Assessment Policy

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Mission Statement:

Our school exists to serve the educational needs of the community, to enhance student self-confidence, to promote life skills and attitudes which will enable students to live fulfilling lives and so contribute to the betterment of society. We actively aspire to develop partnership between teachers, parents and the wider community.

Rationale for Assessment:

Assessment is an essential part of good teaching and learning for the following reasons:

  1. Assessments enable the teacher to monitor a student’s progress and make decisions about what and how the student is learning. This information allows the teacher to identify the next steps in advancing the students learning and adapt teaching strategies and learning activities as appropriate.
  2. Assessments provide the students and parents with information to support students learning and to measure their attainment.    (LAOS 2016)
  3. Assessments help to identify appropriate subject levels for students in the Junior and Leaving Certificate.
  4. Assessments help identify students who may need additional support and services and to inform consultations with the NEPS psychologist where necessary.
  5. Assessments assist school management in identifying students, subjects, classes and areas of the curriculum that require further timetabled support.
  6. Assessments play an important role in subject choice, career guidance and progression to third level and further education.

Definition:

The term “Assessment” refers generally to the gathering and interpretation of information related to a student’s learning abilities, learning attainments, learning strengths and learning needs

Legislation:

The Education Act (1998) requires schools to regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to students and their parents. In fulfilling this requirement, schools develop assessment procedures, which provide an accurate account of a student’s progress and achievement.

TYPES OF ASSESSMENT

(a)Formative Assessment:

Definition:

Formative assessment involves a range of strategies designed to give both students, teachers and parents’ feedback about students’ understanding of elements of their learning in courses.

Elphin Community College has adopted the Assessment for Learning (AFL) approach to formative assessment. Its purpose is to use the whole process of assessment to help learners improve their learning. It is formative because its intention is to form, shape or guide the next steps in learning. It is about ‘learning to learn.

Assessment for Learning

Assessment should support learning as well as measure the outcomes. Effective assessment for learning enables pupils to understand how to improve their work by:

  • Helping them to understand the assessment criteria before an assignment is begun.
  • Providing feedback on what they have done well and what they could improve on.
  • Informing them how to improve their work.
  • Making available examples of work which do meet the criteria so they can see how to improve their own work.
  • Being a part of effective planning
  • Focusing on how pupils learn.
  • Being central to classroom practice.
  • Recognising all educational achievements.

See also current SIP on Assessment.

For assessment in relation to homework please see Homework Policy

Assessment work may be differentiated to suit the needs and abilities of the individual.

During whole school term assessments, a cover sheet for teacher and student feedback is attached to the student scripts.

(b)Summative Assessment:

Definition:

Summative Assessment refers to the assessment of learning and aims to provide a summary of the achievements of the learner.

  • Third and Sixth Years have examinations in October, Mock examinations in February and the Certificate Examinations in June.
  • First Years, Second Years, Transition Year and Fifth Years have examinations in October, February and May.
  • The mode of assessment may include: written examinations, practicals, aurals and/or oral work.
  • Transition Year assessments may involve the following: External certification, portfolio, oral presentation or multimedia and written examinations in core subjects.
  • Teacher class tests for all years may also apply as necessary.
  • Written assessments generally follow a similar format to the Junior and Leaving Certificate Examinations and a marking scheme is clearly identified.
  • Mock Examinations are set and corrected externally.

Reporting of Assessments:

  • Reports are forwarded to Parents/ Guardians of First, Second, Transition Year and Fifth Years in November, February and June and in November and March for Third and Sixth Year students.
  • The report template is computerised and allows teachers to distinguish levels. A mark and grade and comment are awarded.
  • All reports are signed off by the Principal.

Psychometric Tests:

The following tests are administered to students

  • Young Cloze Reading Test.
  • Drumcondra online tests.
  • CAT IV.

When the results of the tests become available:

  • Students with particular needs are identified.
  • A programme is devised by the learning support/resource teacher depending on timetable and availability of learning support staff.
  • IEPs (Individual Educational Plans) are drawn up by the Learning Support Team in conjunction with parents and school management.

Differential Aptitude Tests (DATS) are administered to all Transition Year students.

EFFECTIVE PRACTICE FOR FORMATIVE & SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT

Ref: LOOKING AT OUR SCHOOL 2016 – Dept of Education & Skills

STANDARDS

 

STATEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE PRACTICE STATEMENTS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PRACTICE
Teachers collectively develop and implement consistent and dependable formative and summative assessment practices

 

Teachers approach assessment as a collaborative endeavour to support students’ learning and to measure their attainment.

Teachers have collectively developed a whole-school policy on assessment that is appropriate to the curriculum and to their students. The policy includes formative and summative assessment practices. It is implemented consistently.

Teachers have collectively developed a whole- school approach to providing developmental oral and written feedback to students. This approach is implemented consistently, and includes the collective review of students’ work.

Teachers have collectively developed assessment records that are clear, useful and easy to interpret and share. These records provide a comprehensive picture of each student’s learning attainments and needs.

Teachers approach assessment as a collaborative endeavour to support students’ learning and to measure their attainment.

Teachers have collectively developed a whole-school policy on assessment that is appropriate to the curriculum and to their students. The policy includes formative and summative assessment practices. It is implemented consistently and is reviewed collectively.

 

Teachers have collectively developed a whole- school approach to providing developmental oral and written feedback to students. This approach is implemented consistently, and

is underpinned by the collective review of students’ work.

 

Teachers have collectively developed assessment records that are clear, useful and easy to interpret and share. These records provide a comprehensive picture of each student’s learning attainments and needs and are built on progressively as the student moves through the school.

 

 

STANDARDS

 

STATEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE PRACTICE STATEMENTS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PRACTICE
The teacher selects and uses planning, preparation and assessment practices that progress students’ learning

 

Teachers plan for assessing students’ attainment of the learning intentions of the lesson, or series of lessons, using both assessment of learning and assessment for learning.

Teachers’ assessment practices include not only assessment of knowledge but also assessment of skills and dispositions.

Teachers regularly provide students with constructive, developmental oral and written feedback on their work.

Teachers share success criteria with students so that they can assess their own learning through self-assessment and peer assessment.

Teachers maintain assessment records that are clear, useful and easy to interpret and share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers plan for assessing all relevant aspects of students’ learning using both assessment of learning and assessment for learning.

Teachers’ assessment practices include
not only assessment of knowledge but
also assessment of skills and dispositions. Teachers tailor assessment strategies to meet individual learning needs.

Teachers regularly provide students with constructive, developmental oral and written feedback. Teachers use feedback to work with students on clear strategies for improvement.

Teachers share and co-create success criteria with students so that they can assess their own learning through self-assessment and peer assessment, and identify areas for improvement and strategies to achieve improvement.

Teachers maintain assessment records that are clear, useful, easy to interpret and share, and tailored to students’ individual learning needs.

 

STANDARDS STATEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE PRACTICE STATEMENTS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PRACTICE
Students attain the stated learning outcomes for each subject, course and programme

 

Students achieve the intended learning of the lesson or sequence of lessons, which has been appropriately differentiated where necessary.

Students achieve the intended learning outcomes for the term and year, which has been appropriately differentiated where necessary.

Students’ achievement in summative assessments, including certificate examinations, is in line with or above expectations.

Students achieve, and at times surpass, the intended learning of the lesson or sequence of lessons, which has been appropriately differentiated where necessary.

Students achieve, and at times surpass, the intended learning for the term and year, which has been appropriately differentiated where necessary.

Students’ achievement in summative assessments, including certificate examinations, is in line with or above expectations.

Students engage purposefully in meaningful learning activities

 

They understand and can explain the purpose of the learning tasks they are engaged in. They are able to report on, present, and explain the process and outcome of learning activities to a competent level. They understand and can explain the purpose of the learning tasks they are engaged in, and can extend and develop the activity meaningfully. They are able to report on, present, and explain the process and outcome of learning activities to a highly competent level.
Students reflect on their progress as learners and develop a sense of ownership of and responsibility for their learning

 

Students assess their progress and are aware of their strengths and areas for development as learners. They reflect on behaviour and attitudes to learning, and are able to contribute to setting meaningful goals for themselves. Students assess their progress realistically and can describe their strengths and areas for development as learners. They reflect on their behaviour and attitude to learning, and are able to set meaningful personal goals as a result of their reflection.