1. Statement of principles
Assessment is integral for both teaching and learning: it supports curricular goals and encourages appropriate learning. Assessment helps the students to see how far they have advanced on their way to becoming knowledgeable inquirers in the spirit of the IB Learner Profile. The aim of assessment is to support student growth and self-evaluation skills. Assessment also allows for monitoring student development and adjustment of teaching strategies accordingly. Assessment is an effective tool to identify student strengths and areas for growth.
Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own studies and practise self-management skills. Self-evaluation and peer-evaluation are among the methods used to make the students familiar with the DP subject assessment criteria.
2. Assessment practices
Ressun lukio follows a system where there are 5 terms in one school year. The lessons taught during one term in one subject are referred to as “a course”. HL subjects consist of 9 courses (=taught during 9 terms), SL subjects of 6 courses. Every term ends with an 8-day period when the group will either sit an exam or the teacher can use the time in an alternate way for example for a project or field trip during their own day. Course exams are used for both formative and summative assessment, i.e. they aim to a) give the student and teacher feedback on how the content or skills have been learned and how to develop further and also b) measure student achievement. Formative and summative assessment are inherently linked.
Students get a grade for their courses after every term, so HL subject students will ultimately have 9 grades in the subject on their school report, SL students 6. The grades can be based on term exams, contribution in class and homework assignments, depending on the subject. IB DP assessment criteria are applied throughout the two-year programme, although details vary between subjects.
The student and his/her guardians can access grades and attendance records in a secure online system, Wilma.
The IB grading scale is from 1 to 7. If there has been no term exam, the course may be evaluated simply with grades S “pass” or H “fail”. In addition to the course grade, the teachers are also encouraged to give the students informal feedback to elaborate on how they could improve their grade.
In addition, students are given an Effort Grade for each subject, reflecting the teacher’s view on how much effort the student has put into his/her studies. Effort grades are A = excellent, B = good and C = needs improvement. The aim is to help the students reflect on their own study skills and encourage self-management skills.
To successfully complete the IB1 year, the students need to get an average of 4.0 in the courses for every subject (minimum total score 24). Students getting a lower grade need to consult their teacher to see how they can improve their grade. Usually this entails taking the exam again during the Exam Retake Day.
IB1 students whose grades are not high enough or who have not completed all assignment components by the end of May have to retake the whole IB1 year. This is to make sure the student has a sound enough skill basis for the demanding final year. The IB instructs that students must be “in good standing” to be registered for the final exams.
Mock exams are arranged in Term 4 of the final year, before the independent study period starts, and they cover the whole subject area. Mock exams help students prepare for the finals and give feedback on their performance. They will not affect the Diploma grades, but can help teachers to decide on Predicted Grades.
In subjects where there is more than one teacher, they collaborate in course planning and meet regularly. When deciding on predicted grades and Internal assessment, they will make the decisions together.
Students with special needs contact the special needs teacher / student counsellor / DP Coordinator to start the process of evaluating their access arrangement needs. Special arrangements for final exams (extra time, use of computer etc) must be approved of by the IB, require medical documentation and must be the student's usual way of working during his/her course of study.
3. Links between the assessment policy and other documents
The final Diploma grades depend on the results of the final exams, as well as other subject-specific criteria (oral exams, projects, essays etc) according to the IB DP curriculum. For more detailed information on this, see the Handbook and the General Regulations document.
4. Roles and responsibilities
Every teacher must follow the school assessment policy. New teachers have a mentor colleague who introduces them to school practices.
The subject teachers are required to monitor their students' development in their respective subjects. Group teachers are responsible for monitoring their students' overall performance across all subjects. All students' progress is reviewed and discussed regularly in the staff meetings. Any issues — and the assessment policy itself — are under continuous review and reflection.