i) Lakecrest’s Mission
Lakecrest aims to empower students to be effective independent learners who are principled and confident in their abilities and actions within the local and global community.
Lakecrest Independent School works with partners to develop significant and relevant experiences that assist our graduates in developing a global understanding in becoming:
- effective communicators
- effective problem solvers who are able to think in a variety of ways
- creative and innovative
- responsible for sustainable practices
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides the framework to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and resilient young people who achieve their potential” (PYP Mission, 2016), to develop a deep commitment to “develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment “(IB mission statement 2004). To enable our students to strive for success, we at Lakecrest believe that assessment is integral to all teaching and learning and with the prime objective to provide feedback on the learning process.
The utilization of the PYP Framework concludes in Grade 6 at Lakecrest, however all students engage with the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial curriculum scope and sequence of knowledge, understanding, skills and values. Using a curriculum within a framework, Lakecrest recognizes that students learn differently and at different rates. The framework has developed programs to meet these varied educational needs within our students and further attempts to extend and challenge students with their learning.
ii) Purpose for Assessment
Assessment involves the gathering and analysis of information about student performance and is designed to inform practice. It identifies what the students know, understand, can do, and feel at different stages in the learning process (Making The PYP Happen, p.44).
The main purpose of assessment and evaluation at Lakecrest is to support and encourage student learning, provide feedback to families, and drive instructional practices. We believe that assessment informs instruction. Assessment helps identify what students know and what they will learn next. At Lakecrest, we recognize that each student has individual strengths and learning needs and that there are multiple pathways to success.
At Lakecrest, we assess to:
- Gather and interpret data
- Inform and improve instructional practices
- Evaluate instructional practices which reflect student inquiry
- Provide feedback for student learning
- Determine how to differentiate instruction
At Lakecrest, we believe assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. It is central to the PYP goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding students through the essential elements of learning:
- the acquisition of knowledge
- the understanding of concepts
- the mastery of skills
- the development of attitudes and the attributes of the learner profile
- the decisions to take action
Lakecrest recognizes the importance of assessing the process of inquiry, as well as, the products of inquiry where possible. The main aim of assessment at Lakecrest is to provide feedback on the learning process and the development of the five essential elements to inform further learning. Students and teachers are actively engaged in assessing the students’ progress as part of the development of their wider critical thinking and self-assessment skills.
We believe that students bring to any learning situation their prior knowledge and engage with the curriculum through learning experiences and assessment. By immersing the students within a transdisciplinary curriculum, students are able to construct meaning, to make connections, and reflect upon their new knowledge.
Our students come from diverse backgrounds, and therefore bring different levels of prior understandings and progress at different paces. To ensure the curriculum is accessible to all students, we value the practice of differentiation which embraces multiple learning styles.
iii) Principles of Assessment
At Lakecrest, all assessment aims to benefit students, teachers and parents. We apply the following criteria for effective assessments to both formative and summative assessment (Making the PYP Happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education, 2016).
Effective assessments allow students to:
- Share their learning and understanding with others
- Demonstrate a range of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills
- Use a variety of learning styles, multiple intelligences and abilities to express their understanding
- Know and understand, in advance, the criteria for producing a quality product or performance
- Participate in reflection, self-and peer-assessment
- Base their learning on real-life experiences that can lead to further inquiries
- Express different points of view and interpretations
- Analyse their learning and understand what needs to be improved
Effective assessments allow teachers to:
- Inform every stage of the teaching and learning process
- Plan in response to student and teacher inquiries
- Develop criteria for producing a quality product or performance
- Gather evidence from which sound conclusions can be drawn
- Provide evidence that can be effectively reported and understood by the whole school community
- Collaboratively review and reflect on student performance and progress
- Take into account a variety of learning styles, multiple intelligences and abilities; including different cultural contexts
- Use scoring that is both analytical (separate scores for different aspects of the work) and holistic (single scores)
Effective assessments allow parents to:
- See evidence of student learning and development
- Develop an understanding of the student’s progress
- Provide opportunities to support and celebrate student learning
The assessment component in the school’s curriculum can itself be subdivided into three closely related areas:
- Assessing – how we discover what the students know and have learned
- Recording – how we choose to collect and analyse data
- Reporting – how we choose to communicate information
1. Types of Assessment
Pre-assessment: allows teacher to gather prior knowledge, find what the students already know and can do and is used to guide instruction.
- “What I know” and KWL charts
- Written pre-test
- Entrance ticket
- Daily review questions
- Class discussions and anecdotal evidence
- Self- and Peer- assessment
- Learning journals
- Reading inventories-running records
Summative assessment: occurs at the end of a learning cycle in order to give students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. It can assess several elements simultaneously: it measures understanding of the central idea, and prompts students towards action.
- Formal written tests
- Exhibition (Grade 6)
Formative assessment: is interwoven into the daily learning process in order to guide and plan the next stage of learning. It aims to promote learning by giving regular and frequent feedback.
Some examples of how teachers check for understanding include:
- Oral responses
- Exit tickets
- Group work and collaboration
- Self, peer, and group reflections
Provincial and International Assessments:
- Provincial Mathematics and Reading Assessments (PRMA)- Provincial Dept. of Ed. Newfoundland and Labrador
- PCAP- Provincial Dept. of Ed. Newfoundland and Labrador
- Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT4)- National Standards
2. Recording and Data Collection
At Lakecrest, teachers use a range of methods and approaches to gather information about student learning. They record this information using a variety of strategies and tools.
- anecdotal notes
- observation checklists
- question and answer
- running records
- checklists, rating scales and rubrics.
Teachers use a range of methods to document the evidence of student learning and understanding.This may include video, audio, photographs and graphic representations. As well, there are written records of standard conversations, comments, explanations and annotated pieces of students’ work that form part of a student portfolio.
Reporting assessment at Lakecrest includes communicating what students know, understand and can do. Reporting to parents, students and teachers occurs through:
- Conferences (Parent-Teacher) (Student-Parent-Teacher) (Student-Led)
- The portfolio
- Report cards
- The Exhibition (Grade 6)
- Informal phone calls, emails and meetings
The portfolio is an important part of the school’s reporting program. It provides a record of student effort and achievement in all areas of school curriculum. Each K-6 student shares their Portfolio at the Student-Led Conference.
Report cards are provided three times a year and will make reference to transdisciplinary units of inquiry, English and Mathematical units as well as a general comment of the action of the learner. These summaries are to include references to the IB Learner Profile, the Transdisciplinary skills and the essential elements of the PYP.
Student Led Conferences
Student Led Conferences are formal reporting sessions to parents, led by the students themselves. The teacher’s role in this process is to guide and prepare the students. The emphasis is on the discussion between the child and their parent(s) or caregiver(s).
The focus of the Student Led Conference is on student’s progress – academic and social. Student Led Conferences are designed to give students ownership of the assessment of their own learning, so they can become more actively involved and committed. These conferences make students accountable for their learning and encourage student/parent communication.
Grade 6 Exhibition
Students in the final year of the Primary Years Programme carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry approach – the PYP Exhibition. Exhibition is the final project that occurs at the end of the PYP and is intended to showcase the students’ knowledge, skills, understanding of key concepts, attitudes and learner profile attributes acquired throughout their years in the PYP. The Exhibition is a year-long inquiry that is student-led and student-explored.
It is important to ensure that each individual is supported to make the most effective use of the range of learning opportunities provided. There should be a variety of teaching and learning experiences and resources that match the goals and methods of the learner, and are relevant to their skills and knowledge. Assessment tasks are required to be challenging to provide opportunities for all students to demonstrate their knowledge and tasks that match their learning style.
It is important that our approaches to teaching and learning reflect these opportunities to differentiate. Lakecrest has implemented this IB pedagogical framework to further support both the approaches to teaching and the approaches to learning.
v) Assessment Policy Review
The Head of School and Assistant Heads of School in collaboration with the PYP Coordinator, will consider areas for review and clarification annually. As a result, an Action Plan will be developed for the following year based on what has been achieved, and areas for further development.
vi) Essential Agreements on Assessment
All teachers are expected to communicate the IB philosophy and the Programme
of Inquiry to the parents through:
- Parent Information night at the beginning of the year
- PYP information evening
- Class Newsletters and/or emails
- The School website
- Teacher website
- Formal invitations (Open houses, Exhibition, Student-Led Conferences, InMind or
other celebration of learning events)
- Informal invitations (classroom and school-wide initiatives)
- Report Cards
- Student learning samples sent home for reflection
- Student portfolios (PYP Binder)
- Student-Led Conferences
Assessment Objectives are planned at the start of the unit and demonstrate clear links
between the assessment tasks and all components of the planner, i.e. central idea and
lines of inquiry, key concepts, teacher and student questions, learning activities.
- Assessment strategies and tools are varied and can include pre and post
assessment tasks and formative and summative assessments.
- Assessments include peer and self-assessment where appropriate.
- Students are involved in the development of some of the assessment activities
and tools (e.g. rubrics). Students are informed of the assessment criteria if they
are not involved in the development of the assessment activities.
- Assessment informs and directs future learning (formative).
- At the school level, we are working towards addressing all five of the essential
elements (knowledge, concepts, approaches to learning, attitudes and action)
and the learner profile.
- Teachers are familiar with the assessment policy of the school.
A Student-Led Conference is a conference with parents led by the student. The role of the classroom teacher is a facilitator in the conference process. Students lead parents through a discussion of their work and established academic and social goals.
- Students are involved in choosing what is shared with parents.
- Students address knowledge, skills, concepts, attitudes and action.
- Teachers welcome parents and guardians and review the process.
- Student-Led Conferences take place in March, a week after the March reports are sent home.
- Student-Led Conference dates are published in the school newsletter and calendar.
Portfolios are collections of children’s work that are designed to celebrate student learning through the PYP, showing the development of the whole child, successes, growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection, both within and outside of the Program of Inquiry in all subject areas. Portfolios are used by students to communicate this development with parents at Student-Led Conferences and with teachers and peers throughout the year.
- Each student shares their learning portfolio at the Student-Led Conferences
- Portfolios provide information about the content of the unit of inquiry and include the summative assessment for the unit.
- Work samples from the specialist teachers are included in the portfolio.
- Portfolios may include a range of assessment strategies and tools and can
include pre and post assessment tasks and formative and summative assessments.
- Assessment samples may include peer and self-assessments where appropriate.
- Students are involved in the selection and development of some of the work samples and assessment samples.
- There is evidence of a student’s reflection on learning and of goal setting.
- All work samples are teacher acknowledged in some way and should be dated.
- Writing samples (demand and process) are maintained in the binder after each grade level is completed.