Assessment Policy – Diploma Program

Purpose of Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning process. To ensure the effectiveness of students educational experience it is important that varied assessment techniques should be used at regular intervals. The following are the objectives for assessment which we at Fountainhead school would be targeting as part of IB global community.

  1. To provide quality feedback to students so as to ensure growth in learning of students.
  2. To prepare students so that they can meet assessment requirements of IBDP and Universities in future.
  3. To provide quality feedback to teachers regarding learners stage in the learning process, level of knowledge acquired and the extent of skills development.
  4. To provide feedback to parents regarding students progress through grades.
  5. Ensuring that assessment is criterial related and not norm referenced.
  6. Ensure that the assessment process is aligned with IBDP assessment objective.
  7. Ensuring that the assessment process is reliable and trustworthy.

Assessment at Fountainhead School

Nature

Fountainhead school will be assessing students through formative, summative and continuous assessments. The approach of school towards each type of assessment is covered under the subsequent heading. The weightage for examination is given under  the heading : Assessment weightage and cycle. It should be noted that formative will not contain any weightage as its purpose is to make teachers aware of the progress of the student on a continuous basis. Also the student may be given a chance to rewrite or attempt again his/her formative assessment as the purpose is to improve the student and not to assess him or her.

School’s approach towards assessment

Formative assessment

The school believes that formative assessment is an integral part of teaching learning process. To this end the school promotes and fosters the use formative assessment as part of day to day teaching practice. The school recommends its teachers to divide the content to be covered in summative assessment and conduct regular formative assessment on the same.

Summative assessment

The school believes that summative assessments are essential for preparing students for the final examination at the end of two years in the case of DP. The final examination will be based on the entire syllabus and not just parts of it. The school has allocated weightage (as per IB guidelines for a particular subject group) for summative assessments with a purpose of giving students the exposure to final examination.

Continuous assessment

To measure the knowledge, understanding, and skills attained by students, it is necessary that continuous assessment should form an integral part of the DP. The IB provides ample opportunities for continuous assessment thorough internal assessment components. The DP faculty at Fountainhead school will assess the student continuously over a period a time through his/her performance in internal assessment components for different subjects groups. For example the lab reports in Science, Research project and written commentary in Business Management etc. The students will be receiving feedback from teachers at regular intervals which will enable them to focus on their areas of improvement and consolidate on their strengths. Through continuous assessment the teachers will over a period of time ascertain the level of student’s progress and will be able to plan their teaching strategies so that effective learning takes place.

The school has allocated weightage (as per IB guidelines) to the continuous assessment. The main purpose of continuous assessment is to develop the various skills of the students (like team working, research skills etc) and help him/her in understanding that learning is not only limited to classroom but is an integral part of life.

Homework for IBDP students

Fountainhead school believes that homework is an integral part of the teaching process and leads to enhancement in assessment results of students.The following are expected from teachers :

  • Students should be given homework in every subject to facilitate overall development.
  • Students should be provided with quality homework.
  • Always implement practices that continue to produce valued outcomes
  • Homework task must be differentiated on the basis of learners readiness, interests, learning styles, organizational skills, amount of difficulty so that each student can benefit.

Further the teachers must do the following to ensure timely submissions

  • Discuss homework and make sure the student has understood the task
  • Enforcement of time management skills in class
  • Establish discontinuous due dates for long projects
  • Specific guidelines to be given for challenging tasks
  • The assessment of student’s work including homework should be based on the above standards and practices. The DP teachers are expected to communicate this to students through class interactions and also through formative assessments
  • The school expects that assessment expectations, standards and practices are made clear to the students from the beginning of the session

Assessment practices : Expectations from Teachers

The teachers are expected to ensure students academic progress through formative, summative and continuous assessment strategies. As stated above that the summative assessment has been assigned weightage (as per IB guidelines for a particular subject group) which indicates the significance attached to summative assessment within the overall assessment framework. However this certainly does not undermine the importance of formative and continuous assessment which are and will remain crucial for students overall learning growth.

The teachers as an integral part of the IB community are expected to include in their formative assessments the following practices :

Use of detailed assessment descriptors (rubrics and matrices)

Teacher guided self assessment

Peer evaluation through blog or other ICT resources

Few types of Formative Assessments

  • Formative assessment include :
  • Class discussions
  • Group and individual oral presentations
  • Historical investigations
  • Individual oral commentaries
  • Investigation workbooks
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Multiple-choice style quizzes and tests
  • Short and extended responses
  • Skits and performances
  • Studio work etc.

Also Fountainhead school believes in team working. We would always prefer to have two teachers for the same subject, however it may vary according to the circumstances.

In case there are two teachers in the same subject, the final internal assessment will be sent to IB subject wise and not teacherwise. The school will provide slots in the DP time table for collaborative planning where teachers teaching the same subject can share ideas.

Assessment period, weightage and cycle

For the purpose of assessment, each academic year will be having two examinations (conducted at the interval of five months each). The first examination will be held in the third and fourth week of October. The second and final examination will be held in third and fourth week of March. Entire syllabus including first examination syllabus will be assessed in the second and final examination. As a school we believe in the policy of latest and fullest. Hence only the second and final examination grade will be considered while computing the final grade of the student. The weightage of summative and internal(continuous) assessment will be as per the IB guidelines.However keeping in mind the content covered (till the date of assessment) the teacher can customize the weightage so as to ensure the balance in assessment. However it is to be kept in mind that teacher in any case should not exceed the maximum weightage for Internal assessment as prescribed by IB for that particular subject. The summative assessment will be in the form of an examination at the end of each semester. The continuous assessment will include internal assessment like lab reports in Science,research project in Business Management etc. The assessment cycle will comprise of :

Assessment Period Weightage of Internal (Continuous) Assessment Weightage of  Summative Assessment
First Examination As per IB guidelines for a particular subject group Will vary as per changes in internal assessment
Second & Final Examination As per IB guidelines for a particular subject group Will vary as per changes in internal assessment

How to mark Internal Assessment

The teachers are expected to mark the internal assessment on the basis of internal assessment criteria given for each individual subject (in the respective IB subject guide). However the teacher may use his/her judgement regarding whether to apply all the criteria or some of them. The teacher are expected to consult and take approval of respective HODs before finalising on the criteria to be applied.

Grade Descriptors

Fountainhead school believes in a transparent and fair assessment system. To this end, the grade descriptors for individual subjects will be provided to the students beforehand. The reason for having separate grade descriptors for each subject is the varied level of difficulty of each subject. For example a subject like Business Management from Group 3 cannot be judged at the same level to that of Group 5 subject like Mathematics. Further the grade boundaries will be as per the IB pattern with points starting from a maximum of grade 7 to a minimum of grade 1. However, the teacher can customize the grade boundaries and descriptors as per the difficulty level of the question paper and coverage of syllabus (till the assessment date).

The IB Grade descriptor for each of the subject group is unique and is given on the subject page on OCC.

Each subject will be having their specific grade boundaries. For the purpose of summative assessment the teachers are expected to follow IB grade boundaries(taken from last IB examinations in that subject) for their respective subject groups. However, the teacher can customize the grade boundaries and descriptors as per the difficulty level of the question paper and coverage of syllabus (till the assessment date).The grade descriptor for each IB grade are given on respective subject page of OCC. Also the grade boundary will differ as per the SL and HL level for the same subject. The marks of the students will be converted as per the IB grade boundaries for that group for previous examination session. Also it is to be noted that each subject groups grade boundary will have its own grade descriptor(for that specific subject group). The teacher is expected to communicate the grade descriptor to the student beforehand so that he/she understand the meaning of 5 or 7 grade.

Recording and Reporting

Recording

The school in alignment with IB emphasizes on criterion-related (as opposed to norm-referenced) assessment. This method of assessment judges students work in relation to identified levels of attainment, rather than in relation to the work of other students. The school will also ensure through meetings within departments and interdepartmental meetings that all its teachers are well aware of the DP assessment principles. The school will report students performance at the end of each examination. The school will use Managebac for the purpose of recording and reporting students performance. In addition to that teachers will be maintaining record of marks on Google Drive. The teachers will be grading students on the basis of individual subject group grade boundaries. Also the grade boundary will differ as per the SL and HL level for the same subject.

Reporting

The school will be reporting the performance of students through Parent Teacher Conference (PTC) held thrice a year. (Refer appendix 2 for information regarding assessing and reporting of DP core components)

Parent teacher conference

To be held thrice in an academic year. It is there in the month of July beginning(Current year)/ mid – November end(Current year), and April end(next year).

Parent-teacher conferences are short (10 Minutes) one to one session between parent and teacher that are formally arranged by the school thrice in a year after school hours usually on Friday and Saturday.

The PTCs are a valuable tool to help a parent and child’s teacher(s) work together for child’s success. This is a great opportunity for parents to ask questions and gather information that will help them to encourage their children to achieve success.

Common agenda points to discuss in PTCs will include going through the important achievements, goals set, issues with academics or behavior etc.

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The decision to promote/retain the student, to the next grade will be taken by HOS (on case to case basis), based on his/her performance in the retake examination.

Conduct of Retake Examination & Modification in report card

The retake examinations will be held in the last week of May; the results of which will be declared in a weeks time. The dates for the retake examination will be given at the time of PTC.

It is mandatory for the parents and students to meet the DPC on PTC, when student scores are matching the failing conditions (as mentioned in the examples stated in Appendix 3).

The highest score out of the 2 examinations taken will be considered, and the final end of the year report card will be modified accordingly.

Exceptional Circumstances

Absenteeism

For candidate who miss his/her examination due to reasons like sickness or any other event beyond his/her control, will be given an opportunity to appear for the retest. However

no candidate will be allowed to exploit this privilege given by school and punitive action will be taken. The decision of the HOS regarding the action to be taken in case of such violation will be final and no further request whatsoever will be entertained in this regard.

Further, the parent of the candidate may request the school for arrangement of retest one day prior or one day later to the date of that specific examination paper(missed by the student). If the school does not receive any such request within the aforesaid time period then no retest will be taken and the student will be awarded marks on the basis of his/her performance in the previous examination in that particular subject. The decision of HOS will be considered as final in such cases.

It is mandatory for the student to appear for the retest latest within three working days from the date of last examination. However in extreme cases like accidents or any form of physical injury to the candidate the school may take his/her previous examination score in that particular subject/s as a base for calculation of grades.

Further, in case the student has missed the examination in multiple subjects then the same rules will apply as in case of single subject.However if the student neither gives the examination nor appears for the retest(due to extreme circumstances) then he will awarded marks in those subjects(in which failed to appear) on the basis of previous examination performance. For example a student got 40/80 marks in previous examination and was not able to appear for current examination or retest then he will be given 50/100(assuming the current paper to be of 100 marks).

Also the school may or may not give the same paper for such retest. It is mandatory for the student to sign an undertaking before appearing for the retest that the student was having no access to the examination paper/s of that/those specific subject/s in which he/she has missed the examination/s and has not seen or heard about the content of the examination paper/s . In case the student is found guilty of misrepresentation of facts then appropriate punitive action will be taken against him/her which may include awarding zero marks or marking the candidate absent for that particular examination. Also in extreme cases, HOS have the right to expel student from the school. The decision of HOS will be considered as final in this case and no subsequent request will be entertained whatsoever.

Note : The above policy is only applicable for examination conducted by the school. In case of IBDP examination or any other examination conducted by an external body , the above provision related to absenteeism will not be applicable.

Guidelines for malpractice during examination:

Please adhere to the following instructions during the examinations.

  1. Students are expected to report (10 minutes before the start of the examination) at the examination venue.
  2. Students are not expected to talk or create any disturbance during the conduct of the examination.
  3. Students are allowed to bring water bottles inside the room.
  4. Students are expected to carry their own stationery. Borrowing of stationary during examination is not allowed.
  5. Students are expected to check their pockets & pencil boxes for any extra academic related paper/s. Strict action (which includes denial of right to appear for the subsequent examinations) will be taken against students who are found carrying any material other than what is required.
  6. Students who do not have any examination are not expected to come to school.
  7. Students who are free in between two examinations (on same day) are expected to be seated at the following venues – Senior Library.
  8. Students are permitted to use their chromebooks in Senior library only.
  9. Students are not allowed to play or go to the grounds, after the examination is over. Students who do so, will have to face consequences.
  10. The students have to sit in the examination hall for at least 60 percent time of the total duration of the paper. For eg. if the duration of the paper is 1 hour, the students are expected to sit in the examination hall for at least 36 minutes. They can then leave the examination hall if they have finished writing the paper.
  11. Students are only allowed to bring transparent bottles, transparent pencil boxes and transparent writing pads. (applicable to all grades)
  12. GDC covers are not allowed in the examination hall (Grade 9 to 12).
  13. Students need to keep their bags outside the examination wing. They are not allowed to keep it outside their examination classrooms. Students pockets will be checked by invigilator / didi / bhaiya before they enter the examination wing.
  14. Students cannot carry any material in the examination hall other than the required stationery.

Consequences of misconduct during the examination for students

  1. A warning will be given to the whole class if the student/s is found talking or disturbing the class after the start of the examination.
  2. After the warning, if the student is still found talking in the class, then 5 marks will be deducted from the subject paper student is appearing for.
  3. If student is found second time talking in the class after step 1 and 2 are informed, then student will be marked “Fail” in that subject paper examination. The student has to immediately leave the examination hall. The incident will be added as comment in the Term report.
  4. The above consequence of “Fail” will also be applied if the student is carrying a subject textbook/ notebook/ chit / unauthorized material in the examination hall. This incident will be added as comment in the Term report.
  5. The above consequence of “Fail” will also be applied if the student is arguing with the invigilator on instructions or warning being given in the examination hall. This incident will be added as comment in the Term report.
  6. A report of the incident of academic misconduct with the evidence will be made by the invigilator in consultation with the SSLT (MYPC, DPC & Vice Principal) members. The student will have to sign the report to acknowledge the misconduct and the consequences as mentioned above, shall be implemented.

Review of Assessment Policy: Roles and Responsibilities

DP Coordinator along with Heads of Departments will be collectively responsible for annual review of the assessment policy for the first three years and after that the review will be done every two years. After review the recommendation will be sent to HOS and after the approval of HOS the suggested changes will be incorporated in the policy. The link to the revised policy will be given on the schools website and all the stakeholders will be notified regarding the same through mail and blog.

Internal Calendar for meeting DP deadlines

Fountainhead believes in the system of having internal deadlines well before time so as to meet DP deadlines effectively. For this purpose the DP Coordinator is entrusted with the task of framing internal deadline calendar keeping in mind the deadlines set by IB for external assessment and moderation.

Training of new teachers

The HODs of respective departments will have the responsibility to train the new teachers. For this purpose the HODs are expected to assign the new teachers to experienced DP teachers within the Department.

Monitor the progress through feedback from the senior teachers.

Also school has initiated a system of instructional rounds where a specific teacher invites his/her colleagues to observe the class of that specific teacher and learn from it. The purpose of instructional round is to develop an environment of learning without any fear of consequences. Also suggestion for improvement will be provided on the request of teacher whose class has been observed.

Works Consulted

  • Guidelines for developing a school assessment policy in the Diploma Programme, 2010, International Baccalaureate Organization
  • Diploma Programme assessment: principles and practice, 2004, International Baccalaureate Organization
  • Fountainhead School CAS Handbook, 2013, Fountainhead School

Appendices

Appendix 1: Group 3 Grade Descriptors

Grade 7 Excellent performance

Demonstrates: conceptual awareness, insight, and knowledge and understanding which are evident in the skills of critical thinking; a high level of ability to provide answers which are fully developed, structured in a logical and coherent manner and illustrated with appropriate examples; a precise use of terminology which is specific to the subject; familiarity with the literature of the subject; the ability to analyse and evaluate evidence and to synthesize knowledge and concepts; awareness of alternative points of view and subjective and ideological biases, and the ability to come to reasonable, albeit tentative, conclusions; consistent evidence of critical reflective thinking; a high level of proficiency in analysing and evaluating data or problem solving.

Grade 6 Very good performance

Demonstrates: detailed knowledge and understanding; answers which are coherent, logically structured and well developed; consistent use of appropriate terminology; an ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize knowledge and concepts; knowledge of relevant research, theories and issues, and awareness of different perspectives and contexts from which these have been developed; consistent evidence of critical thinking; an ability to analyse and evaluate data or to solve problems competently.

Grade 5 Good performance

Demonstrates: a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject using subject-specific terminology; answers which are logically structured and coherent but not fully developed; an ability to provide competent answers with some attempt to integrate knowledge and concepts; a tendency to be more descriptive than evaluative although some ability is demonstrated to present and develop contrasting points of view; some evidence of critical thinking; an ability to analyse and evaluate data or to solve problems.

Grade 4 Satisfactory performance

Demonstrates: a secure knowledge and understanding of the subject going beyond the mere citing of isolated, fragmentary, irrelevant or common sense points; some ability to structure answers but with insufficient clarity and possibly some repetition; an ability to express knowledge and understanding in terminology specific to the subject; some understanding of the way facts or ideas may be related and embodied in principles and concepts; some ability to develop ideas and substantiate assertions; use of knowledge and understanding which is more descriptive than analytical; some ability to compensate for gaps in knowledge and understanding through rudimentary application or evaluation of that knowledge; an ability to interpret data or to solve problems and some ability to engage in analysis and evaluation.

Grade 3 Mediocre performance

Demonstrates: some knowledge and understanding of the subject; a basic sense of structure that is not sustained throughout the answers; a basic use of terminology appropriate to the subject; some ability to establish links between facts or ideas; some ability to comprehend data or to solve problems.

Grade 2 Poor performance

Demonstrates: a limited knowledge and understanding of the subject; some sense of structure in the answers; a limited use of terminology appropriate to the subject; a limited ability to establish links between facts or ideas; a basic ability to comprehend data or to solve problems.

Grade 1 Very poor performance

Demonstrates: very limited knowledge and understanding of the subject; almost no organizational structure in the answers; inappropriate or inadequate use of terminology; a limited ability to comprehend data or to solve problems.

Appendix 2: Assessing and Reporting of Core Components of IBDP – CAS, TOK and EE

Assessing and Reporting of CAS

The progress of student in CAS related activities will be reported in each term on the basis of advisors evaluation report, student self reflection and evidence in any form(like video, photograph etc). The advisor evaluation report will comprise of students progress in view of 7 learning outcomes, three strands and time commitment. It will also include students Managebac for anecdotal comments.

On Creativity/Action/Service related project/s:

Total Time Committed(In hours):

Creativity  – _______hrs

Action  – _______hrs

Service  –  _______ hrs

Advisor’s Evaluation Report

Please evaluate the students learning outcomes and performance throughout the project –

Please tick in the appropriate box.Thank you!

Learning Outcomes Barely meets expectations Meets expectations Exceeds expectations Nature/Location of evidence
Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
Undertaken new challenges
Planned and initiated activities
Worked collaboratively withothers
Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
Engaged with issues of global importance
Considered the ethical implications of their actions
Developed new skills

COMMENTS

I have read his/her self-evaluation report and honestly evaluated his/her performance.

 

Date:

Signature

 

Approved by CAS Coordinator _______________________  Date______________

Assessing and Reporting of TOK

TOK one of the components of the DP will be assessed by TOK teacher who will be writing individual comments on the performance of each student. The report will be part of report card to be handed over to parents at the end of each semester. However during the third and fourth semester the student will be marked as per the IB criteria for these components along with the report.

Assessing and Reporting of EE

The progress of student in extended essay will be reported in each term on the basis of EE supervisor evaluation report and student self reflection. The advisor evaluation report will comprise of students progress in view of EE assessment criteria and level of commitment. The supervisor will write report on each student individually.

EE Supervisor Evaluation Report

Please evaluate the students performance in the Extended Essay process

Please tick in the appropriate box.Thank you!

Always Often Sometimes Never
Planned and systematic approach towards the research
Range of sources used for research
Respect Deadlines
Adheres to academic honesty guidelines

The student has completed 500/1500/2500/4000 words. The essay is the result of student’s own effort and hard work.

COMMENTS

I have prepared the above report to the best of my knowledge and ability and have sufficient evidence to justify my observation.

Date:

Signature

 

Approved by EE Coordinator _______________________ Date______________

Appendix 3 : Possible Scenarios for retest/repeat in Subject Groups/DP Core

Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Example 4
Total points less than 24 with 01 point in a subject Total points less than 24 and Grade 3 or below has been awarded four or more times (HL or SL). Total points equals to 24 however the total of HL is less than 12 Total points greater than 24 but candidate has gained fewer than 9 points on SL subjects
1 3 4 2
3 2 5 4
4 3 6 5
5 3 4 6
4 5 3 3
5 6 2 6
22 Less than 24 (Equal to 24) Greater than 24
Recommendation (Retake in 02 subjects with point 1 &3)but not repeat. Student must ensure that total point is greater than 24 Repeat grade 11 Retake in 02 subjects with points 02 and 03 Retake in 02 subjects with points of 02 and 03

Further please note that it is not necessary that students score same points as mentioned in the above examples. Students performance might be meeting the failing conditions (inspite of student scoring different points in each subject when compared to the above mentioned example).

Note : Students & parents must be aware that if students don’t reach satisfactory level of performance with respect to DP core (EE,CAS,TOK) then they will not be promoted unless and until they reach satisfactory level of performance in DP Core. Satisfactory level will be determined by respective incharges of EE/TOK/CAS. 

Appendix 4 : Illustration for retest timings

Suppose X(a student) has missed his/her examination on 25th April. Now as per the policy the parent can inform one day prior ie., either on 24th April or one day later i.e., on 26th April. Now suppose that the last paper is on 30th April then the student has to appear for the test within three days after the last examination(30th April). So the student has to appear till 03rd May. After 03rd May the school will not be responsible for taking retest.
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