCIPLES OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment is a key component of teaching and learning and includes a balance of both formative and summative assessments. At King Abdulaziz School, our assessment practices reflect our philosophy of assessment:
Types of assessment:
Formative assessment is ‘assessment for learning’ and is a vital learning experience for the students to develop the skills and knowledge needed in a subject. Formative assessment gives the teachers a chance to provide constructive feedback for the students. As it is assessment for learning, it does not directly relate to the student’s grades, but is used to make final judgements of student capabilities if any uncertainty occurs in summative assessment.
Formative assessment takes place throughout a course of study, informing teachers about student learning and guiding instruction. Formative tasks are designed to prepare students for the summative task by assessing students’ progress in acquiring skills and concepts needed for the summative assessment. While firmly rooted in the MYP objectives, formative assessment tasks can be differentiated based on the abilities, learning styles, and interests of students.
Summative assessment is described as ‘assessment of learning’. It is used to measure a student’s understanding or capability as a learner after the relevant skills or content has been covered. Within the assessment in the Middle Years Program, this means that summative assessment should measure the student’s ability to inquire, communicate, reflect, and investigate.
Summative assessment tasks are created to be open-ended, providing differentiation by allowing students to showcase their knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways, while still aligning with the MYP subject area objectives.
GRADES AND REPORT CARDS
IB Published Grade Boundaries
Individual criteria are divided into various achievement levels that appear in bands (1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8). Each specific band for a given criterion contains a level descriptor, which uses a series of qualitative value statements to describe work within that level.
Level descriptors for each one of the bands describe a range of student performance in regard to the strands of each objective; a level of 0 is available for work that is not sufficiently described by the 1-2 band descriptor. Subject specific criteria, along with their specific band descriptors, are shared with students and can always be accessed via MangeBac.
At the end of each semester, teachers make judgments on their students’ achievement levels for each subject group criterion, based on achievement evidence from the range of summative tasks and learning experiences that have taken place.
Final levels for each subject are determined by the MYP 1-7 scale which provides general descriptors that represent a student’s achievement level. To arrive at this final level, teachers add together the student’s final achievement levels in all criteria for a specific subject and use the grade boundary table that follows to determine a final grade.
The PERSONAL PROJECT
The Personal Project is a learner-centered project completed by students in MYP year 5 (Grade 10). This project promotes inquiry and helps students exercise their independent learning skills.
Students select topics and products of their own choosing. Encouraged to focus on their areas of interest, students have the freedom to design a project about which they are truly passionate.
Whatever topic they choose, students call upon the concepts and skills they have gained during their time in the MYP to make their project successful. The Personal Project requires students to use the Approaches to Learning skills they have developed, specifically in the areas of information literacy, communication, collaboration, thinking, reflection, and transfer. The Personal Project is supported through homeroom, but a majority of the work is completed outside of class. Therefore, it is essential that students also utilize their organizational skills, especially in regard to time management. Each student is given guidance from a staff advisor, with whom they regularly meet.
The Assessment policy is reviewed by a committee of teachers, the MYP coordinator and the Head of School every other year. The purpose of the committee will be to study the current document to ensure its accuracy toward meeting IB MYP standards.