Whole School Assessment, Marking and Homework Policy

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1 Page1 Whole School Assessment, Marking and Homework Policy

2 Page2 Aim To establish a consistent approach to the way the learner s classwork and homework is assessed and marked, so that students feel valued and have a clear understanding of how well they are doing. To ensure all students have their work, including homework, marked regularly to help them reach or exceed their full academic potential. It is hoped that this policy will help students to improve their work and will inform teacher planning and monitoring. Rationale Assessment for Learning (AfL) is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by students and their teachers, to decide where students are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there. Rowe, 2007 The giving of marks and the grading function are overemphasized, while the giving of useful advice and the learning function are underemphasized. Approaches are used in which pupils are compared with one another, the prime purpose of which seems to them to be competition rather than personal improvement; in consequence, assessment only feedback teaches low achieving pupils that they lack "ability," causing them to come to believe that they are not able to learn. Black, 2006 All teachers have to undertake some summative assessment, for example to report to parents, and to produce end-of-year reports as classes are due to move on to new teachers. However, the task of assessing pupils summatively for external purposes is clearly different from the task of assessing on-going work formatively to monitor and improve progress. Black and Dylan, 2001

3 Page3 At RBIS Rasami British International School we recognise that teachers marking of students progress and attainment and students assessment of their own progress and attainment are central functions in the learning process. We believe that assessment should lead to feedback which increases dialogue in order for students to make progress and as part of our commitment to personalised learning. The focus of written feedback is on helping students gain a clear understanding of how well they have gained knowledge, concepts and skills. Principles in action We currently (July 2013) follow five standard areas of AfL which form the basis of our assessment in lessons. These are namely: 1. Quality Learning Objectives and Effective Plenaries We use learning objectives and plenaries to provoke thinking and to provide information that informs future teaching and learning. Learning objectives are important because they help secure progress, support planning and focus the teaching on what pupils need to learn; they help pupils see the purpose of individual lessons. Learning objectives are shared with students so that they understand and share ownership of what they will be learning in the lesson. Effective plenaries: Elicit information that reveals what students know, have learned or can do. They are diagnostic in that they assess both individual and collective learning. Expose misconceptions so that teacher planning can be adapted and teaching targeted. Link carefully to the learning objectives, outcomes and success criteria of the lesson as a whole. Recognise and value the achievements of individuals and the class. Stimulate interest, curiosity and anticipation about the next phase of learning. Allow students to articulate and communicate their learning whilst considering how learning can be transferred to other contexts. 2. Use of Success Criteria We use Success Criteria to ensure that students are able to take responsibility for their own learning and are empowered to make progress for themselves. By explicitly negotiating the success criteria for the intended outcome, it is much easier for teachers to scaffold the learning of the lesson through modelling and paired construction.

4 Page4 Effective Success Criteria: Is negotiated with students so that they have a clear sense of ownership and understanding. Is closely linked to the learning objectives and to the progress levels within subjects. Is referred back to when peer assessing. Is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. Students are clear about how they can demonstrate success and evaluate quality 3. Effective Questioning and Discussions which evidence learning. We aim to engineer effective classroom discussions, tasks and activities that elicit evidence of learning. We use questioning to provoke thinking and develop students understanding whilst also gaining information to inform future teaching and learning. Effective questioning: Allows students to engage with the learning process. Uses strategies such as no hands rule, and thinking time to promote extended responses from students. Provides links to the learning objectives of the lesson Gives opportunities for students to ask their own questions and seek their own answers. Enables teachers to use students as learning resources for one another. Creates a classroom climate where students feel secure enough to take risks, be tentative and make mistakes. Teachers plan questions of different degrees of cognitive complexity in order to challenge pupils and help them to develop their thinking. 4. Involving pupils in Self and Peer Assessment Peer and self-assessment are much more than pupils simply marking their own and other s work. In order to improve learning, it must be an activity that engages pupils with the quality of their work and in reflecting on how to improve it. Peer assessment, when done effectively, provides pupils with valuable feedback enabling them to learn from and support each other. It adds a valuable dimension to learning: the opportunity to talk, discuss, explain and challenge enables pupils to achieve more than they can unaided. Furthermore both peer and self-assessment

5 Page5 promote independent learning, helping pupils to take responsibility for their own progress. Effective Peer and Self-Assessment: Takes time, planning and commitment. At the beginning pupils will require the process to be modelled for them. Takes place when students clearly understand the Success Criteria for the piece of work making standards explicit is key to unlocking understanding. Students need to be taught structures of language they can use. Prompt sheets are useful as a starting point. Ensure that sufficient time is planned into the lesson to allow for discussion and subsequent action. 5. Providing feedback which moves learners forward We recognise the importance of constructive, informative and subject specific oral and written feedback and how much this is valued by students. Feedback should allow students to respond to targets through planned opportunities. It should allow them to engage in a dialogue about their work rather than allow them to make comparisons with other pupils.

6 Page6 RBIS Assessment and Marking Policy Marking is most effective when the student knows: The purpose of the task How far they have achieved this How to move closer towards their goal of learning. Marking and implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all teachers. The Marking Process Marking must provide detailed and personalised evaluation points for future developments (Ofsted: Good Assessment in Schools). Written Feedback should: Be predominately encouraging and constructive Be personal and address students by their chosen name Relate to lesson objectives and learning outcomes Give positive feedback Challenge the students to think for themselves Marking: Must be regular, kept up-to-date, and promptly returned to students (no more than five working days). Students need to understand marking systems, both the criteria for marking as well the comments and grades or marks awarded. Each subject must have an agreed, clear marking procedure and should determine the frequency of marking of regular tasks Subjects should have a common approach to marking English, particularly spelling in all subjects (marking for literacy) Important and significant errors should be corrected. Late or copied work should be identified. Practical, project-based subjects still need to have regular marking, even if a whole project may extend over a period of time. Marks should be recorded in a mark book (electronic, hard copy, etc.) that can be available for SLT, PM Team Leader, parents, etc. Only put marks and grades on work if it is judged that these will motivate and encourage students. Just grading students work can have a negative impact on student learning and motivation.

7 Page7 Assessment Formative comments will be given that show what has been done well and what still needs improvement and shows pupils how to improve their performance and move them on in their learning. Over the course of a term when marked work is returned to a class, time should be set aside to allow each student, whenever possible, to respond to the teacher s comments and improve their understanding. Summative scores can also be important e.g. subject tests, quizzes, etc. so that the teacher can ascertain student comprehension and understanding of particular topics, units, etc. Students work for external examinations should be marked using the marking criteria of the examinations. Internal moderation may be needed to produce consistent standards between different teachers. Joint PPA will be a prime consideration when constructing timetables. Frequency of Book Marking The type and extent of written feedback will vary from subject to subject. Wherever possible, this should take place at least three times per half-term. Target Level All books or folders should have the grading criteria and the students target level or grade clearly written on the front inside cover. Target booklets should be used to record student grades and levels. How the books should be marked At the end of each section of work that is marked, teachers need to give:- A level or grade (depending on key stage). At key stage three this should include a sub-level. Two strengths of the piece of work. Marking should be as encouraging and positive as possible. One improvement that could be used to raise attainment.

8 Page8 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Standard codes should be used across all subject areas so as to improve literacy across the curriculum. Sp double tick when an aspect of the success criteria has been achieved in the margin and the word underlined - Spelling error, students should be encouraged to learn their corrected spellings. Where appropriate, teachers should provide the correct spelling in the margin for students. Alternatively, teachers may use other strategies to improve spelling i.e. spelling page, vocabulary page, glossary, etc. grammar error Gr C upper case/lower case P punctuation / new sentence // new paragraph needed? when working out or planning is missing WW ^ in the margin and the word underlined = wrong word used word or letter missed out Arrows are used to indicate if the student is working on target, below target or above target. Tests / Assessments / Examinations The British Government places great importance on the need to assess and test students in order to know what they have achieved. Statutory testing takes place at the ages of seven, eleven and fourteen in England and Scotland (but not Wales where more informal methods of assessment are favoured). Currently, all children in state schools are tested in English and mathematics at the ages of 7, 11 and 14, and students aged 11 and 14 are also tested in science. Students at RBIS will enter IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations at sixteen, A/S and A levels (Advanced levels), at seventeen and eighteen. All students at school (Primary and Secondary) are tested at the end of the academic year, normally during June. Secondary students will also receive summative assessments (examinations) at the end of Term 1. Year 11 students currently

9 Page9 undertake Mock Examinations at the beginning of Term 2 to assess their readiness for external examinations (May/June). Teachers are encouraged to prepare students by using similar materials and strategies to those used in external and internal assessments (including examinations). Parents will also be involved i.e. correct notification of assessments; assessments, tests and exams will be sent home for parents to check through and comment upon progress (if required). School Reports will take into account assessments, tests and examinations. This data will be available for students and their parents. Out of hours learning We recognise the importance of Homework in consolidating and extending learning as well as providing opportunities for students to prepare for new learning and engage parental co-operation and support as well as creating channels for home school dialogue. Homework is set regularly in line with RBIS Homework Policy. If no homework is set there should be a clearly stated reason. In order to ensure consistently high standards of homework, Staff are expected to: Set time aside during lessons for homework to be properly copied into planners. To initial students Homework Diaries to indicate that they have seen the homework copied down. This can be carried out by a teacher, teaching assistant or different students. The name of the subject should be at the beginning of each piece of homework set. This will aid tracking as part of our Quality Assurance process. Clear deadlines are provided for students. Where appropriate, indicate to parents how long the student should spend on this task. As a guideline, please consider the following: KS minutes KS minutes KS3 30 minutes to 1 hour KS4 45 minutes to 1.5 hours KS5 1 hour to 2 hours Teachers can set a variety of activities which will be assessed in a range of ways. Teachers write down what kind of task is being set.

10 Page10 1. Research task 2. Discussion task 3. Proof reading task 4. Prior Reading 5. Improving draft work 6. Final checking 7. Checking understanding 8. Generating ideas 9. Note taking 10. Revision for Exams 11. Revision for class / subject test 12. Task preparation 13. Extended reading 14. Interview task 15. Consolidate learning 16. New skills practice 17. Other (please write) They then provide details of the task. For example: English: Research and reading task find a really good opening to a novel. Bring the opening to next lesson. Science: Research and Notes find out the different types of precipitation and the reasons for these differences. Due in on Monday 3 rd. If students do not complete homework the child will be cautioned, a punishment can be issued and parents can be informed of this. Students are expected to: Listen to homework instructions in class. Write all homework in full in their Homework Diary including the subject and the due date. This can be at a later time than the next day/lesson. Complete homework to a high standard and hand it in on time i.e. titles underlined, dates, etc. Write Homework as a title to clearly show that this work has been done outside of the lesson. To inform the class teacher if they are having any difficulties with the work before the deadline date. Parents can assist by: Providing a quiet place for work to be completed.

11 Page11 Negotiating when homework is to be done as we recognise that children s free time is also important. Checking sufficient time has been spent on a task. Checking presentation of all homework. Signing the Homework Diary every week. Comments can also be written inside. Providing the school with any problems or issues that may prevent the completion of homework.

12 Page12 Roles and Responsibilities Role Responsibility: Teacher Ensure subject work is assessed and marked at least three times per half term. Teacher assessment should be continual and on-going. Ensure that all students maintain a high standard of presentation for classwork and homework i.e. titles underlined, dates, etc. Award students a level or grade for the section of work in their books. Advise students on how to improve the level or grade for the section of work in their books. Ensure that students have the target level or grade clearly on display on the front inside cover of their exercise book or folder. Ensure that students are provided time to consider marking comments. To share good practice with book marking in meetings. Heads of Schools To produce and encourage a consistent phase assessment and marking policy that reflects the whole school marking policy. To check marking of books on a regular basis. Ensure phase has a coherent and consistent approach to identifying learning milestones and identify key tasks to be marked in detail. Phase marking is planned over an extended period of time so that a clear evaluation of student s strengths and weaknesses can be given. Planned opportunities are created each term to moderate key assessment activities to ensure consistency. Level and grade descriptors are agreed upon with the teacher to be stuck in the front of exercise books. Teaching Assistants To read through the comments written by teachers in order to guide any students they are working with in the class. Senior Leadership Team Devise and implement a programme to monitor the implementation of the RBIS Whole School Assessment, Marking and Homework Policy. Carry out work scrutiny as part of Subject/Phase Reviews.

13 Page13 Students Under guidance from teachers, sometimes mark their own or another students book. Read comments by teachers. Respond positively to comments written by teachers. When advised, self-assess work using criteria. Put the best effort into book work, including classwork and homework. Catch up on work after absence. Keep high standards of presentation in book work i.e. underline titles, date all work, etc. Parents To read through the comments written by teachers regularly. To support the school in checking that students are organising their book/folder work. How pupils are levelled or graded Foundation Stage; Key Stage 1 and 2 A National Curriculum level Key Stage 3 A National Curriculum level and sub-level Key Stage 4 IGCSE grades Key Stage 5 AS and A2 grades Homework Regular feedback should be given to pupils on their homework. This should be acknowledged on a regular basis with an effort grade: 1 = Outstanding effort 2 = Good effort 3 = Satisfactory effort 4 = Inadequate effort You may also wish to comment on how the homework could be improved.

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