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Assessment Policy

Assessment Policy

Introduction 

This Assessment Policy was developed in partnership with all members of the school community of Moyne College. It recognises the requirement of the school to regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students and their parents, as set down by the Education Act 1998. This Assessment Policy will be reviewed regularly, as directed by the Board of Management. 

Relationship to Mission Statement 

Moyne College is a multi-denominational, co-educational centre of learning where each student is imbuedwith an awareness of human dignity and uniqueness and where the desire to achieve success is instilled through committed study and participation in various spheres of school life.

This Assessment Policy will play a key role in striving to ensure that each student realises his/her full academic potential in a learning environment that reflects a culture of partnership between teachers, parents and students.

Aims and Objectives of this Policy 

The primary aims and objectives of the policy are: 

  • To facilitate improved teaching and pupil learning. 
  • To create a consistent and standardised assessment procedure for monitoring and reporting achievement in the school 
  • To co-ordinate assessment procedures within departments on a whole school basis 
  • To develop a whole school approach to assessing students work and recording and reporting of same.

Assessment for Learning & Assessment of Learning 

This policy covers both assessment of learning and assessment for learning . Assessment of learning is assessment for accountability purposes, to determine a student's level of performance on a specific task or at the conclusion of a unit of teaching and learning. The information gained from this kind of assessment will be used in reporting. 

Assessment for learning is a continuous process which combines a grade with advice to the student towards further improvement. Both forms of assessment are invaluable, and will be used by equally by teachers in this school. 

This form of assessment will facilitate target setting for individual students in the individual subject areas.

The Purposes of Assessment 

  • To evaluate what a student has learned in a particular area 
  • To provide feedback to students in a timely and constructive manner 
  • To provide feedback to teachers on the success of particular teaching methodologies in the learning process 
  • To highlight difficulties and shortcomings in the learning process in order to develop intervention strategies 
  • To identify students who may require additional teaching hours and apply to the NCSE if necessary.
  • To provide baseline data as part of the DEiS planning and School Self Evaluation process.
  • To enable the SEN Coordinator and Examinations Secretary to identify students that will require RACE and apply accordingly.
  • To identify students who require extension activities such as learning support 
  • To encourage and increase the skills of self assessment
  • To keep records of attainment that will inform parents through the school’s reporting process 
  • To measure the progress of students over time 
  • To raise expectations and standards 
  • To encourage students to take responsibility of their own learning in order for them to becomes a driving force in their own education
  • To ascertain whether it is appropriate for a student to continue studying in any given subject area. 
  • To facilitate target setting for individual students in the individual subject areas.

Forms of Assessment 

  1. Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. It does not contribute to the final mark given for work completed instead it contributes to learning through providing feedback. It should indicate what is good about a piece of work and why this is good; it should also indicate what is not so good and how the work could be improved. Effective formative feedback will affect what the student and the teacher does next.

Assessment should support learning as well as measure the outcomes. 

Effective assessment for learning enables students to understand how to improve their work by:

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

Formative assessment involves a range of strategies designed to give students, teachers and

parents’ feedback about students’ understanding of elements of their learning in courses.

Moyne 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.’ An outline of this approach is

detailed in the policy for effective Learning and Teaching.

We recognise, however, that not all aspects of this approach are of benefit in all curriculum

areas and the discretion of the teacher is advised to adapt the theory to suit the particular

demands of the subject.

The most common forms of assessment used in Moyne College are of an informal nature, and these take place regularly in the classroom. These informal assessments are at the discretion of individual teachers who will use them constructively for learning to take place. Timely feedback and constructive advice are vital components in this process. 

Where appropriate, teachers will keep records of these assessments to provide an insight into a students progress over time and to fully inform the learning process. 

In addition to the AFL strategies highlighted above other informal assessments methods may include – 

  • Worksheets & written classwork 
  • Questions and answers in class 
  • Essays & assignments 
  • Reading & writing in Class 
  • Sample exam questions 
  • Homework – written or learned
  • Observations –in class

in support groups

practical settings

during breaktimes

Summative Assessment 

Summative Assessment is an assessment of the students’ learning. The main purpose of summative assessment  is to grade and certify students' achievement. Summative assessment is formal in nature

Methods of Summative Assessment used in Moyne College are:

  • End of Unit/Chapter Tests– Individual subjects may decide to administer a test on completion of units of work or chapters.These tests may take theform of formal tests but may also be longer pieces of work completed over a period of time. Some subjects may require the tests to have a practical aspect to them. The results of these tests will be recorded in the student’s journal and individual class teachers will record them in their own journal. The schools management system has the capacity to record tests results. Subject teachers may request the Principal to ‘open’ this facility for their individual subject. 

  • House Exams – 1st , 2nd and 5th Years will sit their Christmas Exams in December and their Summer Exams at the end of May.  A special Exam timetable will be draughted by the Examinations secretary following consultation with the Principal. 

LCA 1 students will be administered in-class tests during this period.

In-Class tests will take place for all 3rd, 6th Year and LCA 2 students in each individual subject. The purpose of this assessment will be to ascertain a benchmark as to what the student knows and what they will need to know in order to prepare for the state examinations. This will occur during the Christmas period. 

house exam will not be given to students in Junior Cycle if they are completing a CBA or sitting an assessment task as part of their Junior Certificate. For example if students are sitting an assessment task in English during December then they will NOT be sitting another English test as part of their Christmas Tests.

  • State Exams – The school will strive to ensure that all 3rd, 6th Year and Leaving Certificate Applied students participate - as directed by the State Exams Commission - in the many assessments that make up the Junior Cert , Leaving Cert and LCA  exams. These assessments which may include orals, course work, practical work, portfolio work amongst others, will be operated in accordance with the regulations set down by the State Examinations Commission

Following consultation with NEPS the school will apply for RACE in accordance with the guidelines as set down by the State Examinations Commission

  • Other Assessments – the school may engage in other forms of assessment from time to time. Incoming 1st Years will undertake standardised assessment which will provide baseline data which may be used as a basis to form mixed ability 1st Year classes. This assessment will offer an early indicator to the school of a student’s potential. The CAT IV will be administered during October of their first year in Moyne College.

In addition to this all 1st Years will be screened by the Learning Support Department to investigate the possible provision of additional help where necessary.

The Drumcondra On-line Testing will be administered to All 2nd Year Students during May of their second year in school

All 5th Years will undertake a DATS assessment to assist in their investigation of possible college and career choices, when they proceed in Senior Cycle.Furthermore it will assist with making RACE applications if necessary.

The whole school will engage in attainment testing in order to provide baseline data for the school’s DEiS plan and for purposes of review. This testing will take place in late September/early October and then again mid-May.

The Tearman staff will carry out Boxall Profiles on students who have been identified as in need of attending the Nurture Group. 

The school’s NEPS psychologist, in consultation with school management, may carry out psychological assessments and other assessments on students at different times throughout the year.

Behavioural assessments may be carried out on students presenting with behavioural difficulties and students may be referred to other specialists, e.g Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy through the National Behaviour Support Service.

Students where English is not thier first language will be assessed using the: Department of Education & Skills Post Primary Assessment Kit and the Cambridge English Test. Results from these tests will indicate if any additional language support will be required and EAL classes will be scheduled accordingly. Further details of this assessment can be found in the EAL policy.

Junior Cycle Assessment:

  • Classroom Based Assessments- CBAs have been introduced to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills and their ability to apply them in ways that may not be possible in an externally assessed examination. CBAs will be used in the assessment of learning in subjects and in short courses. CBAs will be assessed by the individual class teachers.  Students will undertake two CBA in all subjects as they are introduced to the curriculum. CBAs will be facilitated by the individual class teacher, one in second year and one in third year. CBAs in all subjects will be specified at a common level. 

The assessments associated with CBAs will cover a broad range of activities including oral tasks, written work of different types, practical or designing and making tasks, artistic performances, scientific experiments, projects or other suitable tasks. In the area of Art, Craft and Design, Music, Home economics and the Technology subjects, the second CBA will involve practical work or the creation of an artefact or a performance. 

Assessment of this practical work will be marked by the State Examinations Commission, together with accompanying written evidence, where appropriate.CBAs will be undertaken by students within class time to a national timetable.

On completion of the CBAs, subject teachers will engage inSubject Learning and Assessment Review meetings (SLARs) in order to assess the CBAs.The students teachers will assess the work completed and the outcomes will be reported to the students.When assessing the level of student achievement in a CBA against the learning outcomes, subject teachers will use ‘on-balance’ judgement in relation to the features of quality, which are set out in four level descriptors:

Exceptional

Above Expectations

In Line with Expectations

Yet to Meet Expectations

As the second CBA completed in the practical subjects are marked by the SEC then SLARS may not be required in these specific CBAs.

In relation to CBAs in Short Courses there will be no more than two CBAs and the achievement of students will be described as the descriptors listed above. SLARS will be required for the assessment of CBAs that are completed in short courses.

  • Assessment Task:

Students complete a formal written Assessment Task to be submitted to the State Examinations Commission for marking along with the Final Assessment. Each department plan will indicate the details of the assessment task specific to their subject. The member of staff assigned management resource hours will notify teaching staff of dates relating to the assessment tasks and a calendar of same will be devised and shared.

General Guidelines 

The form that these informal and formal assessments will take, are dependent on the subject area being assessed and will vary from subject to subject. Certain forms of assessment may oftentimes be peculiar to a particular subject. 

All forms of assessment above will strive to meet the individual needs and differences of all the students in the classroom when they arise. Classroom strategies such as differentiated assessment, visual aids, hearing aids, spelling waivers, increased time and dictionaries amongst others, may be used from time to time, as determined by the individual subject teacher. 

Where feasible, and as determined by each department plan, common assessments across a year group will be used in each subject area. This will provide for increased cooperation and a common benchmark across each subject area. 

Students are expected to treat all of the above forms of assessment with respect. Any student who willingly fails to participate fully, or who acts in a disrespectful way towards any form of assessment in the school will be dealt with accordingly. 

Assessment and Reporting 

Reporting of assessment should enable parents:

  • To be involved in their child’s learning
  • To understand and encourage the progress their child is making
  • To check their child’s progress throughout their time in Moyne College

There are different methods whereby the results of formal and informal assessments will be reported to parents. 

Student Journal – students will record all continuous assessment results in their journals for all subjects. The teacher may communicate the outcome of any assessment to the parents/guardian of a student by writing a note in the students journal. The parent/guardian is expected to acknowledge receipt of this note by countersigning it. 

Direct Contact - the teacher may decide as they see fit to contact the parent/guardian directly with respect to the outcome of any assessment undertaken by a student 

VSWareParents will be provided with access to their own child's account on the school’s management system VSWare; This will allow parents to view reports in relation to thier child’s academic performance, attendance and behaviour.

Signature of Parent on Assessment – the teacher may send the corrected assessment itself home with the student to be viewed and signed by the parent/guardian. 

Parent Teacher Meetings – there are Parent Teacher Meetings for all Year Groups throughout the academic year. At these meetings it will be possible for teachers to relay the outcomes of varying assessments to parents/guardians of individual students, that generates a accurate picture of the student’s progress. 

Written reports – Formal written reports are posted to the parents/guardians of students on two occasions during the academic year, depending which year group they are in. 1st, 2nd5th Year and LCA1 students’ parents/guardians will receive their Christmas Report in December before the Christmas holidays, and their Summer Report during the last week before the Summer holidays.

 Parents/guardians of 3rd and 6th will also receive a Christmas Report in December, but will then receive another report in April with the results of their Pre Junior and Pre Leaving Cert Exams. 3rd and 6th Year parents/guardians do not receive a Summer Report

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)The JCPA will capture student achievements in a number of assessment elements undertaken over the three years of junior cycle, including the grades in the state certified examinations at the end of the three year programme. It will also report on students; achievement in CBAs in subjects and short courses and in Level 2 Learning Programmes (L2LPs) The JCPA also provides an opportunity for comments on students achievement, participation or progress in other areas of learning that may have been included in the school’s junior cycle programme, for example , participation in school choir, member of the school council or various sports teams. The JCPA will provide an opportunity for every student to have their own particular strengths and engagement in areasof school life, other than the traditional academic areas, recognised and affirmed. The JCPA will be issued to students and their parents before the end of the first term following the completion of the Junior Cycle

This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting of 

________________________________________ ( date) 

Signed:_______________________________________ 

Chairperson

Next review date: __________________________