Assessment is an integral part of our learning and teaching. It facilitates daily ongoing review of individual progress and impacts on planning and target-setting for each child. In each phase of the school, students will have personal learning targets based on assessment outcomes.
Assessment is done in two ways:
Assessment FOR Learning
Assessment OF Learning
Assessment FOR Learning
This is the regular, daily assessments teachers do in order to review how well any individual child has learned a particular concept. In happens in lessons through teacher observations, discussions and questions and after lessons by marking students’ work. This means that teachers can plan next steps in learning based on what students have mastered in any given lesson.
Assessment OF Learning
Ther are three main types of assessment used to assess learning at the end of a unit or portion of work or at the end of a particular stage of education:
- Internal assessments
- Recognised curriculum benchmark assessments
- Standardised assessments
Early Years Foundation Stage
Baseline and Progress
We recognise that each child is individual and, therefore, in EYFS specifically, a baseline assessment is carried out to determine what skills and knowledge each child brings to school upon entry. This allows our teachers to then plan for next steps in learning based on starting points to ensure each child experiences an appropriate curriculum. Each child is then continually assessed and their learning and developmental successes tracked and monitored. The baseline is then formally followed up at the end of the EYFS year to measure how much progress each child has made in their early learning.
Teachers assess children every day during their learning. They use the framework of Development Matters which supports them in tracking development across seven key areas of learning and development at an age appropriate level for EYFS. The final assessment of these seven areas is done in June using the standards for the Early Years Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals (ELGs).
For further information on Development matters: (https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf)
For further information on the EYFS Early Leaning Goals: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/790580/EYFSP_Handbook_2019.pdf
Years 1 – 13
These may be administered termly or half-termly, depending on the subject and age of students and may be done by way of examinations, specific assessed pieces of work or project work which contributes to overall marks.
Curriculum Benchmark Assessments
We teach the English National Curriculum and, therefore, our students sit the statutory curriculum assessments for this programme of study:
- Year 1 Phonics Screening
- Year 6 SATs – English and maths
- Year 11 IGCSE – Cambridge
- Year12/13 – AS/A Level – Cambridge
These are required by KHDA for all schools in Dubai. They are externally set tests and most are completed online. This means that marking is done mainly automatically and independently by the examination system. Not every year group will sit every test every year; tests are regulated by the requirements of the KHDA schedule together with school assessment needs. They measure different aspects of students’ development and progress to give teachers a full profile for each student.
GL Progress Tests – English, maths and science
These are taken once per year, usually in May and give an externally validated measure of attainment and progress against each of these subjects.
CAT4 Cognitive Ability Test
This assessment measures a student’s learning and thinking ability and is not based on their actual curriculum learning. It gives information on how able the student is in manipulating and thinking using numbers, words and patterns. Results can be used to help set targets for IGCSE for example.
International Benchmark Assessments
These are based mainly on English, maths and science and are administered in line with the international schedule which may be every three or four years, for example:
- TIMSS: maths and science for Years 5 and 9
- PISA/PBTS: Ability to understand and problem solve using the subject specific language for English, maths and science – for 15 year olds.
- PIRLS: English reading and comprehension ability – year 5
International Benchmark Assessments results are not available for individual students. They are used to provide overall information on the year group as a whole or Dubai/UAE as a whole to facilitate international comparisons country by country.
Teachers will also review how well each child is developing in their journey to become an effective independent, flexible and collaborative learner. These are essential skills for students to be successful in the modern, global world of today and the future. This may include, for example how well they can plan and carry out a task independently or work effectively as a member of a group to complete a project or solve a problem.
There is no test or examination for learning skills. Teachers are increasingly setting tasks and using on-going observations to review how children progress and develop their learning skills abilities.
At AUS, we are developing these learning skills through the SECRET Programme. This provides a framework with skills development benchmarks for all students from EYFS to Sixth Form under six key areas:
- Self managers
- Effective participators
- Creative thinkers and problem solvers
- Reflective learners
- Enquiring minds
- Team workers
Further information can be found at: https://learningbyladders.wordpress.com/secret/