Assessment and Reporting
Reporting on student progress allows parents, students and teachers to know exactly where the areas of strength and/or areas of need are within each content area. Fair and effective reporting practices that are aligned with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and American Curriculum courses are utilized at Emirates National Schools. Effective assessment practices are critical to student success and they give students confidence in their abilities and teach them to work on challenges and see them through. Reporting student progress relies on assessments that are taken during class.
Why Assess Students?
It is the responsibility of the teacher to assure that they know where students are in their understanding of the standards taught in classes. Assessment is used to inform teachers, students and parents about student progress. Teachers use assessments to identify student strengths and gaps and then assist students with understanding where they are and what they need to improve at their level. The learning support is focused on exactly what students need. This means that teachers will meet with students individually, in pairs or in small groups to provide focused help for students and to confirm their understanding. Assessment also allows teachers to identify student interests and areas of expertise. This is a continuous process.
Defining Formative and Summative Assessments:
There are two types of assessment; formative and summative. Formative and summative assessments have a different purpose and outcome. Each of these is described below.
- Formative Assessments inform the teacher and student so the teacher can assist the student with understanding if they have areas of need and/or gaps in knowledge. This type of assessment also allows teachers and students to identify when they are ready to move on or work on more challenging material. Formative assessment takes students where they are and assures that their specific learning needs are identified and then met with teacher assistance.
- Summative Assessments are cumulative “tests” that determine the students grade. A summative task is not given until students’ have had formative classroom activities and assessments that scaffold to the summative assessment. Teachers have prepared the students to do well by formatively assessing them in small chunks before they take the summative assessment.
Decoding the Progress Report
Progress reports are given to student in Quarter 1 and Quarter 3. These are intended to give parents and students’ information and updates on their areas of strength and needs. This gives students and parents the opportunity to take action, seek assistance and work with the teacher to assure that students have multiple opportunities to succeed.
Formative assessments are low risk because the grade is recorded but does not affect the final grade. Formative assessments are truly intended to inform and guide support. Parents will find many formative assessments on the progress report because formative assessments allow students many opportunities to build their understanding and receive specific and descriptive feedback.
There are fewer summative assessments and these represent cumulative understanding of American curriculum standards through the IBPYP, IBMYP, and IBDP framework. Summative tasks have been built using a framework that ensures rigor and quality. These tasks are authentic, relevant and engaging. Therefore, the summative tasks are a more accurate representation of student achievement and progress.