Purpose for Assessment: In the context of IKNS, assessment is an essential component of a learning process designed to promote the attributes and characteristics that define the IB Learner’s Profile.
IKNS assesses students in order to:
- Enhance teaching and learning
- Monitor and evaluate student progress towards meeting IKNS and IB Diploma Program learning objectives.
- Provide feedback to students, parents and other stakeholders
- Gather evidence to support teacher reflection on the effectiveness of their teaching
Principles of Assessment:
- Assessment is key to planning, teaching, and learning.
- Assessment practices are clear to all members of the community [teachers, parents, and students].
- When designing assessment, it should be aligned to IKNS standards. (Learning objective for grades K-12 chosen by IKNS and published on the IKNS Atlas Rubicon website) and for grades 11 and 12 of IB Diploma Program, assessment should be aligned to the aims, objectives and assessment criteria of each IB subject as required by the IBO. (The specific IB aims, objectives, and assessment criteria used to plan each unit of study are also available of the IKNS Atlas Rubicon website)
- Assessment is criteria-referenced. This means that the method of assessment judges each student in relation to identified standards and criterion rather than against the work of other students.
- Teachers are responsible to clearly explain assessment criteria (rubrics), whether such criteria are internally developed or prescribed by IBO, and are required to make students fully aware of them as the basis for evaluating their work.
- Achievement of individual IKNS standards or IB prescribed learning objectives as stated on the IKNS Atlas Rubicon website should be the only basis for grades. Effort, attitude, and other behaviors shall not be included in grades but should be communicated to parents and students separately.
- There should be a healthy balance between formative and summative assessment. Teachers should recognize that summative assessments are post-learning experiences. That is, it is assessment of learning. More importantly teachers should recognize that the majority of their time should be spent on designing formative assessment, assessment for learning. That is, assessment that provides both them and their students with valuable information to guide future learning.
- Diverse learning styles are understood and accommodate.
- There are opportunities for both peer and self-assessment.
- Assessment presents opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning.
- Before starting new learning, teachers assess students’ current knowledge and experience.
- Teachers provide students with feedback for future learning.
- Assessment tasks should be internally moderated, both at departmental and grade levels to ensure consistency
- Reporting to parents is meaningful.
- Teachers will use a variety of assessment strategies and tools to provide feedback on the learning process.
It is important to note that the IKNS Classroom Environment, Planning and Instruction Policy urges
teachers to engage students by creating a classroom environment where, all learning experiences
emphasize understanding and offer provocative essential questions that create opportunities
for structured inquiry; opportunities that train students to be thinkers and risk-takers.
(IB Learner’s Profile: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, reflective and Risk-takers)
When designing assessment tasks, teachers should keep in mind that inquiry is central
to creating an engaging learning environment.
- Participation may be included in a grade if it is stated as part of IKNS standards and benchmarks or agreed upon IKNS assessment rubrics.
- Grades should be weighed carefully to reflect the intended importance of each standard and each assessment during a specific time period. (Term, mid-semester, semester, year)
- Teachers should record evidence of student achievement on an ongoing basis. Where repetitive measures are made of the same or similar knowledge, skills, or behaviors, the more recent mark or marks should replace the previous marks for grade determination.
- Formative assessment will be used as follows: Since the purpose of formative assessment (e.g. quizzes, initial drafts, homework, and questions during instruction) is to provide direction for the improvement of learning, teachers are required to provide feedback on formative assessment. The weighting of Formative assessments will be considerably low. It should not exceed 15% of allocated grade for any given Unit of study. Summative assessments should be used primarily to determine grades.
- Late submission of assessment evidence should be handled as follows: Teachers may set due dates and deadlines for all marked assessment evidence that will be part of a student's grade. Penalties for late submission of assessment should be linked to participation as defined in IKNS standards and benchmarks or agreed upon IKNS assessment rubrics. Late submission of assessment evidence may lead to parent contact and be noted for inclusion as a comment in the IKNS Progress report. Late submission of assessment evidence may lead to an invitation or the requirement to attend a support session during the school day, before school, during break time, or after school hours.
- Absences should be handled as follows: Students shall not be penalized only for absence. Absent students shall be given makeup opportunities for all missed summative assessments (marked assessment evidence that will be part of student grades) without penalty, provided that they have a valid excuse.
- Incomplete assessment evidence shall be handled as follows: Students are expected to complete all required work and will be given opportunities and support to do so, unless such assessment tasks are no longer valid, for example, students already received feedback. In such cases, an “Incomplete” grade will appear on their Progress Report / Grade Report.
- When communicating with students and parents, teachers are expected to: Discuss assessment with students, in an age-appropriate manner, at the beginning of instruction. Provide to students and parents a written overview of assessment, including grading, in clear, easily understandable language during the first week of classes in each course of grade. Provide students with a written overview of assessment in clear, easily understandable language, indicating how each summative assessment throughout the course will be evaluated before each such assessment is administered.
Grading Scales and Descriptors
Parameters: The school shall always meet the requirement of the Ministry of Education in Bahrain to translate grades into percentage. IKNS adopted the following table as a definition of its Internal Grading Scale:
Internal Grading Scale:
||59% and below
IKNS Internal Grading Descriptors:
||The student’s work shows a thorough understanding of the required Knowledge and Skills described in the IKNS standards or the IBDP learning objectives. There is evidence that shows that the student has the ability to consistently transfer and apply the acquired knowledge and skills to a wide variety of situations. There is a consistent evidence of analyses, construction and evaluation where appropriate. There is consistent evidence in the student’s work that demonstrates critical thinking and reflection on learning, where appropriate.
||The student’s work shows a strong understanding of the required Knowledge and Skills described in the IKNS standards or the IBDP learning objectives. There is evidence that shows that the student has the ability to consistently transfer and apply the acquired knowledge and skills to a wide variety of situations. There is generally strong evidence of analyses, construction and evaluation where appropriate. The student work generally demonstrates critical thinking and reflection on learning, where appropriate.
||The student’s work shows an adequate understanding of the required Knowledge and Skills described in the IKNS standards or the IBDP learning objectives. There is evidence that shows that the student has the ability to transfer and apply the acquired knowledge and skills to familiar situations. There is a generally evidence of analyses, construction and evaluation where appropriate. The student work occasionally demonstrates critical thinking and reflection on learning, where appropriate.
||The student’s work shows limited understanding of the required Knowledge and skills described in the IKNS standards or the IBDP learning objectives. The evidence shows that the student has the ability to only transfer and apply the acquired knowledge and skills to familiar situations with support from the teacher. There is occasional evidence of analyses, construction and evaluation where appropriate. In general, there is limited achievement against most of the learning objectives or clear difficulties in some areas.
||The student has very limited or minimal understanding the required Knowledge and Skills described in the IKNS standards or the IBDP learning objectives. The evidence suggests that the student has minimal or very limited ability to transfer and apply the required knowledge and skills to familiar situations even with the support of a teacher.
A list of action verbs implied by the highlighted keywords in assessment statements of the IKNS Descriptors.
||State, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat
||Classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, re-view, select and translate
|Transfer and Apply
||Use an idea, concept, equation, principle, theory or law in a new situation
||Appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question and test
||Assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, and write
||Assess the implications and limitations
||Acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning
|Reflection on learning
||Give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience
Recording and Reporting
Official reports are sent twice a year and progress reports are sent in the mid-semester. The reporting system, which is presented by the school to parents, is comprehensible and understandable. It includes detailed comments regarding student progress as well as recommendations by the teachers regarding progress requirements and concerns.
IKNS organizes and runs oral conferences twice a year where parents discuss progress reports with teachers. In addition, parents and teachers have the option to set meetings at anytime. Each teacher has a designated time in the timetable for parent-teacher meetings.
Teachers record grades on Powerschool Gradebook, which provides online, daily access to students and parents.
IKNS Students are expected to complete and submit their own work. We believe that learning cannot take place without upholding the principles of honesty, self-reliance, and responsibility. In
language of the IB Learner’s Profile, an IKNS student must be “principled”. Copying work from other students, using material from books, CD-ROM's, computer programs, Internet sites or other sources, without proper acknowledgment, or cheating on tests or exams, is in contradiction with these fundamental principles. All students are expected to abide by IKNS Academic Honesty Policy.
IB Diploma Program Assessment
Assessment in general is highly sensitive process that requires the professional judgment of the teacher. Assessments in the IB Diploma Program are based upon evaluating each course aims and objectives. Effective teaching, therefore, is teaching to the course formal requirements, both External and Internal.
In the context of IKNS, the Internal Grading Scale and Descriptors are used along with IBDP Assessment Criteria as specified in each of the subject guides. Both are given to students at the beginning of each course and are applied to formative as well as summative tasks within each Unit Plan. Each Unit Plan for all courses taught at IKNS is published on the school’s Atlas Rubicon website. When designing assessment tasks for IBDP courses offered at IKNS, teachers are required to consult subject guides, mark schemes and Examiners Reports on the OCC for current grade boundaries. The purpose of these assessment tasks is to help students to improve their understanding of what defines excellence and where their own work stands in relation to IBDP learning objectives. IB teachers and Heads of Department are required to collaborate to arrive at a professional judgment that translates IKNS grades, for all assessment tasks used during the two years of the IB Diploma Program, to IB Grades from 1 to 7.
Teachers are also required to abide by IKNS Internal IBDP Calendar that is published at the beginning of the academic year.
The end of year examination of IBDP courses at IKNS is a summative assessment. Grade 11 examination covers all the topics taught in year 1 and Grade 12 examination is a mock IB examination that covers the entire course. The end of year examination is worth 35% in year 1, and 40% in year 2, of the Final Grade.
The following table represents a practical approximation of how the Final Grade of IB courses are translated into IB grade:
||39 and below
Training New Teachers
During the Orientation period, all new teachers are required to attend a training seminar that explains the IKNS Framework for Teaching. Issues related to the IKNS Assessment Policy are discussed in depth in domains 1 and 3 of this document.
All new IB teachers are required to attend an official IB Workshop before instruction begins. They are also required to meet with DP coordinator for an overview of the implementation of IB Diploma Program.
Furthermore, the school is committed to the continuous training of IB teachers and committed to providing all the necessary resources for the successful implementation of the IB Diploma program.
Roles and Responsibilities for Implementing the IKNS Assessment Policy
Teachers at IKNS are expected to be knowledgeable of all aspects of the Assessment Policy and are responsible for implementing it. The Principal of each school division with Heads of Departments are expected to train and supervise teachers to ensure the proper implementation of the Assessment Policy.
The IBDP Coordinator supervises IB teachers and reports to the Principal of the Secondary School. IBDP Coordinator is also required to write a report after each official IBDP examination session to evaluate the overall performance of IKNS students and to highlight the strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement for running and organizing the IB Diploma Program.
Because assessment is a complex process, the IKNS Assessment Policy is a living document and is subject to annual review.
Reviewed in November, 2012.
Following receiving feedback from the IBO, the IB Coordinator, Heads of Mathematics and Science and the President of the school formed a special committee to address the revisions required by the IBO. The last section of the IKNS Assessment Policy describes how the school is planning to monitor its implementation.