Assessment Policy

Developed and approved: December, 2012
Reviewed and approved March , 2015
Next review Academic year 2017-2018

Rationale
The Assessment Policy of School Lyceum No. 6 provides an agreed approach to assessment, and to the recording and reporting of assessment data, which reflects the aims and objectives of the school’s curriculum.
School Lyceum No. 6 is committed to the principle of criterion related assessment as an integral part of the curriculum. The school encourages a diversity of assessment methods aimed at motivating individual students in identifying strategies for their personal growth.
In accordance with school procedures the school provides regular and objective information of student achievement to the relevant members of the school community.

Assessment Principles
School Lyceum No. 6 promotes lifelong learning and assessment lies at the heart of this process. The school recognizes that assessment, teaching and learning are both interactive and interdependent; and all are embedded in engaging and authentic tasks that are part of the student’s real world. Students and teachers work in partnership to enable students to demonstrate what they have learned, to assess their progress and to identify specific student learning needs in order to better inform the learning process.
School Lyceum No. 6 believes that assessment
• supports and encourages student learning;
• is integral to planning, teaching and learning;
• encourages curriculum review and programme development;
• should inform teaching;
• should be varied, age-appropriate, task-appropriate and developmentally appropriate to encourage student learning within all subjects;
• monitors the progress of student learning using criteria that are aligned to the subject objectives and placed in context;
• recognizes the importance of the processes of learning as well as the product of learning.

School Lyceum No. 6 recognizes that
• students have different learning styles;
• students should receive regular, prompt and constructive feedback to build upon existing skills and to further the learning process.

Throughout the curriculum and instructional process, assessment should:
• be comprehensive and differentiated; and use a balanced range of strategies, methods and formative and summative approaches;
• use a variety of assessment strategies appropriate to tasks, student needs and learning objectives;
• actively involve the students, as appropriate, as part of the development of their wider critical thinking and self- and peer-assessment skills;
• use both formative and summative approaches as support for learning;
• be designed to extend student learning;
• be recorded and meaningfully communicated to parents, teachers and administrators.

Essential Features of Assessment
Assessment at School Lyceum No. 6 is both formative (to assist students in building understanding, skills and knowledge) and summative (to assess students’ acquired understanding, skills and knowledge). The school believes assessment accounts for a variety of learning styles; the school differentiates assessment to account for the diverse backgrounds of learners. Students are assessed against agreed, criterion-related objectives provided with a wide range of assessment opportunities (written assignments, oral presentations, field work, practical work, exhibitions, performance, tests and examinations, research papers, peer and self-assessment) to show their learning. These learning objectives are published for each subject and each grade level, and should be available to parents and students.
Assessment is designed to measure what students understand, what they can do and what they know and is seen as on-going and reflective, allowing for students to evaluate their own progress and set targets for improvement and for the school to evaluate the measure of success in meeting specific learning objectives.
Assessment is used to determine the effectiveness of our curriculum delivery, i.e. reviewing our teaching strategies and selected curriculum resources. Assessment is internally moderated, both at departmental and grade level and between Secondary and Primary school, to ensure consistency. Levels of achievement are assigned, for any given particular piece of work, to reflect a student’s level of performance as measured against specific criteria. At the end of each reporting period, final semester grades should reflect the level of achievement most consistently achieved by the student. Promotion from each grade is subject to review by the pedagogical council based on academic progress and level of attendance.
Assessment in the Primary School
The purpose of Assessment in the PYP
Assessment in the PYP has a double purpose: first, to assess student learning and second, to assess the programme.

The purpose of assessing student learning involves several stakeholders: students, teachers and parents.

Assessing student learning helps students to:
• celebrate their successes and foster enthusiasm for learning;
• be aware and reflect on their knowledge, concepts and skills gained;
• be aware of their own attitude towards learning;
• pursue areas of interest and strengths;
• identify their own learning needs.

Assessing student learning helps teachers to:
• celebrate student learning;
• gather data on how much knowledge, concepts and skills the student has gained;
• gather data on the learner attributes and attitudes students display;
• set benchmarks for students;
• reflect on and assess one’s teaching strategies to meet student needs, differentiate and provide reinforcement and intervention where needed.

Assessing student learning helps parents to:
• to be aware of their child’s abilities and progress;
• avail opportunities for the growth and development of their child;
• provide support for their children wherever is necessary.

The purpose of assessing Lyceum 6’s programme is to:
• evaluate the significance and relevance of the units of inquiry and subject areas;
• facilitate and improve transdisciplinary learning;
• align it with the current trends in educational practices, as well as the IB framework;
• align benchmarks with whole school expectations;
• make sure that school follows IB standards;
• reveal the needs of students.

How do teachers know what students have learned?

In the PYP, planning and refining the teaching and learning process to meet the individual learner’s needs is advanced by two types of assessment: formative and summative assessment. These processes provide feedback and enable learners, teachers and parents to gain an overall understanding of the student’s progress.

Formative assessments are used at the different stages of learning and inquiry to give regular and frequent information about the progress in a student’s learning process. It is usually designed to measure specific learning outcomes. It helps both teachers and learners to find out what is already known, what has been learned and what needs to be learned.

Formative assessment fosters reflection and the ability to carry out self-assessment on the part of both the learner and the teacher. It leads to modification of the teaching and learning strategies that have been planned and indicates the criteria for successful teaching and learning. In addition to this, it inspires learners and teachers to strive towards making significant improvements in the learning and teaching progress in order to meet present learning objectives.

Summative assessments are used to gauge the learners’ understanding and learning experiences at the culmination of the learning process. It consequently measures the achievement of several skills simultaneously, against a previously discussed and agreed upon criteria. It measures individual and group progress while challenging students to demonstrate their individual, independent knowledge and skills. At the same time, it also encourages learners to develop the ability to work collaboratively.

Summative assessments also provide learners with opportunities to outline the progress of their inquiries, to demonstrate their final understanding of the central Idea, as well as to display their resulting resolve to action, by making provision for the use of a variety of learning styles, intelligences and abilities to express their comprehensive knowledge and skills.

It gives teachers important data and evidence regarding the success of the learning and teaching strategies employed and allows them to further analyze, improve, refine and plan their teaching accordingly for the future.

It gives learners, teachers and parents a clearer insight and concrete evidence of the learner’s progress and his or her level of knowledge and skills.

Strategies and Tools for Assessment

The following are some examples of how assessment is done at Lyceum 6

Strategy… To assess… Possible recording tools…
Observations-
All students are observed often and regularly, with the teacher observing the whole class, as well as individual students. Teachers observe:
• Individual behaviors
• Student interactions
• Reading skills
• Logical thinking skills
• Lateral thinking skills (eg. brainstorming sessions)
• Study skills
• Listening skills
• Responses to instructions
• Student application of what has been learned
• Student health and circumstances • The learner profile attributes
• Knowledge and
concepts
• Transdisciplinary skills
• Subject-specific skills

• Anecdotal records (self, teacher, peer and parent)
• Checklists
• Rubrics
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 multi-modal and require the use of many skills. Audio, video and narrative records are often useful.
Assessment of-
• Role-play
• Presentation
• Demonstration
• Problem-solving
• Response to challenges • Learner profile attributes
• Knowledge and concepts
• Transdisciplinary skills
• Subject-specific skills

• Anecdotal records
• Checklists
• Rubrics

Process-focused assessments-The students are observed often and regularly. The observations are recorded by noting 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.
Assessment of-
Research effectiveness
Project work
Transdisciplinary skills
Typical and non-typical behaviours
• Learner profile attributes
• Knowledge and concepts
• Transdisciplinary skills
• Subject-specific skills • Anecdotal records
• Inventories and learning logs
• Checklists

Selected responses-
These are single occasion, one-dimensional exercises, and paper and pencil tests.
Assessment of-
• Written test performance
• Oral test performance
• Quiz responses • Knowledge and concepts
• Subject specific skills • Checklists and exemplars
• Rubrics
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 (which demonstrates growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection)
Assessment of-
• Writing, talking, diagrams, drawings, solutions to a stimulus • Learner profile attributes
• Knowledge and concepts
• Transdisciplinary skills
• Subject specific skills • Anecdotes
• Rubrics
• Checklists

How does the school know that its assessments are effective?

Effective assessments for students mean that they will be:
• assessed on the knowledge, concepts, skills, learner attributes and attitudes that were taught and presented in school;
• allowed to express their knowledge, concepts and skills using a variety of learning styles and multiple intelligences;
• able to recognize their own strengths and weakness.

Effective assessments for teachers mean that they will be able to:
• identify if students were able to develop their understanding of concepts learned;
• identify where students are in terms of their skills (subject-specific and transdisciplinary);
• identify students who need support, as well as students who need more challenges;
• gather evidence for reporting ;
• articulate a clear understanding of the students’ abilities, progress and areas of interests;
• able to know whether their own teaching and learning strategies were able to contribute and improve student learning;
• find more effective ways of teaching;
• find out the best ways of helping the students in their learning process.

Effective assessments for parents mean that they will be able to:
• see evidence of student learning and development;
• provide opportunities to support and celebrate students learning;
• participate in their children’s life.

Assessment in the Secondary and High School
Essential Agreements
• All pieces of work that are “marked” must have more than just a single word, letter, mark or numerical value written on them. There must also be some written comments or judgements against criteria.
• Not all pieces of work need a single holistic mark.
• Teachers must keep their own records of judgements/performance in subject-specific aspects/criteria as well as broader (interdisciplinary and approaches to learning) skills and attitudes.
• Subject teachers must maintain subject portfolios for each student in each of their classes for grades 6-9 (MYP1 to MYP4).
• All reports will make some judgement/comments about academic performance and skills and attitudes.
• Subject departments follow the procedure of arriving to final grades provided in the guide “MYP: from principles into practice” and “DP: from principles into practice” where the use of subject-specific criteria is applied for individual pieces of work.

General Grade Descriptors
All assessment in the MYP and DP is criterion-related. That is, it is a “process of awarding grades against previously agreed criteria”, as well as using advice from previous examiners reports.
All subjects will use IB grade boundaries for determining a final summative MYP/DP grade from subject criteria marks, the final MYP/DP mark being defined as:
Grade MYP boundaries Descriptor
7
28-32 Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skills with independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations.
6
24-27 Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real world situations, often with independence.
5
19-23 Produces generally high-quality work. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.
4
15-18 Produces good-quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstandings and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations, but requires support in unfamiliar situations.
3
10-14 Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts, with occasionally significant misunderstandings or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classroom situations.
2
6-9 Produces work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and contexts. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills.
1
1-5 Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Very rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge or skills.

Grade DP Grade Descriptor
7
The student demonstrates excellent content knowledge and understanding, conceptual and contextual awareness and critical, reflective thinking. Highly effective research, investigation and technical skills are evident, as is the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize qualitative and quantitative evidence, knowledge and concepts to reach valid conclusions or solve problems. In collaborative exercises, the student works very well with others, ethically and responsibly, and with perseverance. Responses are highly insightful, accurate, clear, concise, convincing, logically structured, with sufficient detail, precise use of appropriate terminology and with appropriate attention to purpose and audience. Responses are creative, make very effective use of well-selected examples, demonstrate awareness of alternative points of view and provide clear evidence of intercultural understanding.
6
The student demonstrates very good content knowledge and understanding, conceptual and contextual awareness and critical, reflective thinking. Competent research, investigation and technical skills are evident, as is the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize evidence, knowledge and concepts. In collaborative exercises, the student work well with others, ethically and responsibly, and with perseverance. Responses are mainly accurate, clear, concise, convincing, logically structured, with sufficient detail, using consistent terminology and with appropriate attention to purpose and audience. Responses show creativity, make effective use of examples, demonstrate awareness of alternative points of view and provide evidence of intercultural understanding.
5
The student demonstrates sound content knowledge and understanding, good conceptual and contextual awareness and evidence of critical, reflective thinking. Research, investigation and technical skills are evident and sometimes well developed. Analytical ability is evident, although responses may at times be more descriptive than evaluative. In collaborative investigations, the student generally works well with others, ethically and responsibly, and with perseverance. Responses are generally accurate, clear, logically structured and coherent, with mainly relevant material, using suitable terminology, and are sometimes well developed. Responses show reasonable creativity, use of examples, awareness of audience and evidence of intercultural understanding.
4
The student demonstrates, with some gaps, secure content knowledge and understanding, some conceptual and contextual awareness and some evidence of critical thinking. Research, investigation and technical skills are evident, but not thoroughly developed. Analysis is generally valid, but more descriptive than evaluative. The student solves basic or routine problems, but with limited ability to deal with new or difficult situations. In collaborative exercises, the student works within a team and generally approaches investigations ethically and responsibly, but requires supervision. Responses are mostly accurate and clear with little irrelevant material. There is some ability to logically structure responses with adequate coherence and use of appropriate terminology. Responses sometimes show creativity, and include some awareness of audience and evidence of intercultural understanding.
3
The student demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of the content, with limited evidence of conceptual and contextual awareness. Research and/ or investigation is evident, but remains undeveloped. There is some ability to comprehend and solve problems. Collaborative investigations are approached ethically and responsibly, but require close supervision. Responses are only sometimes valid and appropriately detailed. There is some expression of ideas and organization of work and basic use of appropriate terminology, but arguments are rarely convincing. Responses lack clarity and some material is repeated or irrelevant. There is limited creativity, awareness of context or audience and limited evidence of intercultural understanding.
2
The student demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the content, with weak comprehension of concepts and context and little evidence of application. Evidence of research and/or investigation is only superficial. There is little ability to comprehend and solve problems. Responses are rarely accurate or valid. There is some attempt to express ideas, use terminology appropriate to the subject and organize work, but the response is rarely convincing. There is very little creativity, awareness of context or audience and little evidence of intercultural understanding.
1
The student demonstrates very rudimentary knowledge or understanding of the content, with very weak comprehension of concepts and context. Ability to comprehend and solve problems or to express ideas is not evident. Responses are rarely accurate or valid. Organization is lacking to the point that responses are confusing. Responses demonstrate very little to no appreciation of context or audience, inappropriate or inadequate use of terminology, and little to no intercultural understanding.

Calculating achievement
When calculating an achievement level, teachers should follow this procedure:
1. Make sure that an assessment task produces the evidence needed (see “What is an assessment task” below).
2. Determine the achievement level obtained for each criterion assessed. This must be a whole number, which is easily identified from the descriptors in the rubric. Fractions, decimals and percentages are not permitted.
3. Calculate a total achievement level from each of the criteria used to assess the piece.
4. Use the conversion scale that follows to convert the MYP achievement level to the Azerbaijani achievement grade following the MYP Achievement Level – Azerbaijani grade conversion principles below.

MYP/DP Achievement Level – Azerbaijani grade conversion principles
The final (summative) Azerbaijani Standards mark will be calculated according to the following conversion scale, from the final summative MYP mark above:
MYP/DP Achievement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Azerbaijani Achievement 1 2 3 4 5

An Azerbaijani achievement mark is only used for the Journal and cannot be awarded to a piece of work without a MYP?DP achievement level being calculated first. All pieces of assessed work must be awarded MYP/DP achievement level first and then may be converted to the Azerbaijani achievement mark.
It should be noted that conversion to MYP/DP 1-7 grading system is only done at the end of a given reported period (semester) when teachers use their professional judgement to determine individual students’ final achievement level in each assessment criterion.

Reporting System

All reports are prepared using ManageBac. Reports are completed in the language of instruction, and a translation service is offered to parents at their request.
Semester Reports

Semester reports require all teachers to provide a detailed written comment and a summative achievement grade and the marks for individually assessed criteria for the current reporting period. Marks for five Approaches to Learning skills areas are also included in the report.

There are 4 reporting sessions in an academic year:
• 2 mid-semester reports
• 1 end-of-semester report
• 1 end-of year report

The following guidelines for teachers should be followed when writing comments:

1. Reports should be phrased using good language and written in complete sentences.
2. The best reports:
• Reveal the teacher’s knowledge of the student
• Are supportive
• Are positive
• Offer advice on how future performance can be improved.
3. In the written comment teachers should make mention of such factors as:
• Strengths and weaknesses of the student in terms of subject specific skills
• Student’s academic progress (knowledge/understanding).
• Individual student’s level of commitment, motivation and effort.
• Verbal and non-verbal contributions from students in class.
• Student’s homework standards and punctuality.
• Interaction of students within the class.
• Future targets.

More specific guidelines for the completion of the semester reports by teachers are provided at the start of the school year.

Additionally, the school uses the following mechanisms as support to collect and process the relevant assessment data:

Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) describe a student’s observed strengths, as well as some goals and strategies that will take a student’s learning forward. Students will also be given the opportunity to craft their own goals for the school year. PLPs will be distributed to parents around six weeks after the first day of school and will be a point of discussion for the first parent-teacher meeting.

Student Portfolios show evidence of student learning in all subject areas. These will include sample student work, student reflections and at times, teacher notes. Portfolios will be distributed once a year, at the end of the year.

Parent-Teacher Meetings (PTMs) are opportunities for parents and teachers to have an open discussion on the learner’s progress in school. It is a time to acknowledge a student’s strengths, as well as goals, concerns and recommendations. The PLPs, assessment records and student portfolios are possible points of discussion during PTMs. Each of the previously mentioned reporting sessions are followed by a PTM.

Supporting Assessment: Expectations of the Student

The teacher can expect the student to:
• Be on time to class and fully prepared with all the appropriate materials for class work and assessment activities.
• Respect each other’s right to learn and to collaborate constructively with peers.
• Submit any required work – homework, class work, assignments and projects, etc. on time and diligence.
• Present work neatly and appropriately.

Supporting Assessment: Expectations of the Teacher

The student can expect the teacher to:
• Clearly identify the requirements for each piece of work, providing students with relevant student hand-outs, assessment criteria/rubrics.
• Ensure they make at least two judgements against each criterion for final assessment, where possible.
• Provide adequate time for students to complete each assessment task.
• Provide adequate access and guidance towards any resources necessary for the successful completion of any assessment task.
• Assess all work appropriately and return to students in good time.

Supporting Assessment: Expectations of the Parent

The school encourages parents to offer constructive and positive support as their children complete their schoolwork; however, this support should not go as far as to compromise the authenticity of the child’s work.

The school recommends that
• A student to be provided with a quiet space at home, and adequate time, to complete their school work.
• A student to have access to a computer and printer.
• A student to have internet access and/or access to books/ a library.

Bibliography

IB documentation

1. MYP: from Principles into Practice. International Baccalaureate Organization, 2014
2. The Diploma Programme: from Principles into Practice. International Baccalaureate Organization, 2009

Other Sources

1. McTighe, J & Wiggins, G. Understanding by design Handbook. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999
2. Gizelle O. Martin-Kniep. Capturing the Wisdom of Practice. Professional Portfolios for Educators. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999