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Assessment

Assessment all grades

Internal Assessment

Through structured and useful assessment, we aim to further accomplish the mission statement of the school. Our assessments help us to: 

● improve the teaching and learning of our students 

● provide students with information and targets so that they can progress in the future 

● celebrate achievement and enhance the self-esteem of the learner 

● assess the effectiveness of our curriculum and its delivery 

● compare our students’ achievement with a wide range of other students from the same age group. 


How do we assess? 

Primary School

Throughout each quarter students complete assessments in each subject area which is divided into units or chapters: 

● at least two formative tasks (e.g. worksheets covering daily or weekly lessons),

● at least one major summative task like a test or a quiz or presentation covering an entire unit or a month’s lessons,, 

● at least one reflective task which may include a poster or paragraph or presentation covering an entire unit or a month’s lessons.

When it comes to daily or weekly formative tasks, educators may also award marks in the following four categories:

● consistent hard work / effort / focus / discipline,

● performance or accuracy,

● collaboration / cooperation,

● creativity / innovation.

A rating scale of 4 points is awarded according to the Alberta Curriculum.

Excellent – 4Proficient – 3Progressing – 2Developing – 1
The student demonstrates an excellent understanding of learning outcomes being assessed, and is extending their abilities.The student is fully proficient in the expected skills and knowledge of the required learning outcomes.The student Is progressing to a satisfactory understanding of the grade level learning outcomesThe student is not yet independently meeting the learning outcome expectations and may require additional support.

Some tasks are scored out of 4 (e.g. small daily tasks) while others may be scored out of 10, 12, 15, 20, 24 etc. 

Most summative and reflective work is marked out of 12 points or converted to a total of 12 points.

Smaller daily tasks are often scored out of 4.

Reflective work is also usually scored out of 12.

The following table shows how scores are converted:

Excellent – 4Proficient – 3Progressing – 2Developing – 1
The student demonstrates an excellent understanding of learning outcomes being assessed, and is extending their abilities.The student is fully proficient in the expected skills and knowledge of the required learning outcomes.The student Is progressing to a satisfactory understanding of the grade level learning outcomesThe student is not yet independently meeting the learning outcome expectations and may require additional support.
11 to 12 out of 128 to 10 out of 125 to 7 out of 120 to 4 out of 12
9 to 10 out of 107 to 8 out of 105 to 6 out of 100 to 4 out of 10
85 to 100%65 to 84%45 to 64%0 to 44%

For students from grades 1 to 5 the final score of 100 is made up of:

  1. 70% summative tasks,
  2. 15% assessment tasks,
  3. 15% reflective tasks.

For students in grade 6 the final score:

  1. 50% summative tasks,
  2. 25% assessment tasks,
  3. 25% reflective tasks.

Secondary School:

Teachers are encouraged to assess student progress relative to prescribed curriculum throughout the year using a variety of strategies that may include the following.

Performance Assessment

Performance assessment involves judging a performance task—a response, product or performance designed to demonstrate learning. Performance tasks could include:

  • group activities, such as role playing, simulation games and panel discussions
  • speaking activities, such as oral presentations, interviews and debates
  • displaying/demonstrating activities, such as artwork, charts, graphs and maps
  • written assignments, such as paragraphs, reports and position papers.

Effective performance tasks

  • establish clear criteria for assessing student learning related to specific learner outcomes
  • focus on high priority and relevant outcomes
  • establish a meaningful, real-life context
  • require the application of a range of thinking skills or processes
  • contain age- and grade-appropriate activities that are sufficiently challenging
  • call for products or performances directed to a specific audience
  • allow for more than one right answer
  • elicit responses that reveal levels of performance rather than simply correct or incorrect answers
  • provide for students of varying ability levels to successfully complete tasks
  • provide for purposeful integration of subject areas
  • provide clear directions for students
  • engage students so their interest and enthusiasm will be sustained
  • provide students with the criteria and opportunities to reflect on, self-evaluate and improve their performance.

Portfolio-based Assessment

Portfolio-based assessment is an increasingly popular strategy being used to maintain, record and report a visual record of a student’s progress, achievement and level of competency. Samples of student work are collected and maintained in a portfolio; qualitative differences in this work over time may be assessed. Written work, reports, maps, tests, completed projects or photographs of completed projects may be kept as part of a student’s portfolio. It is important to involve students in the process of selection and self-reflection, include a variety of products (written, audiotapes of oral reading, videos), and organize the information to demonstrate progress over time. Encouraging students to develop and maintain their own portfolios takes a considerable amount of time. The process, however, once in place, has been found to be effective in motivating students to achieve at higher levels of competency and to take pride in their achievements. When properly implemented, portfolio-based assessment strategies:

  • encourage students to take ownership, to have a vested interest in the creation of their own portfolio by having them select items for inclusion in the portfolio
  • recognize a range of efforts and depict tangible achievements • create a visually appealing history of student progress 
  • encourage students to reflect on their work by reviewing procedures used, revising and perfecting the product of their efforts 
  • can contribute to successful transitions from one setting or year to another (e.g., a mini-selection portfolio containing samples that illustrate progress provides a baseline for the receiving teacher).

Tests

Most teachers will use tests to measure achievement on certain types of outcomes. Tests may be objective or free response, depending on the type of material and the purpose of the assessment.

  • Objective tests—matching, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, multiple choice, key-list questions. 
  • Free response tests—sentence answers, paragraphs, essays. Consider the following tips for using tests. • Balance testing with other evaluation instruments and techniques when determining marks for reporting purposes.
  • Ensure that tests are scheduled and students are adequately prepared. Unscheduled tests may be used for diagnostic purposes rather than for grades or report card marks.
  • Consider using error and miscue analysis of tests to provide information about student difficulties. For example, are errors on a test related to misreading directions, carelessness, lack of understanding of concepts, application of concepts, test taking or studying? Error analysis can also be used to analyze classroom assignments.  

Self-assessments and Peer-assessments

Self-assessment is an essential component in Knowledge and Employability courses. Students need to be encouraged and supported in reflecting on and evaluating their skills, strategies and growth on an ongoing basis. A variety of self-assessment checklists and rubrics are included in the Knowledge and Employability Studio for this purpose. Peer assessment may be used to assess other students’ participation skills in group activities and their completed projects. Peer assessment builds students’ skills in critical thinking, revising, and giving and receiving feedback.

Questionnaires and Inventories

Questionnaires and inventories may include true/false, multiple choice, key-list, matching and/or sentence completion items related to the student’s interests and attitudes. Examples of useful inventory instruments include:

  • The Likert Scale—a five-point key that may be used in connection with any attitude statement. Examples of the key are strongly approve, approve, undecided, disapprove and strongly disapprove. A summed score may be established by weighting the responses to each statement from five for strongly approve to one for strongly disapprove.
  • The Semantic Differential—uses descriptive words to indicate possible responses to an attitudinal object. The response indicates the direction and intensity of the student’s beliefs from plus three (very favorable) through zero (very unfavorable).
  • Rank Order—a group of three or more items is presented, which the student arranges in order of preference. This type of item is a cross between matching and key-list questions.

Observation

Observing student behavior can be a useful informal assessment technique for individual students or a group of students undertaking an activity over a given time frame. Observations may be used to record performance on a checklist or to record data for an anecdotal report. Measures for observation could include strategy use, student responses to questions, or use of time and materials.

Specialised measures

Specialized measures may be used for individual students or groups of students with similar needs and abilities. Often these assessments are used to identify learning difficulties, monitor growth or support individualized program plans for students with learning disabilities. The following are common examples of specialized measures:

  • Anecdotal records of student progress. Anecdotal records are specific observations recorded on an ongoing basis in a log or diary. These records can provide useful data for analysis and interpretation.
  • Student/teacher interviews or conferences may be used to acquire student perceptions about progress, to move the student toward increased self-direction, or to review an activity, unit or test. 
  • Informal reading inventories can provide baseline information and measure growth in oral and silent reading. Miscue analysis of oral reading errors provides information about strengths and areas of need to guide instruction. 
  • Tape-recorded tests can be used to assess students’ listening skills and knowledge.

What do we assess? 

Internal Teacher Assessments 

(Formative and Summative) 

Assessments are organized in grade level groups and takes many forms, including; 

● Specific assessment tasks within the normal class work 

● Observations of performance 

● Oral assessments 

● End of unit assessments 

● Peer to Peer assessments 

● Practical work ● Student self-assessment 

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