Assessment at Morris – Friends’ Primary Years
Assessment is central to the Primary Years Programme’s (PYP) goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding children through the five essential elements of learning: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take responsible action. Assessment is embedded in the learning process at Morris and always has a contextual basis.
Authentic assessment encourages student originality, development of creativity and problem-solving strategies, along with mastery of important information and skills. Learning how to reflect on experiences helps students develop the skills they need to understand and deal with changes in our daily lives.
Assessment is much more than the summative reflection of skills or a test of knowledge; it is an ongoing process and is integral to all teaching and learning at Morris. Assessment is the process of gathering and analysing information about student performance. It identifies what students know, can understand, can do and may feel at different stages in the learning process. Along with informing classroom programs and establishing learning outcomes, it helps to identify students requiring additional support or extension. Some of our assessment practices are measured against standardised criteria, which are useful in monitoring student progress and can provide normed statistics that are useful in tracking school wide progress.
All students at Morris collate a portfolio of personal learning evidence each year. These documents hold examples of the shared learning experiences, from both the classroom teacher and specialist teachers. They celebrate the achievements of each child’s journey within the school year and track the learning of the individual. Selection of evidence for the portfolios is decided upon between the teacher and student. Portfolios are taken home at the end of each term to share with family and friends.
Opportunities for teachers and students to formally report on student progress are scheduled throughout the year as explained below.
Meet the Teacher
This is held within the first few weeks of term, providing an opportunity for the teacher to share information with the parents about the coming year and parents to share information with the teacher regarding their child.
A letter is emailed to parents at the end of Term 1. It provides initial observations of the child’s learning in the key areas of English and Mathematics, and a summary of how the child has settled into school and established general learning behaviours. It is designed to inform the Parent/Teacher conversations that take place the week after.
These conversations follow the Progress Letter at the end of Term 1 and are an opportunity for the parent and teacher to discuss the details of their child’s academic learning, learning behaviours and social and emotional wellbeing.
Mid-Year Learning Record
Detailed Learning Records are mailed home at the end of Term 2. They include a general comment, assessments and comments pertaining to English and Mathematics, assessed knowledge and skills from each of the Units of Inquiry and Specialist subjects.
Teacher/Parent conversations follow early in Semester 2. These allow an opportunity for parents to formally discuss the Learning Record sent home at the end of Semester 1.
Student Led Conversations
At the end of Term 3, student-led conversations are held. These enable children to discuss their work and learning with their parents. Students manage and host the conversations with their parents, taking strong ownership of their learning and achievements so far in the year.
End of Year Learning Records
For students in the Kindergarten, written reports are in the form of pictorial Learning Stories. For Prep to Year 6 students, a final written Learning Record is posted home to parents. These reflect the child’s learning during Semester 2 and are a culmination of the child’s learning in all areas of the curriculum throughout the year.