ANTON BRUCKNER INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
In keeping with the school’s assessment principles and the spirit of the IB Primary Years Programme, assessment at Anton Bruckner is geared toward improving, rather than simply documenting, student performance. The use of assessment to judge the effectiveness of both teaching and learning processes is essential to allow teachers and students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and the effectiveness of the programme. The objectives and process of any assessment should be clearly explained to the students.
What is assessment?
Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. It is central to the PYP goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding students through the five essential elements of learning: the acquisition of knowledge, the understanding of concepts, the mastering of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take action. The prime objective of assessment in the PYP is to provide feedback on the learning process. All PYP schools are expected to develop assessment procedures and methods of reporting that reflect the philosophy and objectives of the programme.’ MTPYPH page 44
We are mindful of the PYP perspective on assessment and standard C4 of the IB Programme standards and practices in all of our assessment and reporting practices and initiatives.
‘Assessment at the school reflects IB assessment philosophy.’
Programme standards and practices: standard C4
Types of Assessment
Pre-assessment takes place at the beginning of instruction to find out what students already know in order to plan the next stage of learning.
Formative assessment is interwoven with the daily learning and provides both teachers and students with useful feedback on how well students are understanding and applying the new concepts, skills, and knowledge.
Assessment in the classroom includes:
- Collecting evidence of students’ understanding and thinking
- Documenting learning processes of groups and individuals
- Engaging students in reflecting on their learning
- Students assessing work produced by themselves and by others
- Developing clear rubrics
- Identifying exemplary student work
- Keeping records of test/task results
Summative assessment takes place at the end of the teaching and learning process and gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what has been learned. Summative assessments may include any combination of the following: acquisition of data, synthesis of information, application of knowledge and processes. These can address multiple learning styles.
Student self-assessment is interwoven throughout the daily learning to engage the students in reflection and assessment on their own learning. The students are given adequate time to reflect on their progress in all subject areas, including the attributes expressed in the learner profile.
The Exhibition takes place at the end of PYP 5 and requires students to demonstrate their learning throughout the Primary Years Programme, and how they can apply it to an unfamiliar situation. It provides a good summative assessment of student learning throughout our programme.
“A portfolio is a record of students’ involvement in learning which is designed to demonstrate success, growth, high-order thinking, creativity, assessment strategies and reflection. A portfolio is a celebration of an active mind at work.”
Making the PYP Happen, IBO 2007
Purpose of portfolios:
- Empower students to be active participants in their own learning
- Encourage reflection on the learning process and achievements
- Encourage students and parents to see learning as a continuous process
- Encourage a sense of pride in one’s work and thereby building self-esteem
Internal Assessments at Anton Bruckner International School
Oral assessment takes place during group discussions, one-to-one discussion, class activities, presentations, debates, storytelling, reviewing, and learning games that are recorded by the teachers.
The results are shared with students, teachers, and parents.
Texts based on different writing prompts written in Grades PYP 1 to 5. The written assessments are assessed with rubrics.
GSOL/GSOL Testing: oral, reading and writing proficiency in English and German to identify students for English and German support, or to determine if an ESOL/GSOL student is ready to exit the programme.
External Assessments at Anton Bruckner International School
Austrian National Curriculum Exam:
Norm referenced test on reading, writing, vocabulary, or math proficiency, given to PYP 4 every two years (Math and German). This exam is required for Government Accreditation.
German Reading Comprehension Assessment:
Commencing PYP 1 to PYP 5 students will undergo a yearly reading comprehension assessment, which helps to improve reading proficiency.
International School’s Assessment
The ISA is a set of tests used by international schools and schools with an international focus to monitor student performance over time and to confirm that their internal assessments are aligned with international expectations of work.
It is especially important at ANTON BRUCKNER, where students have contact with a number of teachers, that teachers are involved in using a variety of assessment strategies.
- Made often and at regular intervals
- Made of individuals, groups and whole class
- Made in different contexts to increase validity
- Are goal directed tasks with established criteria and often opportunities for problem solving
- Use multiple skills
- Have more than one correct response
Used to determine how much a student knows or can perform certain skills (e.g. tests, quizzes, dictations, etc.)
Used to stimulate an original response by students and to demonstrate further learning
The descriptors tell the student and the assessor what characteristics or signs to look for in the work and then how to rate that work on a predetermined scale.
A list of criteria against which students are assessed (e.g. information, data, attributes, or elements that should be present).
These are brief written notes based on observations of students.
These are visual representations of developmental stages of learning. They show a progression of achievement or identify where a child is in a process.
Reporting is a means of giving feedback from assessment. Our reporting includes:
- Involvement of parents, students, and teachers as partners
- Reflection of the school community values
- Comprehensiveness, honest, fairness, and credibility
- Clearness and comprehensibleness to all parties
- The chance for teachers to incorporate what they learn during the reporting process into their future teaching and assessment practices
These conferences are usually informal. They are incorporated into the regular classroom routines and are meant to provide the students with feedback on their progress. These conferences also allow students to reflect on their own work and to make decisions regarding their portfolios.
Scheduled Teacher-Parent Conference
This conference is a formal conference between both language teachers, and the parents to provide feedback about the child’s progress and needs. Teachers take this opportunity to answer the parent’s questions, to address their concerns and to help define their role in the learning process. At Anton Bruckner this conference takes place at the end of November.
Scheduled Student-Led Conference
This conference is a formal conference between students and parents. The students will, with the support and guidance of the teacher, select the work to be discussed. They reflect on their progress and share the responsibility of informing their parents. At Anton Bruckner this conference takes place in the month of May.
During any time of the year, both teachers and parents can request a conference to discuss the progress, or lack thereof, of a student.
At Anton Bruckner we send out two international report cards a year (February, July) to report back on each student’s progress. Furthermore, students in PYP 4 will receive two Austrian report cards (February, July). Upon request, students of PYP 1, 2, 3, and 5 and will receive an Austrian report card. Each report card is written by both homeroom teachers, who meet to discuss students’ progress in both languages. In addition, all single-subject teachers report on their specific subject areas.
Transdisciplinary Skills, Student Profile, and Attitudes are reflected in the comments that teachers write on every report card.
Since IB units are not reflected on the Austrian report card, we strive to communicate, share, and reflect on student learning at the end of each unit.
Failing the year
A student may fail the year, if 50 % of the ticks in one subject are an ‘area of concern’.
- As soon as teachers recognize that a student’s performance falls below expectations, parents are invited to a meeting to discuss solutions
- Six weeks prior to the final report, parents receive a registered letter sent officially from the principal to inform parents that their child might fail; this is followed by a meeting.
- To be able to continue in their year group, the student is required to pass a written and oral exam at the beginning of the new school year.
- Failure of this test will result in the student repeating the year.