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Assessment

Assessment is the process of collecting and analyzing information about a student's development and progress towards desired learning outcomes. Reflection, evaluation, feedback, recording and reporting are integral components of this process. Professional judgment is inherent in effective assessment.

Principles of effective assessment

Effective assessment should:

  • improve student learning, enhance student motivation and promote learner self-reliance and self-reflection
  • address individual learning needs and styles using multiple measures
  • have a direct impact on instruction
  • indicate that not everything we teach needs to be assessed
  • be valid, reliable and efficient
  • be fair and ethical
  • be rooted in authentic contexts that apply to knowledge and skills outside of the classroom
  • be aligned with and measure student learning according to the standards in the written curriculum


Purposes of assessment

The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment affects all constituencies within the school community.

Assessment provides students with:

  • an understanding of their own progress and the opportunity to reflect upon and to improve their learning strategies
  • the opportunity to demonstrate what they understand
  • an understanding of learning goals and the criteria for progress and success
  • self-assessment skills that they can use beyond the classroom
  • the opportunity to build confidence and self-esteem by acknowledging their successes
  • the motivation to set and achieve realistic goals

Assessment provides parents with:

  • accurate and timely information on a student's strengths, weaknesses and progress
  • data needed to discuss an individual learning plan with realistic goals

Assessment enables teachers to:

  • monitor students' growth and understanding
  • communicate expectations for student learning
  • adapt curriculum and instruction to the learning needs of the students
  • inform parents and students about student progress in an effective, comprehensive manner

Assessment enables school administration to:

  • provide data for effective curricular evaluation, revision and program improvements
  • provide the data necessary for admissions and grade/year placement decisions
  • provide the opportunity to place students effectively within a learning continuum
  • evaluate and provide feedback to teachers
  • evaluate student/school performance in comparison with other international and independent schools
  • demonstrate to the broader community the extent to which the curriculum is producing the desired results and fulfilling the mission of the School

Homework

Homework is assigned in the Middle School for the reinforcement, enrichment and expansion of course material and for the practice of skills. Homework may also be used for students to do background reading and other preparation for class activities as well as to organize and complete long-term projects that have begun in the classroom. The Middle School recognizes that children vary in the standards they set for themselves and in the pace at which they work, and teachers communicate regularly to assess and balance the homework load. Parents can assist their child by providing a quiet, comfortable place to work and helping to develop a homework routine. They can also help by monitoring TV time, and the use of electronic and video games in order to ensure that homework takes priority.

Approaches to Learning

Recognizing that some key development goals cannot be met simply through mastery of material, all courses assess students using common developmental goals, called Approaches to Learning. Progress towards these standards is reported on the twice-yearly reports within each subject. The Approaches to Learning are:


Collaborative
  • Works well with others
  • Understands and respects diverse approaches
  • Communicates through dialogue and participation
  • Attends to the perspectives of others
  • Helps others
Respectful
  • Treats others the way we expect to be treated
  • Appreciates own culture and the cultures of others
  • Values diversity of thought and experience
  • Demonstrates honesty
  • Makes the right choices even when no one is watching
  • Acts with compassion
Responsible
  • Takes ownership of words, actions and learning
  • Fulfills obligations to self and to others
  • Works hard
Reflective
  • Values mistakes as learning opportunities
  • Reflects on own learning
  • Sets and pursues goals for improvement
Engaged
  • Demonstrates intellectual curiosity about the world
  • Cultivates interests and strengths
  • Finds passion and purpose in learning
Resilient
  • Stretches and grows by taking risks
  • Demonstrates resourcefulness in the face of challenges and change