Assessment Policy

ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING

Assessment at Dwight Seoul in all programmes is based on Standard C4 of the IB Programme Standards and Practices and reflects IBO requirements.

It is the right of every student to attend school in a climate characterized by a positive learning atmosphere and by respect for teachers and peers. Accountability, Respect, Consideration and Honesty are core values as espoused by the school mission, and as such are viewed as of the utmost importance by the whole community. These values form the guiding reference points for all School interaction, including assessment.

Philosophy

Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. The purpose of assessment in the School is to improve student and teacher performance. Assessment should be culturally and linguistically sensitive and provide students, teachers, parents, administration and the whole school community with direction and focus. We believe that assessment should:

  • Reflect what is taught.
  • Be based on clear criteria that are communicated to students.
  • Have consistent and transparent procedures and policies that are clearly articulated to all involved.

Assessment at the Dwight School Seoul aims to:

  • Provides students with knowledge of their strengths, areas for concern and learning styles so that they can develop strategies to improve their performance with increasing confidence and independence.
  • Provides teachers with evidence of student learning so that appropriate teaching and learning styles can be employed for individuals, groups, and classes.
  • Provides parents with clear guidelines of assessment procedures at the Dwight School Seoul, so that they can understand and support their children’s learning needs. We aim to foster effective communication of assessment and learning to maintain an informed community.
  • Provides administration with a tool for monitoring standards, so that they are effectively implemented and maintained throughout the school.

Administrator’s and coordinator’s responsibilities

  • To communicate with students and parents the expectations of the programme

Assessment Practices

Formative Assessment

This type of assessment is characterized by continuous and constant monitoring of a student’s readiness, skill development and concept understanding by the teacher to inform his/her teaching and planning over a continual basis. Formative assessment is drawn from a range of assessment activities, including the use of assessment descriptors, self-evaluation, peer assessment and developmental portfolios.

Homework procedures form part of the formative practices within Dwight Seoul. Homework is seen as a meaningful vehicle for developing wider ATL skills and as such should take the form of research, information finding and wider thinking problems.

Summative Assessment

This type of assessment occurs at the end of a specific teaching period and is the culmination of skills and knowledge learnt in a particular topic. Summative assessment allows students to demonstrate their understandings and apply their knowledge in various ways. Summative assessment is also used to help student performance in a formative manner as well as to inform teachers in developing further formative assessment opportunities.

Approaches to Learning (ATL)

The ATL skills reported upon are

  • Communication
  • Research
  • Self-management
  • Social
  • Thinking

Judgments are made based on student competences within each of the ATL skills within each subject and communicated to school community using the following levels.

Exceeding: The student is consistently working above grade level learning outcomes.

Meeting: The student is independently working at grade level.
Developing: The student requires minimal teacher support to meet grade level learning outcomes.
Beginning: The student requires significant teacher support and is working towards grade level learning outcomes.

Teacher’s responsibilities

  • Teachers have a responsibility to document assessment data on all their students. In order for students to demonstrate their true abilities, teachers must provide opportunities for more than one judgment to be made for each learning outcome
  • Report to students and parents on student progress
  • Provide feedback in a timely manner
  • Reflect on the effectiveness of instruction and on assessment instruments
  • Provide clear guidance concerning age appropriate expectations eg deadlines, content, assignment format, academic honesty and treatment of late work
  • Document assessment data on all students taught

NB: Without compromising standards, assessment tasks take into account the requirements of students with special educational needs (see the SEN policy) and/or English as an additional language (see the Language policy).

Assessment and Language Learning at Dwight

Dwight School Seoul adheres to the underlying IB ethos, that all IB teachers are language teachers regardless of subject. As such teachers across subject groups work with language specialists to develop strategies for supporting those students for whom English is not their first language. Through the use of formative assessment and Assessment for Learning methodologies teachers where appropriate, differentiate learning opportunities to support the whole child. Language support forms part of this developmental strategy. Students at Dwight School Seoul have access to the Dwight Quest programme where individual and small group support is available to support the language needs of each student.

RECORDING, REPORTING, AND TIMETABLE

An annual school timetable is published to cover the proposed program of assessment and reporting. This timetable, shown below, will be available at the start of each academic year.
The timetable will take note of IBO requirements for moderation and certification.

Reporting to parents (Progress Reports) will be linked to Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences.

Schedule of Reporting

Date Lower School Upper School
August School Starts
November Progress Reports
November Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
January End of Semester Report
April Progress Reports
April Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
April
MYP Personal Project Evening
May
DP Formal Assessments
May PYP Exhibition Assessment Week (G6-12)
June PYP Portfolio Evening
June End of Year Report
June School Ends

ASSESSMENT WITHIN THE CONTINUUM

PYP Assessment Procedures

Assessment within the IB Primary Years Programme is aligned against the Learning Outcomes for each subject area, the five essential elements, and the IB Learner Profile. Information about student learning is gathered using a variety of strategies including observations, performance assessments, process-focused assessments, selected responses, and open-ended tasks. This information is recorded using a range of tools including rubrics, exemplars, checklists, anecdotal records, and continuums. Students’ development of knowledge, skills, conceptual understanding, attitudes, action, and the Learner Profile is reported using the scale below.

Exceeding: The student is consistently working above grade level learning outcomes.
Meeting: The student is independently working at grade level.
Developing: The student requires minimal teacher support to meet grade level learning outcomes.
Beginning: The student requires significant teacher support and is working towards grade level learning outcomes.

In order for students to demonstrate their true abilities, teachers must provide opportunities for more than one judgment to be made for each learning outcome before it is reported upon. Teachers have a responsibility to maintain records of achievement for all their students.

To determine a level of achievement, teachers must gather sufficient evidence and use their professional and informed judgment as to whether the student is meeting the grade level learning outcomes. Factors which teachers may need to take into account when deciding upon a level of achievement is the level of support the student received from the teacher, assistant, and/or peers. In the case of group work teachers are expected to identify the achievements of individual students rather than provide one level of achievement for the whole group.

Evidence of student learning is collected in a portfolio. Essential Agreements about portfolios are reviewed annually.

Upper School Overview

At both MYP and DP assessment tasks should pay attention to developing the higher-order cognitive skills of synthesis, reflection, evaluation and critical thinking, as well as the more fundamental skills of knowledge, understanding and application.

Grading for all assessment is in accordance with the prescribed IB Grade Descriptions as stated in each programme. This can be summarised as below:

7 = excellent
6 = very good
5 = good
4 = satisfactory
3 = mediocre
2 = poor
1 = very poor

In this way, we can ensure that all students are assessed in a rigorous way and against recognized standards and expectations throughout their IB studies.

Students are expected to:

  • Observe all regulations and criteria in the production of assessments or in the taking of examinations, meaning to behave ethically as outlined within the Academic Honesty Policy
  • Participate in the formative assessments to grow in concept, skill, and knowledge strength
  • Reflect on progress for improvement
  • Meet all internal deadlines as prescribed by the teacher and the school
  • Seek help when the student does not understand a concept, skill or background knowledge
  • Attend class regularly to receive the benefit of instruction and practice
  • Be organized with materials and assignments ready for class
  • Bring into the classroom a willingness to grow in the Learner Profile

MYP Assessment Procedures

MYP assessment at DSS is criterion-related as it is based upon pre-determined criteria that all students have access to. Criterion-related assessment does not require mastery of each descriptor and is better described as a “best-fit” approach. The criteria for each subject reflect the objectives of the subject group. The level of student success in reaching the objectives of each subject group is measured in terms of levels of achievement described in each assessment criterion.

Students in the final two years of the programme, grades 9 and 10, are assessed according to the final assessment criteria as published in each subject-group guide. Students in grades 6-8 are assessed according to modified criteria that have been aligned with the IB published interim objectives. Grade 6 modified criteria are based on the MYP1 interim objectives whereas grades 7 and 8 modified criteria are based on the MYP3 interim objectives. Where appropriate subject teachers are encouraged to developed task specific clarifications, to encourage students to self and peer assess.

Teachers are required to devise a variety of valid assessment tasks that will provide students with the opportunity to show clearly what they know and can achieve. Valid assessment tasks must address at least one MYP objective and in using the appropriate criteria allow all students access to all levels of achievement. Teachers are expected to plan for assessment of learning during the initial stages of developing the unit of work. Where appropriate, teachers should endeavor to use the MYP command terms.

In preparation for the End of Semester and End of Year Report in December and June respectively, teachers are required to communicate to parents the student’s achievement level in each criterion. All subject teachers must have assessed students in all criteria at least once during the first semester to determine the overall achievement level. Over the course of a year, students must be assessed on each criterion a minimum of three times, with the exception of Criterion B in Physical Education.

To determine a level of achievement for specific criteria, teachers must gather sufficient evidence to determine whether a student is working at the lower or higher end of a descriptor. Achievement levels are described as a whole number and the final level of achievement determined for the End of Year Report is NOT an average of the achievement levels recorded over the course of the year. The final level of achievement is based on the teacher’s professional and informed judgment of the student’s performance reflecting the level descriptors for each criteria. Once the level of achievement has been determined for each criteria, then the final levels achieved are summed and the total applied to a set of grade boundaries. (see relevant section of the MYP coordinators handbook for grade boundaries).

Determining a student’s level of achievement for each criteria will require teachers to provide several opportunities for the different criteria to be assessed throughout the year. To assist student development and reflection, teachers must collect all summative assessments for inclusion in student portfolios for each subject. The student portfolio provides evidence of the learning journey that each student takes and forms a central part of Parent, Teacher, Student conference. Where there is more than one teacher teaching the same subject or subject group, the process of internal standardization must take place regularly throughout the year and before levels of achievement are awarded and reported to parents.

IB Diploma Assessment Procedures

Assessment within the IB Diploma Programme, is aligned against the Assessment Objectives for each subject. The Assessment Objectives are articulated through a range of both formative and summative assessment tasks.

Throughout the Diploma Programme, students are assessed both formatively and summatively in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject. The Diploma Programme goals provide students with:

  • a broad and balanced, yet academically demanding, program of study.
  • the development of critical-thinking and reflective skills.
  • the development of research skills.
  • the development of independent learning skills.
  • the development of intercultural understanding.
  • a globally recognized university entrance qualification.

Throughout the two years of the IB Diploma Programme, in school assessment is designed to guide students towards the Internal and External Assessment requirements of each subject’s formal IB Assessment.

All school based assessment in DP subjects should relate directly to the course of study and its objectives, and give opportunity for discrete assessment within each assessment environment of the final formal assessment (written papers/ internal assessment etc.) to develop those particular assessments skills for each student.

Methods of formative assessment, particularly those involving direct interaction between teacher and student, provide both with detailed feedback on the nature of a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and assist in developing a student’s full capabilities through future planning. Teachers also plan assessment opportunities through learning activities that involve students in peer and self-assessment, aiding students to take ownership of their own learning. Within formative assessment the use of criteria and rubrics reflect an emphasis on Assessment for Learning. The levels of achievement are identified within each IB Diploma subjects criteria and described to students through the use of rubrics to directly shape learning and inform achievement. Teachers carry out summative assessment in order to measure the level of student achievement at any one time using where possible authentic IB questions and assessment models.

Formal assessment of students undertaking the Diploma of the International Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate Diploma Courses will contribute to their final qualifications awarded by the IB. All courses except Creativity, Action and Service are formally assessed by external examiners and all include significant components that are internally assessed by subject teachers. Some subjects also include components that are completed by students under the supervision of their teachers and which are assessed by external examiners.

Recording Assessment at IB Diploma

Systems used for recording data about student learning are in keeping with the requirements of the programme. Each subject teacher is required to keep their own records of formative and summative assessment in the form of both qualitative observations and quantitative levels of student performance in the various assessment tasks. At the end of each term, teachers on end of term reports record summative achievement levels as an overall grade and individual grades for the Subject Objective covered during that reporting period. Reporting also records information related to Approaches to Learning and skills development. Reports are entered and stored centrally within the School Information Management System (SIMS). The Diploma Coordinator keeps an updated internal reports that includes levels awarded at the end of each term as well as levels achieved in the end of year examinations, and the DP2 mock examinations for each student. These form the basis of target setting meetings for each student. Predicted grades for college applications are also recorded within SIMS. Student Transcripts, covering the last four years of Upper School (Grade 9 to DP2) are produced by the College Counselor.

It is the responsibility of the school management and DP coordinator

  • To provide supporting information about the nature of subject assessments to parents and students
  • To provide a calendar of assessment due dates and the exam schedule at the Diploma level
  • To monitor teacher-designed instruction, pacing and assessment to ensure it is in line with IB curriculum outcomes
  • Monitor and provide instruction for purposes where the assessment has been revised by the IBO.
  • Collect data from each teacher as to how students are progressing and assist teachers in interpreting that data to inform instruction
  • To provide guidance in the selection of course alternatives as well as level (HL or SL) as will meet student program needs

It is the responsibility of the teacher to provide students, at the beginning of each course, with a course guide which contains the following:

  • The course content as dictated by IB
  • The nature of the summative assessments required by IB
  • The relative weight of these assessments for the student’s achievement of the aims of the course
  • A breakdown of the skills and a direction of the sequence of instruction required to be successful and the progression in which they will be taught and reinforced
  • The nature of the formative assessment tasks that will provide skill growth, based on the Objectives set for each subject by the IB
  • The assessment criteria by which all formative and summative assessments are judged by IB and by the teacher
  • Teacher and school expectations as to deadlines, due dates, content, assignment format, assignment turn in procedures, academic honesty, and treatment of late work

Assessment and language learning at Diploma

While formative assessment contributes to developing the language skills required to be a successful IB Diploma Student all summative assessment within the Diploma Programme courses are benchmarked against the IB Subject descriptors and as such are conducted using the full range of the English language proficiency required as the working language of the school.

Assessment and Accommodations

Dwight School Seoul promotes opening access to students through pedagogical methods which support the whole child. As such where students hold Accommodations for the IBO, part of the educational process is developing how each student makes best use of the any accommodations to which they are entitled. Therefore all students have access to their accommodation entitlement for all assessments throughout the Diploma Programme in line with IBO Policy. Arrangements for meeting these requirements are developed jointly by the DP Coordinator and Quest Coordinator and implemented through articulation between Subject teacher and Quest teachers.

Assessment and Admissions into the Diploma Programme

Dwight School Seoul firmly believes in the underlying principal that where possible all students who can benefit from full participation in and access to the IB Diploma Programme should have that opportunity. However it is also recognized that for some students the successful completion of the full IB Diploma Programme for various reasons may not be possible.

Internal Entries

Students entering the IB Diploma internally from the MYP Programme take part in an extensive course selection process which includes input for faculty as well as both DP Coordinator and College Guidance.

While each student is individual and this evident within each students own programme, Dwight School Seoul advices that students selecting HL subjects would be expecting to regularly achieve Grades 5 or above during the final two years of MYP in that subject. All students entering the Diploma Programme should also demonstrate a commitment to the Learner Profile, in part evidenced through the MYP Approaches to learning.

External Entries

All external entries to the Diploma Programme undertake placement testing to help determine suitable pathways through the programme for each student. This in conjunction with previous school records and results of any recognized external examinations is aligned to the expectations for Internal entrance within Dwight School Seoul.

Policy Review:
Draft Policy – Authored, Joint Continuum Coordinators (October 2012)
Reviewed – Full faculty (November 2012)
Revised – Joint Continuum Coordinators (December 2012)
Reviewed – Senior Leadership Team (January 2013)
Revised – Joint Continuum Coordinators (August 2013)

Review Cycle – August 2014

References:
Standards and Practices, October 2010
DP: From Principles into Practice, April 2009
MYP: From Principles into Practice, August 2008
PYP: Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education, Revised edition, December 2009