Grading and Reporting

Riverside Campus Handbook 2019-2020

This handbook provides you with information that will help you become acquainted with the aims and objectives of the school, a brief overview of the curriculum as well as practical day-to-day information.

Grading and Reporting

Grade Descriptors

Within Grades 9 and 10, as per the MYP assessment philosophy, we use a 1-7 grading system as a final summative grade for the semester one and two reports. To calculate these end of semester grades, teachers use a best–fit, criterion-related method, relying on our professional judgment of evidence of learning and not based on any form of averaging. For further details on this, you can read the Parent MYP Assessment Guide.

Within Grades 11 and 12, the grading scale common to all courses is the ISZL 1-7 High School Grade. All reported grades reflect the relative mastery of knowledge, skills and understandings covered in class at that point in time based upon any graded evidence of learning available to a teacher. The assessor considers all graded assessments and, using that data, ask themselves which ISZL grade descriptor best fits that student’s performance most consistently, at that point in time. The emphasis on skills and knowledge will vary during the course but are designed to support the final performance in any external examinations and provide students with essential skills that may not be directly examined. 

ISZL High School Grade Descriptors

[DP/AP/ISZL Classes only]

  • Grade 7 – Excellent
    A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. There is a consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The students consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.
  • Grade 6 – Very Good
    A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.
  • Grade 5 – Good
    A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.
  • Grade 4 – Satisfactory
    There is evidence of a good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in some assignments. There is some evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
  • Grade 3 – Needs Improvement
    Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The students demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with some support.
  • Grade 2 – Poor
    The student demonstrates very limited achievement against all the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills, and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations even with support.
  • Grade 1 – Very Poor
    Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.

Please note that the ISZL 1-7 High School Grade is not necessarily correlated with the external assessment scales belonging to the IB, AP or BTEC qualifications, e.g IB 1-7 grade, AP 1-5 grade or BTEC pass - merit - distinction - distinction* grades.

The IB, BTEC and AP grades, and predictions of them, are judged against the end-of-course performances required of a student. Therefore, it is possible for a student to be performing well in terms of the current, (possibly easier) required expectation of the course, such as an ISZL 5 (out of 7), but be predicted an IB 4 (out of 7) or an AP 2 (out of 5). The opposite could also be true - they could not be meeting current requirements at a particularly challenging time in the course, so, be receiving an ISZL 3 (or lower), but have demonstrated the potential for understanding that might convince a teacher that an IB 5 (out of 7) or AP 3 (out of 5) is an appropriate prediction.

Please note, it is the reported ISZL 1-7 High School semester one and semester two (final) grades that are recorded on the student transcript, not AP or IB grades.

ISZL High School Grade

IB, BTEC or AP Predicted Grades

Assess knowledge skills and understandings required at that point in time

Assess knowledge skills and understandings required at the end of the one or two year course

Professional, holistic judgement of all graded student learning

Judgement based on exam and coursework performances

On 1-7 scale (7 being highest)

DP on a 1-7 scale (7 being highest)
AP on a 1-5 scale (5 being highest)

BTEC on a pass, merit, distinction, distinction* scale

Appear on all reports

Appear on some reports as predicted grades

Semester 1 and 2 report grades appear on student transcripts

No predicted grades appear on student transcripts

May be higher or lower than IB or AP predictions

May be higher or lower than ISZL High School Grade

Additional Grading Designations

In addition to the achievement grade, three other designations may appear on a student’s transcript:

  1. A Grade of Incomplete (“Inc”)
    An “Incomplete” means the Grade is pending. This mark is temporary as an allowance and sympathetic convenience for students who, due to illness or another unavoidable and legitimate circumstance, have missed school and therefore any assignment that they should still submit in order to receive credit. The assumption is that the student in question will be completing and submitting it within an agreed upon time period after the marking period ends and thereby gain credit for the semester or quarter.
  2. “No Grade” (“NG”)
    A mark of “No Grade” applies to a recently arrived student for whom a full mark is not applicable due to the minimal number of assignments completed or for whom it would be unfair to give a mark due to their lack of exposure and thereby their lack of comprehension of the material.
  3. “Withdrawn Medical” (“WM”)
    “Withdrawn Medical” applies to students who may have been unable to complete a course for medical reasons. These mark will only be given after careful consultation with parents and college counsellors. There is no expectation for a student to complete the course assuming graduation requirements are met.
  4. Approaches To Learning
    Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills are assessed continuously as students develop against a continuum ranging from approaching where students are introduced to the skill to exceeding, where students can use the skill so fluently that they can teach others. The ATL skills are organised into the following five categories:
    • Communication skills: reading, writing, using language and interacting with others
    • Research skills: information and media literacy
    • Self-management skills: organisational, affective and reflection skills
    • Social skills: collaboration
    • Thinking skills: critical thinking, creative thinking and being able to transfer skills and knowledge

Student Reports and Evaluations

Communication from the school to home is an important part of an effective education. Evaluation and reporting allows the school to recognise and communicate a student’s abilities, accomplishments, efforts and attitude as well as offer suggestions for further improvement. Comments make reference to areas in need of improvement, offer commendations when students have been successful and suggest strategies for moving forward.

Reporting to a student’s family takes place four times: mid-semester reports are sent in November and March, while summative reports are sent at the end of each semester in January and June. The mid-semester reports provide data on a student’s Approaches to Learning and their current grades and are timed just prior to parent/teacher conferences in order to stimulate a more substantive face-to-face discussion. It is strongly recommended that all parents plan to attend with their child in order to partner together to develop strategies for improvement. Comments are only provided for all students in written format for the semester one reports.

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences are scheduled twice during the year and will be identified on the school calendar. These pre-scheduled opportunities allow for parents to meet with some or all of their child’s teachers in order to discuss their progress, strategies and goals.

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend these conferences. Conversely, teachers may request to make an appointment to see a parent and the School Office will call home to arrange a suitable time. Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences are scheduled online via specialist booking system. Other appointments are arranged via the High School office or directly with the student’s teacher. Time slots are 10 minutes with each teacher and parents are expected to bring their child to attend these meetings - they are an important part of the student’s learning.

Academic Support Plans

On occasions, academic support plans may be recommended to provide additional support to a student. These should not be confused with Individual Learning Plans for students with learning support. This will provide a weekly status report overseen by the student’s homeroom teacher or a member of the school leadership team. The report may cite attendance in class, attention and behavioural issues, home learning missed or highlight upcoming assignments and requirements. It compels a student to take greater accountability for their education.

Monitoring can be required for a range of reasons and may apply to specific classes only. It can be requested by the school administration in consultation with the students’ teachers.

Most commonly, academic support is for students who have earned low marks in one or more subjects during a particular term and/or who have performed below their perceived ability on a consistent basis.

Academic Progression

In very rare circumstances, due to attendance (see “Absence from School”) or academic progress, it may be deemed beneficial for a student to remain in the current grade level in the subsequent year. Parents and educators will partner together to ensure open and timely communication.


Teachers cannot accept additional employment or financial compensation to teach or tutor their own students or students in a course that they teach at our school. As much as they can and are able, the teacher of a student will offer help and assistance during the school day or before and after. A student who requires additional outside tutoring may be inappropriately placed and may need to change course levels. However, we recognise that students can encounter difficulties for a variety of unforeseen reasons and it may occur that the teacher recommends the student seek additional help from outside of school.

To this end, the school has sometimes arranged for Grade 11 and 12 students to tutor who do so as part of their voluntary community service, but in some cases more rigorous and extensive assistance may be needed. The school cannot provide such services and cannot always make individual recommendations for outside tutors should they become necessary.

School Examinations

Major internal exams occur in one-week periods in December and June for Grades 11 and 12 and in June only for Grades 9 and 10. Exams are spread over the week so that a student never sits for more than two per day and there is usually a “make up” slot scheduled at the end of the week for any emergency or sickness that prevented a student from sitting the earlier exam.

Not all subjects give mid-year or end-of-year exams and an examination may be scheduled outside of the examination period (as with Studio Art), but the respective teacher announces these exceptions in advance.

Within Grades 9 and 10, exams are assessed against the appropriate Middle Years Programme (MYP) assessment criteria.

The internal exams in December (Grades 11 and 12) and June (Grades 9 - 12) are specified on the school calendar. Except for emergency situations, there are no exemptions from examinations. They also may not be taken earlier or at a time other than that published on the examination timetable other than in exceptional circumstances. Permission for this must be sought from the Assistant Principal (academic).

Parents making holiday plans must take the exam schedule into consideration and be aware that students should not miss exams as they provide important and authentic opportunities to practice for future external examinations.