Wuxi No. 1 High School believes that assessment is a collaborative effort and a partner-ship of the students, the teachers, the parents and the administrators. We acknowledge that the paramount goal of assessment is to
enable each individual student to demonstrate what they have learned,
assess their working progress based on the stated goals of Diploma Program course and
identify specific learning strategies to maximize their potential on their class as-sessments towards their holistic development.
This means that the method of assessment judges each student in relation to identified standards and established IB criterion rather than against the work of other students.
Teachers use both formative and summative assessment techniques. Formative assessment represents the process of gathering, analysing, interpreting and using evi-dence to improve learning and to help students to achieve their potential. A summative assessment is concerned in measuring student performance against Diploma Pro-gramme assessment criteria to judge levels of attainment.
Principles of Assessment
Assessment plays a vital role in teaching, assessing, cycle of planning, reporting and re-flecting. We unanimously and firmly believe that:
Effective assessment allows students to:
Demonstrate a broad range of conceptual and critical thinking skills
Set their own learning targets and thereby support students’ learning
Become self-reflective to analyse their own learning, their strengths, and areas of improvement
Engage students globally by using areas of interaction
Effective assessment allows parents to:
Monitor evidence of their children’s learning
Provide ample opportunities of supports to students and teachers
Effective assessment allows teachers to:
Engage in self-reflection to upbeat their own practice to enhance and improve the teaching and learning process
Recognize that every student is unique in terms of language proficiency and learning styles, thus, develop assessment that addresses these styles and skills
Make students aware in advance of the criteria for producing a quality product
Work collaboratively to align skills, develop goals, and assess progress
Effective assessment requires administration to:
Support teachers in maintaining assessment skills and developing new assess-ment strategies
Provide time and training for teachers to plan, collaborate, and reflect
Use student achievement data to set school-wide, departmental and individual goals
Aims of Assessment
Our teachers are actively engaged by providing a broad and balanced, yet academically demanding, program of study and working collaboratively to assess students in order to:
Monitor and evaluate the individual student learning and achievement based on his or her interests
Assess the effectiveness of the teaching strategies and the learning environment of the students
Develop international mindedness of the program by setting up the assessments in variety of cultural and linguistic contexts
Foster reflection on the best learning styles of the students and develop an ongo-ing awareness of learning approaches
Develop students who live and practice conscientiously on the Learner Profile characteristics to become critical thinkers and life-long learners
Grading and Marking:
Summative assessments are given a raw grade based on a marking rubric but, in order to reflect US grade boundaries and thus reflect an equivalent GPA, raw scores are also adjusted. Therefore, two scores as well as an IB level are given. Students only have ac-cess to the raw grade that reflects their ability and teachers represent the GPA score for college admissions purposes; students are not able to view the GPA scores. However, students can see their total GPA for the subject and year. Students are therefore not disadvantaged when applying to North American universities but we can also use the raw grades for formative purposes.
The school policy for marking is that there is a marked piece of classwork and home-work each week in each class. Letter grades are not required on Engrade (but actual marks) on any of these pieces; an emphasis is placed on marking rather than grading. All class assessments are criterion based and staff use rubrics and mark schemes to mark all work.
Heads of department use heat-mapping as a tool during discussion of student progress; these discussions are expected to inform teaching onward from that point.
There are three internal summative assessments in the academic year that are weighted and contribute to final GPA. The weighting is annually reviewed in HoD meetings and through discussion with the staff faculty.
Recording and reporting:
All marks are recorded on the online platform ‘Engrade’ which is visible to parents and students as live. Marks are updated on a weekly basis and students are encouraged to monitor their Engrade profiles regularly.
Summative assessments are heat-mapped and submitted to heads of department as well as entered on Engrade triple-fold [a letter/number grade, a raw score, a GPA-adjusted score].
Marks and grades are communicated through Engrade. There are also parents evenings through the year for parents to discuss grades and teachers to report progress.
Homework is set every week. Every third week, a quality assessment is set that re-quired students to produce an extended piece of work that will also receive extended written feedback from the teacher.
Once per semester, students are required to set a target in 3 areas of their academic study. Students can use feedback to inform which targets they choose and assess their progress towards achieving those same targets.
Students are assigned an EE supervisor to guide them through the process of writing an extended essay and to offer timely and appropriate feedback. Additionally there are training sessions at the outset of the task and during the process for referencing pur-poses.
Links to other documents:
Teachers are required to use Turnitin to monitor academic honesty for extended pieces of work, including, but not limited to, the Internal Assessments and the Extended Essay. Teacher marking is in line with the Academic Honesty Policy.
Classwork and homework is set such that it can be accessed by the full spectrum of abilities present in each class, again, in line with the school SEN Policy and the English Language Policy.
For IA assessment, please refer to individual departmental IA handbooks.
All policies, including the assessment policy are given to students and parents at the be-ginning of each academic year in the student handbook; both are required to sign a note stating that they have read and understood these policies. Training sessions are con-ducted throughout the year on academic honesty and assessment procedures with all students in attendance.
Roles and Responsibilities for implementing, evaluating and re-viewing the assessment Policy.
The policy is implemented by all teaching staff and monitored by the Heads of Depart-ment and the Centre Principal.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy is conducted by Heads of Department in HoD meetings at the beginning of the year and at the end of the preceding year.
The policy is reviewed by a sample of teachers and heads of department at the midpoint of the year and in extraordinary circumstances whenever necessary.
IB Internal Assessments
Each department has an up-to-date IA handbook which outlines to students key dates for submission of components, first and final drafts. The marking criteria are communicated to students in this document as well as example IAs with teacher comments. See departmental IA handbooks for more information.
Administration of Internal Assessments (IA’s) must strictly follow the set of standards as prescribed by the IBO guidelines. Each subject has a different weighting attached to its IA as a proportion of the final mark.
The following rules must be observed:
All internal assessment requirements must be completed by students by the school due dates. These deadlines are non-negotiable and work will not be ac-cepted after the given deadlines without valid reason and appropriate documen-tation.
The subject teacher marks the internal assessment work.
A sample of students’ work is sent to an IBO moderator and checked against the world marking standards. The teacher’s marks are then adjusted if required.
Students and parents must understand the role of the subject teachers in the internal assessments. Teachers must make it clear to the students the parameters of help that you can extend to them.
Students who fail to submit internal assessment requirements without a valid reason and proper documentation will be awarded an N or F grade, and a zero mark for that components. The award of an N grade will prevent a student from gaining a Di-ploma.
IB External Assessments
The final examinations typically contribute about 70 percent to your diploma score.
Note: Detailed assessment guides for IB internal and external assessments are discussed in the IB Handbook given to the students at the start of the school year.