Assessment is central to all teaching and learning. It is an ongoing process of gathering and analysing information on student learning. It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at different stages in the learning process.
In the primary years, assessment is seen as a collection of evidence over time, rather than a single snapshot. It is used to provide timely feedback to students, informing their next steps in learning. A wide range of strategies are used to gather information and record student learning.
Reporting is about communicating what students know, understand and can do. It describes the progress of the students’ learning and identifies areas for growth. Reporting involves parents, students and teachers as partners. There are many opportunities for this throughout the year, including parent/teacher conferences, student-led conferences, portfolios, written reports, community celebrations and the PYP Exhibition.
At the secondary school, we use the ICHK Approaches to Learning, on which we report specifically twice a year. This give students feedback about their attitude to challenge, resilience and motivation, attitude to feedback and advice, organization, initiative and decision-making, ability to work independently and with others, self-regulation and contribution to class. In addition to this, our bespoke virtual learning environment Gibbon provides parents with direct access to their children’s learning as it develops. Teachers provide more than 60 pieces of written feedback throughout the year, via the Gibbon Markbook, using our Reporting, Assessment and Feedback guidelines.
We make use of Assessment for Learning Strategies and students set SMART targets to help them understand their goals and work towards continual improvement. Parents receive an annual full report and an end-of-year transcript. Where relevant, they are informed of the National Curriculum, IGCSE or IB Diploma level at which their child is working. In other cases, for example where courses are not externally examined nor covered by the UK National Curriculum, they are advised of their child’s secureness of grasp of the skills, concepts and information with which they are engaging.
The main purpose of assessment is to ensure that students know where they are and how they can improve. We believe that face-to-face meetings are the best way for students, parents and teachers to exchange views and come to an understanding of how to best support the student’s academic improvement.
To ensure we achieve this goal, teachers meet with parents and students three times a year to extensively discuss student progression and achievement.