SENIOR SCHOOL ASSESSMENT POLICY

Purpose

Assessment is a vital part of Midland Primary and High School teaching and learning programme as it provides parents,learners and teachers with valuable information about the learners' learning and progress. Thisinformation is also used to monitor and improve teaching and learning strategies and to measure the outcomes of learning at all stages.

In the Senior School assessment contributes to the awarding of the GET and NSC which are important public credentials.

All the curriculum documents published by the Department of Education specify required Learning Outcomes. The purpose of assessment is to measure the extent to which learners have achieved the Learning Outcomes at a given point in time.

While assessments are carried out throughout the year, those completed near the end of the year are weighted more heavily in most departments.

Principles

Assessment should:

Actively involve all learners, habitually engaging learners in discussion of their own work;

Be central to the learning process;

Identify needs, motivate learners and celebrate achievement through regular marking / assessment of learners work;

Give feedback of celebratory comments, constructive criticism and commendations:

Establish prior learning

Help plan the next learning steps, and cater for prior learning by informing short-term amendments to long and medium term planning, and, by providing an overview of a learner's progress through the school.

Demonstrate qualitative aspects of learning to reveal the true nature of a child's understanding of a topic and ensure challenge in tasks set.

Practical Guidelines

Assessment Programmes

For each Learning Area, the Head of Department will publish an Assessment Programme early in the academic year, 1 February at the latest. The Assessment Programme will indicate:

The assessment tasks which will take place throughout the academic year;

In general terms what curriculum outcomes each task is intended to measure

Approximately when each task will occur (with specific dates to be supplied later)

What percentage of the final assessment mark each task contributes

whether assessment is formative or summative or a brief description of the task2 Number and weighting of tasks

The IEB has published SAGS including the number of Tasks to be undertaken. These must be adhered to.

The nature of Outcomes Based Assessment means that the final mark allocated to each learner must be an accurate representation of her level of achievement in the sum of the Outcomes of the course.

While particular weightings are allocated to individual assessment tasks, the Heads of Department are required to ensure that the final assessment marks reflect the learners' overall level of achievement at the end of the Semester or Year.

Moderation Procedure:

It is the head of each Learning Area's responsibility to see that the various assessment programmes for each grade are moderated and that sufficient support is provided with respect to the development of each assessment programme. The head of each Learning Area is responsible for ensuring that the moderation of portfolio tasks, tests and examination papers takes place. The moderation process also extends to the assessment of learners' work, ensuring that the assessment is fair and valid.

Timing and Notification of Assessment

Timing and Notification of Assessment Tasks Heads of Department will enter the dates of assessment on the planner in the staffroom. Note: no learner may do more than 2 tests a day.

Absence from an Assessment

Absence from an assessment task or examination due to misadventure, illness or any pressing situation of personal nature strictly requires a Doctor's Certificate (from a medical Doctor that is not a relative), covering the day of the assessment. This should be submitted to the school management as soon as possible. If a student is very ill on the day of an assessment task or examination and she will not be able to attend the examination, the rule stated above will apply. This does not include family holidays (whenever booked), social engagements or other matters of a discretionary nature

Illness in the days immediately preceding an assessment task or examination will not generally be grounds for missing the task / test. Learners are expected to prepare over time and not to depend on last minute preparation.

Subsequent Procedures in Relation to Illness or Misadventure

When a learner has missed an assessment task he/she must see the relevant teacher on the day of his/her return to school. The relevant teacher will make provision for a catch-up session.

Should a learner be absent from an assessment task or examination and fail to follow the procedures above, she/he will be awarded zero marks.

Where a learner has missed an examination while, the following procedure will be followed at the discretion of the Head of Department:

The learner may not write the examination after completion of the formal session. Rescheduling an examination for any urgent matters invalidates the assessment.

A maximum of the year mark (CASS) is awarded.

A written comment is included in the report noting the learner's absence. This will invalidate the learner from all academic awards in that term.

Submission of Assessment

Submission of Assessment Tasks and Portfolio Pieces3 Assessment tasks are extremely valuable and must be handed in responsibly. Tasks completed at home must be submitted directly to the learner's teacher in circumstances conducive to their safe receipt.

In the case of all assessment tasks completed at home, the learner is required to keep a good copy of the submitted Task. An electronic back-up copy or a photocopy is acceptable. The copy must be produced on request, and will provide the learner with security against loss of, or damage to the submitted copy. It is also important that learners ensure the security of their work prior to its completion by ensuring that secure backup copies are made. Loss of a task, either electronic or physical, will not generally be accepted as a valid reason for late submission.

Once a learner has received their assessed work from their teacher, should there be a query with regards to the result or the validity of the assessment procedure, the learner is able to appeal their result with the teacher concerned. The learner must follow up this matter immediately and in a polite manner. Should the learner still feel aggrieved she may then approach the Head of Department who will evaluate the situation and refer the concern to the Deputy Head if required.

Late Submission of Assessment Tasks

Should a learner not hand in an assessment task by the date on which it is due (without extension or acceptable explanation), the following procedure will be followed:

Marks will be deducted as follows:

10% of the marks for each day late, up to no more than 7 school days late.Work submitted after this time may be reviewed but no mark will be awarded for credit.

No further penalty will be applied; however, assessment tasks will not be accepted for credit more than seven (7) school days late.

Parents will be advised by the Head of Department as soon as possible of late penalties which have been applied on a regular basis.

Failure to Submit or Undertake an Assessment

Failure to Submit or Undertake an Assessment Task Should a learner fail to do an assessment task, or fail to submit an assessment task for so long that it may no longer be accepted for credit, the Head of Department will advise the Deputy Headmistress who will write to the parents advising them of the fact, and detailing the penalty involved. Parents will be asked to acknowledge receipt of this letter.

The penalty in such cases is the award of zero marks for the task.

Alleged Malpractice in Assessment Tasks or Examinations

Malpractice, or cheating, is defined as dishonest behaviour by a learner that gives them an unfair advantage over others. It is assumed that all work handed in is the learner's own work.

Allegations of plagiarism or other forms of malpractice will be reported to the Deputy Headmistress who will consult with the respective Head of Department to investigate the matter and, if proven, determine an appropriate penalty. The award of zero marks may be deemed appropriate. The outcome in such cases will be conveyed in writing to the parents.

Learner Performance

Teachers monitor the performance and progress of each child in their lessons. Learners' should be:

Keeping up to date with classwork and homework exercises Behaving appropriately and concentrating during lesson time. They can be instructed to attend:An afternoon supervised Prep session, or a Friday afternoon Academic detention (one day notice is sufficient in both cases) House marks can also be given for the above concerns at the discretion of the teacher. Should the Prep session or Friday afternoon detention session clash with an extra curricular activity this will be discussed and arrangements made between staff concerned.

Promotion

In the Senior School (from Grades 8 to 12) assessment is continuous and promotion to the next Grade depends on the learner's performance in assessment tasks in all three terms. Promotion to the next grade is informed by the National guidelines as spelt out below:

Promotion Policy for Grade 8 & 9 Achieve a minimum of Level 4 (50%) in three learning areas, one of which must be English Achieve a minimum of Level 3 (40%) in three remaining subjects, one of which must be

Mathematics

Promotion policy for Grade 10, 11 & 12 Girls To obtain a National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass girls are required to:

Achieve a minimum of 40% in English Achieve a minimum of 40% in two other subjects Achieve a minimum of 30% in three other subjects

Other rules of combination apply particularly with respect to Life Orientation and Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy To obtain a NSC pass with entry to Diploma study (classified a "D" pass) girls are required to:

Achieve a minimum of 40% in English Achieve a minimum of 40% in three other subjects Achieve a minimum of 30% in two other subjects Meet the language requirement for further study at a South African institution To obtain a NSC with entry to Degree studies (classified a "BD" pass) girls are required to:

Achieve a minimum of 40% in English Achieve a minimum of 50% in four other subjects from the designated list Achieve a minimum of 30% in two other subjects Meet the language requirement for further study at a South African institution (usually English is required to be at least 50%)

All subjects, with the exception of Computer Application Technology, are on the designated list.

Other conditions may apply. Failure to meet criteria for promotion and subsequent arrangements and conditions of condo nation, will be at the discretion of the Head.

A learner may not be more than two chronological years younger/older than the average age of her Grade. This is in the learner's best interest.

Subject Changes

Subject changes are generally discouraged. It is hoped that girls together with the advice and guidance from their teachers, the school psychologist and parents will make the correct subject choices at the end of their Grade 9 year. Subject changes are only permitted in special cases in Grade 10. NO further subject changes will be permitted in Grade 11 and 12 as per guidelines stipulated by the IEB and NSC. However individual cases that are deemed serious enough will be investigated with respect to a change from Mathematics to Mathematical Literacy only.

A learner wishing to make a subject change in Grade 10 needs to communicate this with the Deputy Head and the school psychologist. Once a discussion has been had, the relevant HOD and teacher concerned will be approached. Learners will be responsible for catching up the relevant work and concepts missed as well as purchasing the correct textbooks as a matter of urgency. No special exceptions will be made for candidates having changed subjects just prior to a test or examination.

Recording and Reporting of Marks

Recording and Reporting of Marks Teachers record marks or levels onto an electronic spreadsheet or a mark book and then used to compile a term report that is kept on the school's electronic system (ICAS) and sent to parents three times a year.

At the end of Terms 2 and 3 formal summative examinations are written over a two week period and the marks used as part of the term assessment

These marks are cumulative and the results from Terms 1 and 2 are used in the final term report on which promotion of the learner is based. These results are ratified by the Deputy Headmistress and then recorded on the learner's report. Outcomes are recorded in a booklet in Grades 8 -12.

The marks and levels are used by the teacher to compile a report comment and effort level.

At the end of each term a staff meeting is held in which the term results of all the learners are discussed. The comments are used by the pastoral care team and academic teachers to assist the learner make further progress and address any areas of weakness.

The Form teacher and Headmistress add comments to the report based on the assessment of each subject teacher.

Parents are called for interviews with the pastoral team when assessments have demonstrated the need for further interventions.

Assessment of Learners with Special Needs

These learners are identified by the School Psychologist in consultation with her teachers. She will make submissions on behalf of the child to the IEB for Special concessions. These are published for all teachers and special arrangements are made in the examination sessions.

Learners who have been identified as requiring additional support are assisted through the full time support programme offered in the subjects of English, Mathematics and Afrikaans.