Grading and Reporting
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.
- Assessment and Reporting
- Supporting Student Learning
- Parent Evenings and Parent Conferences
- Student Led Conferences
At ISZL we promote the use of a range of assessment strategies that are designed to give a clear picture of a student’s progress in all areas of the curriculum. At ISZL, parents, teachers and students are all viewed as partners in learning. Students throughout the school are actively encouraged to take part in reflective self- and peer-assessments. This is considered vital to developing essential learning habits for life. Parents are encouraged to play an active role in supporting their child’s learning. Parents have the opportunity to review the progress of their children through:
· Making personal appointments with teachers to discuss matters as they arise
· Attending class presentations and assemblies which celebrate student learning
· Attending the scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences twice a year
· Reviewing and discussing student work, reflections and assessments in their child’s personal portfolio, which documents academic growth and conceptual development throughout the year
· Attending the Student Led Conference (where students take the initiative to demonstrate and discuss their learning in real classroom contexts)
· Receiving two comprehensive, formal, written progress reports per year (Kindergarten to Grade 5). Parents of children in Early Years 1 and 2 receive one written report at the end of the school year
· Encouraging children to talk about the process of their learning and helping them to reflect constructively on what they did well and how they might improve.
-Participating in school workshops which provide insight into educational approaches within the school.
Parents can help their children by:
- Sharing books and other forms of text with their children
- Discussing current local and global issues with their children, as appropriate
- Supporting their children’s mother tongue
- Assisting their children with research projects
- Providing the appropriate setting, resources, and routines for inquiring into issues of personal interest which may or may not be related to classroom learning.
- Maintaining a positive attitude about aspects of school life
Parent Evenings and Parent Conferences are held regularly. Back to School Evening is a time set aside for teachers to meet for the first time with their class parents as a group in order to share information about organisational structures, grade level goals and the curriculum for the year. It is also a great opportunity for parents and teachers to get to know each other. Parent Conferences, held in Autumn and early Spring, are 15-minute meetings accorded to each set of parents to discuss the progress of a student on an individual basis. There is also a Student Led Conference in the spring term, when the individual students present their own work to their parents (see the following section). Primary School reports are issued twice a year, in December and June.
Student Led Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for students to share their learning journey with their parents. The students take ownership of the conference and lead their parents through a variety of different learning stations in their classroom and in specialist classrooms, demonstrating their understanding in all subject areas. Reflecting upon samples of work that are organised in the student’s portfolio is an important part of the conference and allows the student together with their parents to identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. The parents have the opportunity to discuss and gain insight into the kinds of learning activities their child is participating in. The conferences are a meaningful way for the students to take responsibility for their own learning and to reflect on this with their parents.
Please note: This is not a normal school day. Students and parents only attend school during the allotted time on the student-led class conference schedule such as 10:00–11:00.
At ISZL we see portfolios as an important aspect of student learning. The following statement guides their use:
A portfolio tells the story of an individual as well as collaborative learning and reflects the student’s learning processes over both the short and long term. It provides a window to the student’s learning allowing for authentic audience feedback as well as allowing students to curate pieces for appropriate audiences to show their development and achievements over time. It promotes ownership through self- reflection and guides ongoing learning. It respects that each individual’s learning is different. Ultimately, it motivates students to learn and succeed by recognising their learning journey.
Each student, in partnership with their teachers, uses a digital platform to build their portfolio. Early Years 1 – Grade 2 students use the Seesaw platform, whilst the Google blogging tool Blogger is used in Grades 3 – 5. Portfolio entries may include examples of student work in the form of texts, photographs, presentations and videos along with spoken and written reflections from the child and/or teachers.
Parents are encouraged to regularly access and comment on their children’s portfolio pieces in order to gain a better understanding of their child’s learning journey.
- Assessment and Reporting
- End of Year Grades
- Student Reports and Evaluations
- PARENT /TEACHER CONFERENCES
- Student Led Conferences
- External Testing
Students receive grades in all subjects. The grades are based on the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) subject specific criteria and are described in detail in the MYP Parent/Student Handbook for each grade level. This MYP Handbook describes the criteria in each subject, the grade boundaries and how to calculate the end of year grade. The following principles regarding the assessment of student work:
- Assessment is mainly criterion referenced – measuring attainment against specified criteria rather than against other students.
- Assessment is an integral and continuous part of the learning process, not simply “a grade given at the end of a semester”. Formative assessment (helping students to recognise their progress and to see the steps needed for improvement) and summative assessment (judgement of achievement at the end of a learning period) are used extensively at ISZL.
- Assessment ranges from simple objective tasks to more holistic assessments of attitude and reflections by students Types of tasks used in assessment include the following: coursework, project work, class participation, oral presentations, group assignments, class tests and exams, essays, practical work, and home learning.
End of year grades are given on a sliding scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest. These grades reflect performance in class, on home learning, coursework, tests and exams. These grades appear on reports and school transcripts.
Grade 7 – Excellent
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.
Grade 6 – Very good
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.
Grade 5 – Good
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 and real-world situations, and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.
Grade 4 – Satisfactory
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 require support in unfamiliar situations.
Grade 3 – Needs improvement
Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and context, with occasional 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.
Grade 2 – Poor
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.
Grade 1 – Very Poor
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 and skills.
An important part of effective education is communication from the school to home. Evaluation and reporting allow the school to recognise and communicate a student’s abilities, accomplishments, efforts and attitude, and include anecdotal comments on student progress.
The comments provide a summative report on student progress and offer formative recommendations. Comments make reference to areas in need of improvement, offer commendations when students have been successful, and suggest strategies for moving forward. Formal reporting takes place four times per year:
Mid-Semester Report (November)
The mid-semester reports are timed just prior to parent/teacher conferences in November. For students receiving notices of concern, it is essential that the parents and teacher meet during the conferences to develop strategies for improvement.
Full Academic Reports (January and June)
The First Semester Report in January gives a full report on the course content covered and feedback on the student’s performance. Grades are given in each of the subject specific criteria and a summative grade in each subject on a 1 to 7 sliding scale. The Second-Semester report in June gives summative grades and homeroom teacher comment.
Students maintain a portfolio, which contains a selection of completed work. Written teacher evaluations are added in March/April, which are viewed by parents at the Student Led Conference.
Student Led Conferences are usually in April and parents become a part of the evaluation team by viewing, sharing and questioning with their child about a selection of completed work in a portfolio. Portfolios offer a wonderful visual presentation of a student’s capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and progress. They can create awareness of what the child has been doing, what steps the child has taken and a sense of where the child is going.
The format of a Student Led Conference is different from parent/teacher conferences as it is a more informal in its approach. On this day the student comes to school only for the conference and there are no lessons. Students invite their parents to sit down at an assigned table and then show them their portfolio. More information will be given prior to the event. After the conference the student may wish to show their parents some other aspects of school life, such as current displays or to visit teachers.
At all times during the year, it is possible to meet subject teachers or the homeroom teacher for a conference. Communication is vitally important to the teacher-parent partnership. We welcome all forms of communication and parents are welcome to speak with teachers, to telephone, communicate via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or e-mail if they have questions or concerns.
The ACER test is also known as the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) and is an annual assessment programme specially developed to measure skills in reading literacy, mathematical literacy and writing for students in Grades 3–10 attending international schools.
Designed and developed by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER), this assessment is based on the internationally endorsed reading and mathematical literacy frameworks of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The ISA measures profiles and monitors changes in literacy and mathematical skills across the school, within the class and at the individual student level. It is a broad assessment programme that must be culturally non-specific to accurately report the abilities of students across the world.
The tests are extremely beneficial to students and the school alike as they track abilities in providing information about literacy and mathematical skills over time and offer relevant comparisons between international schools. Each student completes a reading literacy test, a mathematical literacy test and two writing tests.
All of our Grade 7 students take the test.