Approved by:

Board of governors

Date: 

Last reviewed on:

April 2018

Next review due by:

April 2019

Review Team :

  • Principal
  • Vice Principal
  • Head of SEND School
  • Head of Foundation School
  • Head of Primary School
  • Head of Secondary School

Contents

1. Aims    2

2. Legislation and guidance     3

3. Principles of assessment     3

4. Assessment approaches      3

5. Collecting and using data      6

6. Reporting to parents      6

7. Inclusion      7

8. Training     7

9. Roles and responsibilities     7

10. Monitoring     8

11. Review      9


1. Aims

This policy aims to:

  1. Provide clear guidelines on Dubai Carmel School approach to formative and summative assessment
  2. .Establish a consistent and coherent approach to recording summative assessments,external benchmark outcomes and reporting to parents
  3. Clearly set out how and when assessment practice will be monitored and evaluated
  4. To measure student’s attainment and progress accurately and consistently

2. Legislation and guidance

This policy refers to and has been developed taking guidance from :-

  1. Cambridge International assessment framework.
  2. KHDA supplements outlining the mandatory external examinations and
  3. Discussion with few Dubai schools.
  4. EYFS- Assessment Profile – Handbook

3. Principles of assessment

DCS is committed to the provision of assessment tasks and feedback that guide and evaluate student learning and provide credible information on their achievement. The following principles apply to all assessment tasks formative and In-school summative assessments.

3.1 :Assessment is designed to guide and enhance student learning.

Assessments tasks are designed so that student learning  is directed to the learning outcome. Formal and Informal feedback informs students about their current level of achievement and supports future learning

3.2:Student learning is assessed against learning outcomes and expected standards of performance.

Judgments about student learning are made by reference to both learning outcomes and performance standards as set out from the Cambridge International curriculum framework. Assessment  tasks  reflect what students are expected to learn and is measured against the expected age related curriculum standards.

3.3: Assessment provides reliable information on student achievement.

Provides trustworthy information which is transferable and easily understood and covers both qualitative and quantitative assessment. Administrative processes assure the security , equity and integrity of assessment and results.

3.4:  Assessment is fair and provides all students an impartial opportunity to demonstrate           their learning.

All students are entitled to fair assessments to demonstrate their learning. Information about assessment requirements, assessment criteria and expectations of performance are clear.

3.5: Assessment develops students’ abilities to evaluate their own and peer’s work.

It is through assessment process students develop peer and self assessment skills and take responsibility of their own learning. It provides opportunities  to reflect on feedback and plan to  execute subsequent action and improve their future learning and performance.

3.6 : Feedback to all stake holders.

Feedback to all the stakeholders is an integral part of effectiveness of DCS Assessment policy. Feedback is either oral or in written format. Oral feedback is the most regular and interactive form of feedback, and is a highly effective way of helping learners know what they need to do to move forward with their work. It can be targeted to individuals or groups but has the advantage that others can listen to what is said and learn from it indirectly.

  1. To students

Feedback works in three directions:

  • Teacher to learners – the teacher gives guidance to learners about their current achievement and the next steps they need to take.
  • Learners to teacher – the teacher receives feedback from learners about their learning.
  • Learner to learner – peer assessment.
  1. To Parents

Parents feedback can be oral in Parents/Teacher meetings in the form of a dialogue while written in the fporm of term assessment report and is directed specifically to their child.

  1. To Senior Leaders & Board of governors

Feedback to senior leaders & Board of governors need to be summarized and an overall measure of school performance.

  1. To external bodies (DSIB/KHDA)

Data to external bodies will be provided in the form requested by them. It can be comparative analysis over years, between genders or individual.

4. Assessment approaches

At Dubai Carmel School we see assessment as an integral part of teaching and learning, and it is inextricably linked to our curriculum.

We use three broad overarching forms of assessment: day-to-day in-school formative assessment, in-school summative assessment and nationally standardised summative assessment.

4.1 In-school formative assessment (Assessment for learning)

Effective in-school formative assessment enables:

  1. Teachers and learning Assistants to identify how pupils are performing on a continuing basis and to use this information to provide appropriate support or extension, evaluate teaching and plan future lessons
  2. Pupils to measure their knowledge and understanding against learning objectives, and identify areas in which they need to improve
  3. Parents to gain a broad picture of where their child’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and what they need to do to improve.

Range of approaches to gather information include

  1. Diagnostic exams at the start of the academic year.
  2. assessment tools, which may be written items, structured interview questions, or items teachers make up themselves
  3. student self and peer assessments
  4. a detailed analysis of a student’s work
  5. day-to-day activities, such as learning conversations
  6. a simple mental note taken by the teacher during observation

Formative assessment is given weight  in final term summative examination that varies in phases to accomplish the specific Cambridge objectives and prepare students for their post school journey in an effective way.

Four basic pillars of formative assessment include checking their progress in knowledge, skills, understanding and application of learnt concepts. Summative assessments are used to identify learning gaps and surface misconceptions to be rectified in future learning.

4.2 In-school summative assessment (Assessment of learning)

Effective in-school summative assessment enables:

  1. School leaders to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, identify where interventions may be required, and work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and attainment
  2. Teachers and learning Assistants to evaluate learning at the end of a unit or period and the impact of their own teaching.
  3. Pupils to understand how well they have learned and understood a topic or course of work taught over a period of time. It should be used to provide feedback on how they can improve
  4. Parents to stay informed about the achievement, progress and wider outcomes of their child across a period

These assessments are used to evaluate students learning ,skill acquisition and academic achievement at the conclusion of the term. At DCS we have three terms and summative assessments are  at the end of term1,term2 and term 3. These assessments have high stakes and high point value .  

                                                                Grading System for EYFS

Emerging   =1   = 69%  and less than
Expected   =2    = 70% to 89%
Exceeding  =3    = 90%  to 100%

Assessment approach  meets the needs of  children, parents, staff and curriculum.  Main forms of assessments are

1. Day-to-day formative assessment – to inform teaching on an ongoing basis

2. In-setting summative assessment – to understand a child’s performance at the end of a period of teaching.

                                                             Grading System for Year 1 to Year 6

A+ 95 – 100 A 90 – 94
B+ 85 – 89 B 80 – 84
C+ 75 – 79 C 70 – 74
D+ 65 – 69 D 60 – 64
E+ 55 – 59 E 50 -54
U 49 and below

In all subject  areas assessments are conducted on a continuous basis as the teaching and learning progresses. Progress and attainment is tracked using the following curriculum standards.

Attainment Level: Exceeding, Meeting, and Working towards

Passing mark is 50 % for all subjects.

*End of Term Attainment Grade is a combination of 40% from Continuous Assessments and 60% from term exams.

                                                            Grading System for Year 7  &Year 8

A+ 95 – 100 A 90 – 94
B+ 85 – 89 B 80 – 84
C+ 75 – 79 C 70 – 74
D+ 65 – 69 D 60 – 64
E+ 55 – 59 E 50 -54
U 49 and below

For Year 9 to  Year 12  grades are awarded based on grade  thresholds at Cambridge International IGCSE/AS Level examinations.

Passing mark is 50 % for all subjects  

In lower & higher secondary end of term grade is a consolidation of 75% term exams (Summative Assessment) and 25% internal continuous assessments (Formative Assessment).

High weight of summative examinations is kept with the principle in mind that these students have to appear at IGCSE/AS Level examinations in year 10, year 11 and year 12. As such they should be ready to take the challenge of more reliance on a summative examination and practice for long duration examination.

Grade 10, 11 and 12 go for mock examination to replace their second term examination and final IGCSE/AS level examination that replaces the final term.

4.3 Nationally standardised summative assessment

The U.A.E National Agenda  continues as the most important initiative taken by H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. In view of this there are mandatory components to ensure the most effective preparation in fulfilling the National Agenda objectives. These external examination  help the schools in Dubai to improve teaching and learning and bring both to an international standard.

Nationally standardised summative assessment enables:

  1. School leaders to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, identify where interventions may be required, and work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and attainment
  2. Teachers and learning Assistants to understand national expectations and assess their own performance in the broader national context
  3. Pupils and parents to understand how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally

For primary school/middle secondary schools

Nationally standardised summative assessments as outlined by KHDA  include:

  1. Cambridge Checkpoints (year 6 & year 9) at end of Key stage 2 and key stage 3
  2. International Benchmark Test (IBT) for Arabic (year 4, 5 & 6)
  3. Cognitive abilities test (CAT4) for year 4 to year 11
  4. GL Progress Tests in Math, English & Science for year 4 to year 10

For secondary schools only

IGCSE exams at the end of year 10 & 11 while GCE AS Level at the end of year 12.

The National Agenda Parameter  2018-2019 components Requirements
Targeted Grades Number of Students
1 GL Cognitive ability test-CAT 4 Y 5,7,9,11 All students in targeted grades
2 GL( PTE, PTM)
GL ( PTS)
Y 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Y 4,5,6 & 8
All students in targeted grades
3 Cambridge Primary & Secondary Checkpoint Y 6,9 All students in targeted grades
4 PISA test will be administered in 2018 Y 8 All students in targeted grades
5 TIMSS in  2019 Y 4,8 All students in targeted grades

 

5. Collecting and using data

DCS is using student portal system for communicating with parents and students. The assessment data is posted regularly on school portal which can be accessed by parents and teachers online in the comfort of their home and at a time convenient to them. All summative assessment data is posted on portal and becomes a part of school assessment database which can be used to compare data from different periods, different genders and different cohort of students.

A progress tracker is also a part of this online portal.

Subject teachers maintain a mark book that has information of each student in their class  relating to  their summative  and formative assessment marks. Outcomes of all formal assessments are recorded and shared with the subject leaders. External exams data and CAT4 scores are  available for each pupil which ensures realistic target setting. Subject leaders have an overview of the assessments and interpret the results  to improve learning and setting targets. Besides mark book teacher also carry with them a teachers file which includes the brief outcome of external exams and students grouping based on these external exam results.

6. Reporting to parents

  • Parents  have 5 opportunities in an academic year to have formal feedbacks:
  •     2 parent /teacher meetings , and 3 end of term reports.
  •  School has an effective online portal system of reporting assessment results to parents. Formative  assessment  reports are effectively  communicated to parents  through  the portal allowing a dialogue between subject leaders and parents. Parents can also check student attendance on this portal.
  • Parents can meet any faculty member regarding any concerns of their child by taking prior appointment any time during the academic year.

7. Inclusion

The principles of this assessment policy apply to all pupils, including those with special educational needs or disabilities/students of determination

Assessment will be used diagnostically to contribute to the early and accurate identification of pupils’ special educational needs and any requirements for support and intervention.

We will use meaningful ways of measuring all aspects of progress, including communication, social skills, physical development, resilience and independence. We will have the same high expectations of all pupils. However, this should account for the amount of effort the pupil puts in as well as the outcomes achieved.

For pupils working below the national expected level of attainment, our assessment arrangements will consider progress relative to pupil starting points, and take this into account alongside the nature of pupils’ learning difficulties.

8. Training

As Dubai Carmel School is a fully accredited Cambridge International Primary & Secondary School we have arrangements with British Council & Cambridge to be a member of PSGN (Partner School Global Network). The network allows online training of staff on different educational aspects including the modern trends in assessments. One online professional training has been suggested mandatory for all the teachers of DCS. Head of Schools in coordination with IGCSE Coordinator are responsible for this professional development.

School also manages training for analyzing external exam data like CAT 4 and GL progress test. The system intact calls for one staff member to attend this training and then train other school staff.

9. Roles and responsibilities

    Stake holders play an important role to guide and enhance student learning

9.1:  Role of Governors

  1. Adequate funding
  2. Supports the school with assessment strategies and infrastructure
  3. Give recommendations for future planning based on attainment data

9.2: The Role of Senior Leaders in Assessment

Senior leaders monitor the effectiveness of this policy and ensure good assessment practices are followed across whole school. They use assessment information to plan professional development courses for the staff.

9.3: The Role of Middle Leaders in Assessment

  1. Middle leaders in DCS have the full support of  SLT as they fulfil their responsibilities  
  2. Ensures that their subject teachers fully comprehend the assessment requirements and alternative ways to assess their students
  3. Formative assessments forms an integral part and proper recording of assessments are done.
  4. Periodically monitor assessment of student’s work in their subject through lesson observation, student’s work sample, and surveys.
  5. Ensure that scheme of work forms an integral part of teaching and learning
  6. Keeps the senior leaders informed about students’ progress and use assessment information to plan future strategies.

9.4:  The Role of Teachers in Assessment

Teachers at DCS  use a range of methods to assess and measure progress and attainment of their students in the following ways

  1. Lessons have clear learning objectives and students are aware of them
  2. Differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all the students based on assessment results
  3. Encourage students to actively engage in formative assessments and motivate them to take responsibility of their own learning through self/peer assessment and reflection.
  4. Identify the strengths and weakness of students and give formal and informal feedback and setting appropriate targets.
  5. Share assessment report with subject leaders  for future planning and inform any concerns related to students work
  6. Identify through assessment, students who are at a  risk of underachievement and plan intervention strategies.

9.5: The Role of Students in Assessment

Students at DCS are required to

  1.  be an active participant  in assessment opportunities in classes
  2. take responsibilities for their own learning and become reflective learners acting on written and oral feedback from teachers.
  3. support peer assessment

9.6:  The Role of Parents in Assessment

All parents should

  1. Support their child in his learning and work as a  team with school leaders and teachers to improve progress or solve any concerns identified through assessment data.
  2. Support their children with home learning

10. Monitoring

10.1: Target Setting:

 At DCS subject leaders and  teachers set student targets in line with curriculum  framework and learning objectives using

  1. Prior attainment of each student
  2. Individual CAT 4 results for each student
  3. Data from External Benchmark tests.

Targets are realistic and in line with curriculum expectations .They are reported to parents to know of their child’s strength progress  and achievements.

10.2: Marking

At DCS  we believe that marking and feedback is the key to pupil progress. Teachers periodically mark their students’ work to focus on achievements and areas of development against curriculum expectations and improve their current levels of performance.

10.3: Standardization

Standardized procedure exist within  each department at DCS. Sampling and cross marking is done. An agreed marking scheme or criteria  is available to ensure uniform marking. Moderation by  subject leaders leads to shared expectations of learning and understanding of standards.

10.4: Tracking students’ progress

  1. We at DCS systematically analyze data  with the purpose of  
  2. Informing  SLT of the school strengths and area of improvement for self evaluation
  3. Informing parents of their child’s achievements and expectations
  4.  Setting individual or group targets.
  5. Informing subject leaders of attainment and to make improvement plans.

10.4: Identification of Learning Gaps.

To ensure effective learning is taking place, after summative assessment learning gaps if any are identified. The gaps identified are threaded back into later topics to secure the knowledge.

.

11. Review

This policy is to be reviewed annually by the senior leadership team and any deficiency or weakness in assessments will be remedied.

[Assessment Policy 2018-2019]