Kuwait Bilingual School
An IB World School

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Kuwait Bilingual School

Assessment Policy

 

 Kuwait Bilingual School Assessment Policy

 

Introduction

 

Kuwait Bilingual School is a registered IB school. Pre-K to Grade 5 is registered with the PYP program. The school is currently a candidate school for the MYP program, grades 6-10. Grades 11-12 follows an adapted American High School Diploma recognised by the State of Kuwait.

 

Philosophy of Assessment

 

Kuwait Bilingual School aims to meet the IB standards of assessment. Assessment at KBS supports and promotes authentic, trans-disciplinary and relevant student learning. Clear criteria are developed to achieve this. Assessment tools are in place so that students make the transition from the PYP to the MYP and build upon the understanding and knowledge of the central idea, concepts, student learner profiles, attributes, attitudes and Trans disciplinary skills. In grades 11-12 the focus is on students understanding of acquired knowledge and skills and how they can apply it in their lives and the wider community. Thorough assessment and feedback promotes student learning and provides an anchor for ongoing studies. (Further/Tertiary) Education).

 

Purpose of Assessment

 

Assessment at KBS is a tool for teachers to establish a picture of what students know, understand and can do as well as to monitor the effectiveness of the educational programme. When creating PYP/MYP units and high school lesson plans, teachers ensure that the assessments are integral to the learning process as well as aligned with subject-task group objectives. Teachers also gather information from a variety of perspectives, using a range of tasks according to the needs of the subject and the nature of the knowledge, skills and understanding being assessed. Assessments provide evidence of student understanding through authentic performance, not simply the recall of factual knowledge. This enables teachers to analyze and address areas of concern, areas of student development and to implement strategies, which address individual student learning needs. It is a transparent process inclusive of all stakeholders that allows insight into student progress in order to provide necessary, constructive feedback.

 

MYP uses a ‘best fit’ approach in which teachers work collaboratively to establish common standards against which they evaluate each student’s achievement holistically. This criteria-related approach is neither norm-referenced, nor criterion-referenced. There is a distinction between internal summative assessment and the supporting formative process. Attention is given to the most accurate demonstration of student performance. Assessment of student understanding is at the end of a course, based on the whole course and not individual components of the course.

 

  

Assessment strategies

 

Teachers use a comprehensive approach to gather information about a student’s learning. This ensures effective assessment of the learning experience.  

 

Pre-assessment: This takes place at the beginning of new learning in order to uncover prior knowledge and experiences as well as to direct further learning. Many pre-assessments involve the ‘tuning in’ activities for each unit of inquiry.

 

Entry Level Assessments: KBS administers entry-level tests to new / potential students to determine their academic level in English, Arabic and Mathematics. KG uses the BRIGANCE, Grades 4-12 use school devised admissions tests.

 

Formative assessment: Formative assessment is a wide variety of methods that teachers use to evaluate students’ understanding, learning needs and academic progress during and throughout a unit or lesson. The goal of formative assessment is to collect detailed information that can be used to improve instruction and student learning while it is happening. This is incorporated into the daily learning process. Through effective formative assessment teachers gather, analyze, interpret and use a variety of evidence to deepen understanding. Regular feedback helps learners to recognize the criteria for success, engage in thoughtful reflection, become more knowledgeable, improve understanding, develop the capacity for self-assessment and fosters enthusiasm for further learning.

 

Examples of formative assessment might be, observation, individual teacher interviews, self-assessment, peer-assessment, quizzes, selected responses, open-ended tasks, performance tasks, process journals and portfolios.

 

Diagnostic assessment: Is closely linked to formative assessment. Whereas formative assessment looks forward, diagnostic assessment looks backwards. It focuses on one area or domain of knowledge. It is intended to improve the learner’s experience and their level of achievement. It is commonly viewed as pre-assessments. It assesses what the learner already knows and/or the nature of the difficulties that the learner might have, which, if undiagnosed, might limit their engagement in new learning.

 

Diagnostic assessments can also assist individual teachers with differentiation in the classroom. If a student’s assessment results on diagnostic testing arises concern, the school can refer the students for Cognitive Diagnostic testing to an outside agency.

 

 

Standardized Assessment: KBS conducts a range of standardized tests in order to have a comparable measure of how students’ progress against other international schools. These tests are usually conducted in February. The ISA tests students Math and English skills (Grade 3-8). The AVANT tests students’ Arabic skills. In Grades 10 and 11 students take the PSAT.

 

External International Exams like SAT, TOEFL and IELTS are done on request should KBS students require it for global university entrance.

 

Students planning to attend the local universities are required to do a Kuwait University Entrance Exam.

 

Summative assessment: Summative assessment refers to the assessment of students where the focus is on the outcome of a program, Summative assessment are cumulative evaluations to measure a student’s learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period, typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year.

 

PYP considers assessment summative when, students are able to use what they have learnt and apply it in new ways. Summative assessment aims to give all stakeholders clear, evidence-based insight into students understanding of the central idea which is linked to a trans-disciplinary theme. Summative assessments are conducted at the end of a unit of inquiry or at regular intervals while the unit is being taught in order to assess how student understanding evolves over time.

 

Examples of PYP summative assessments can be:  reports, plays, presentations, explanations, exhibitions, tests, quizzes, assignments and projects.

 

Internal school based summative assessment is part of every MYP unit and is currently being phased into practice at KBS. The MYP assessment criteria encompasses the factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive dimensions of knowledge. Summative assessment will occur throughout the course and is designed to allow students to demonstrate achievement towards the expectation of the course, using required MYP subject-group-specific assessment criteria. The use of the specific criteria in the subject groups are mandatory in Grades 6, 8 and 10 (MYP years 1, 3 and 5). Summative assessment forms the primary basis for establishing report card levels of achievement.

 

Examples of MYP summative assessments can be: Compositions (musical, physical, artistic), Creation of solutions or products in response to the problem, Essays,, Questionnaires, Investigations, Research, Performances, Presentations and End of Semester/Final  Exams.

 

In Grades 11-12 summative assessments are used to determine whether and to what degree students have learned the material they have been taught. It is an evaluative process that determines learning progress and achievement. KBS records summative assessment results as scores or grades that are factored into a students’ academic record. These results are published in the students’ report card.

 

 Examples of summative assessments in Grade 11 and 12 can be: End of unit or chapter tests, assignments, a final project and end of semester/final exams.

 

Ministry Assessment Requirements for Arabic Subjects

 

KBS adheres to the requirements of the Private Education Department of the Ministry of Education in Kuwait that mandates schools to test 4 times a year. These assessments are exclusively to test student’s level in Arabic subjects. Prescribed criteria are given and teachers create the tests, which must be approved by officials from the Ministry. This applies to grades 5-12. In grades 1-4 summative assessments are used after every unit or Arabic lesson, in the form of quizzes.  KBS students write an end of semester Arabic exam in grades 6-12. 

 

Accommodations/Alternative assessments

 

KBS provides informal support in different ways for students during assessments to communicate their knowledge back without altering or lowering the expected standard. These accommodations offer a way for students with learning disabilities to demonstrate what they have learned. The goal at KBS is to find a balance that gives students equal access to assessments.

 

The aim at KBS is to use the following accommodations,

 

Presentation accommodations: Allows students with print disabilities to access test directions or content in ways that do not require them to visually decode standard print. Visual, tactile or auditory formats can be used to help them access test directions.

 

Response accommodations: Allows student to record responses to test questions in alternate ways or to solve or organize a response using some type of material or device.

 

Timing/Scheduling Accommodations: changes the allowable length of testing time and may also change the way the time is organized.

 

Setting Accommodations: Changes the location in which an assessment is given or the condition of the assessment setting.

 

Classifying Accommodations: Refers to a change in test materials or procedures. This decision rests with school administration.

 

 

Moderation for Consistency (Moderating teacher judgments)

 

KBS will implement this strategy as part of the Assessment program in the 2015-2016 School Year. This will apply to Grades 1-12. The purpose of moderation is to ensure that teachers are making consistent judgments about standards. Teachers will collaborate to come to a shared understanding about the expectations for a particular standard so that when a student response is awarded (credit), it has the same characteristics regardless of who marks/grades it. Moderation is improved when validity and reliability are improved.

 

Validity-Makes sure the task assesses what you intend to assess.

 

Reliability-Means that different assessors, acting independently, using the same task descriptors, come to the same judgment.

 

Examples of moderation processes include: teachers developing criteria/standard descriptors, cross-marking, individual teachers grade all responses to a particular part of a task and have moderation meetings to confirm consistency.

 

Assessment tools

 

Teachers take into consideration which tools are most applicable and relevant to the specific strategies. This helps to ensure that an effective assessment of the learning experience takes place. At KBS a variety of tools are utilized.

 

Rubrics: An established set of criteria for rating students in all areas. Rubrics can be developed by students as well as teachers.

 

Checklists: Lists of information, data, attributes or elements that should be present in a particular response to a task. A mark scheme is a type of checklist.

 

Anecdotal records: Brief written notes based on observations. Records on the whole class, smaller groups or on individual students can help the teacher to identify areas of understanding or misunderstanding.

 

Exemplars: Samples of students work that serve as concrete standards against which other samples are judged.

 

Continuums: Visual representations of developmental stages of learning. It shows a progression of achievement and can identify where a student has reached in relation to that learning process. It also identifies the next stage of learning that can lead to the mastery of skills.

 

Documentation

 

The documentation of the evidence of student learning is a relevant assessment strategy school-wide. Teachers use a range of methods to document student learning as a means of assessing student understanding. This includes, but is not limited to, videos, audio, photographs and graphic representations. Teachers also use written records of student conversations, comments, explanations, hypotheses as well as annotated pieces of student work that may form part of a student’s portfolio.

 

Portfolios- Portfolios are used to document and store student information. It is also used to document student progress and achievement. It is a record of students’ involvement in the learning process and is designed to demonstrate success, growth, higher-order thinking, creativity, assessment strategies and reflection. It contains samples of students’ work, chosen from different learning areas. Each piece indicates the objective of the work, the instruction given, an assessment and how the PYP/MYP Learner Profile elements have been demonstrated. Students are involved in developing their portfolios. They have free access to them in the classroom and are able to select pieces of work to be included.

 

Teachers can use e-portfolios. The same criteria apply.

 

Reporting of Assessment

Reporting is done to share information between teachers, parents and students. It ensures regular and relevant communication to pupils, teachers, parents and partners. It reflects the values of the KBS community. It is comprehensive, fair, honest, credible and understandable to all parties. It is linked to both formative and summative methods of assessment. The recording and reporting of individual pupil assessment outcomes, measured against agreed and shared assessment criteria is the responsibility of each teacher. It allows teachers to incorporate ‘shared knowledge’ into future teaching and assessment practice and it forms a basis for report cards.

Student’s academic progress is reported regularly, through the school’s reporting system. Staff report home through progress reports three times a year for PYP and four times a year for MYP. Teachers continually update the students’ record of achievement profiles when formative and summative assessments are completed for units of work.

Assessment information is regularly analyzed by teachers, against published criteria and every student is individually analyzed. Feedback is continually provided to parents as they have access to their children’s’ assessment profile through their password protected online accounts on the schools online system which is currently being updated.

KBS reports students’ progress in three ways.

Written Reports

These provide parents with a comprehensive guide to their child’s development. It gives information about each student’s personal development as well as progress against the standard expectations for their grade level

 Class teachers collate assessment data from formative and summative assessment. It is reported on a scale system of 1 to 5 in PYP, whilst in MYP, all teachers contribute assessment data from their subject. It is reported on a scale of 1 to 7. In G11-12 the grades given are converted to credits for the GPA record of each student. As MYP is implemented the school will develop a conversion scale to equate MYP descriptors to % to meet graduation standards.

Parent Conferences

These are designed to give parents information about the students’ progress, development and needs, and about the schools’ program. Teachers address concerns and help to define their role in the learning process. Parent conferences are held twice a year throughout the different phases. In addition parents and teachers are encouraged to arrange meetings any time there is a need.

Student-Led Conferences

 KBS plans to implement SLCs in the 2016 academic year. Student-Led Conferences awards students with the opportunity to share assessment data about their learning with their parents. They celebrate their learning through the year as represented by their portfolios and other evidence. Children take personal responsibility for their education. They plan and practice their presentations prior to the conference. They are given guidelines on how to present examples of the PYP/MYP learner Profile as well as a range of academic work.

The Exhibition

In Grade 5, the final year of the PYP at KBS, students participate in the PYP exhibition. The exhibition is a culminating, trans-disciplinary, self-directed experience that requires each student to demonstrate their understanding of the five essential elements of the program: Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action. The exhibition provides an authentic summative assessment for the PYP.

This culminating experience provides an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the IB learner profile that have been developing through their engagement with the PYP journey. Students engage in a collaborative, trans-disciplinary inquiry process where they identify, investigate and offer solutions to real-life issues. They share this journey with the whole school community. Their exhibition is recorded through, individual student learning journals, teachers’ anecdotal records of their work and performance, the Grade 5 blog / portfolio and a permanent record of the exhibition that includes, planners, photography and videos. Assessment of the exhibition takes place through the whole school. It is ongoing throughout the whole phase of the exhibition.

The Community Project

In Grades 8 or 9 (Year 3 or 4 of the MYP) students are given the option to complete a Community Project. Students are expected to work approximately 15 hours on their project. They can do this individually or collaboratively in groups of no more than three students.

The community project focuses on community and service, encouraging students to explore their rights and responsibility to implement service as action in the community. It gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and address these needs through service learning. As a consolidation of learning, the community project engages in a sustained, in-depth inquiry leading to service as action in the community.

This project does not form part of the curriculum for any specific subject group, although any subject/s may support the completion of the project. The projects are assessed and internally standardized according to prescribed criteria by supervisors who understand their role and responsibilities. Students must participate in the MYP program for at least two years and complete requirements in year 3 or 4 and complete the community project, to become eligible for the MYP record of participation. This award is school based and not validated by IB.

Students at KBS are offered the opportunity to participate in both the community project and the personal project.

The Personal Project

In Grade 10, final year of the MYP, students must complete a personal project, with the majority of their work undertaken in the final MYP year. They are expected to work approximately 25 hours on their personal project. The Personal Project is an individual project. Students are registered in MYP year 5 for external moderation of the project.

The personal project encourages students to practice and strengthen their approaches to learning (ATL) skills, to consolidate prior and subject-specific learning and to develop an area of personal interest. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to produce a truly personal and creative product and to demonstrate a consolidation of their learning in the MYP. The project offers many opportunities for differentiation of learning and expression according to students’ individual needs. The personal nature of the project is important; the project should revolve around a challenge that motivates and interests the individual student.

Personal projects are developed and presented in either English or Arabic (in one of the MYP moderating languages).

Students who successfully complete MYP year 5 and the personal project including the school’s requirements for community service are eligible for IB MYP course results that reports their achievements in the program. IB MYP course results provide official documentation of successful grades that have been externally validated by MYP e-Assessments.

MYP projects are student centered and age-appropriate and enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. It is designed to help students develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and to demonstrate ATL skills developed throughout the MYP. It also fosters the development of independent life-long learners.

 

 

Graduation Project

In Grade 12, students are required to do a project as part of their assessment towards graduating. This is an internal project and may be completed individually or in pairs. Teachers collaborate to set the criteria and the project is evaluated by a chosen panel of in- school evaluators.

The project focuses on people / organizations that have contributed / is contributing to society and has made / is making a considerable impact on the society and / or the global world.

Students do a presentation on their project, in a format of their choice and are evaluated according to fulfilling certain presentation requirements such as knowledge, purpose, transition and logic.

The following content skills are also evaluated, literacy, clarity, style, scientific method, effort, data and relevance.

The student receives a percentage grade for this project and is awarded credit.

 

  

 

 

Last update June 2015