At Achieve school of education both Students and staff grow together as they experience ample opportunities and exposure to advance educational technologies newer teaching and learning strategies. They develop a spirit of enquiry which opens the door to the beautiful world outside.
It’s our belief that those students who participate fully in holistic learning are best prepared to live a meaningful, purposeful life, and are equipped to make significant contributions to the world around them. Our philosophy of Education is based on the belief that greatness resides within each and every student as they are unique.
Each student has a distinctive ability, a combination of interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, mathematical, social, musical and artistic ability. Hence we follow a balanced curriculum that caters to needs of the students.
BELIEVE TO ACHIEVE
Isn’t it boring to sit in a single classroom for the whole 8 periods?
You must have gone back to your school days…right?
Good. You are thinking!
Yes, it’s time to bring a change in this system.
Achieve school believes that every child is blessed with knowledge .Education system should ignite the natural curiosity so that a child finds answers in his environment and learns in the most natural way which is comfortable for a child. In this process the student would have made an attempt to learn more than the concepts prescribed in the text books. This opens up a whole new world of learning with joy and not just for the sake of numbers . This quest for knowledge and understanding instils confidence. This gives way to application of knowledge, analysis , synthesis and finally evaluation of concepts learnt.
Parents and students loose their hope on education system because it does not empower them to face life’s challenges. Most students have low confidence level, bad team player, negative behaviour, dependent on other’s thinking.(lack originality)
Most people feel it is difficult to get a job, later get a hike. Many people think that they learnt most of the skills n gained knowledge in their first and second jobs. It is a general notion that schools and colleges did not help them completely.
Schools usually concentrate on gaining high scores . Bookish knowledge is not enough in these days.
All parents wish if the schools guided students, the art and skill to make a living for future.........
The activities designed in this school will be very close to future real life challenges. These challenges push a student to evaluate themselves and eventually students realize their strength and weakness.
Achieve methodology will be a catalyst to mould students to acquire a strong personality, self reliance and making them a sterling citizen of India.
Your child irrespective of the issues, it may be behaviour ,academics or no issues, the teachers are trained here to deal with all sorts of children and push them to the next level/ higher level.
Students in Achieve school of Education are taught to handle the problems/ situations rather than crying over spilt milk.Unlike other institutions, we do not have sections of classes like A, B, C and so on. Some schools even have the practice of having all the so called intelligent ones in Sec A , average ones in sec B and below average in sec C and what not..!Oh God! This is annoying.
Undoubtedly, You, Your children and We are all LEARNERS at ACHIEVE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION.
Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
"Assessment should help the child/teacher discover the child’s strengths and weaknesses, it should not be used to predict the child’s future"
The following page aims to develop and review an assessment policy for a school set up in Bangalore, Karnataka that promotes and practices Inclusive practices. It reviews literature and studies done around the world to garner a better understanding of the current scenario and the process adopted. The author has also developed an assessment policy for his school and sought feedback from colleagues in the field of education in Bangalore, Karnataka. Key words: Assessment policy, assessment.
Introduction: In today’s world education is considered to be an essential like food, clothing and shelter. Education equips a person to be able to use his mind or skills he has learnt to earn a living and be self- reliant. It also further provides an all-round development so as to be able to live a life as a responsible citizen in the society (Ministry of Human Resource Development, 2011;Bhakhry, 2006).All around the world there is talk about inclusion of all children into the education system. The Salamanca Declaration (UNESCO, 1994); the World Education Forum, Dakar, Senegal2000 and United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 1993 (Sand kull 2005; Kumar & Kumar 2007; Singal 2006) all speak about Inclusion of children .Education is gaining more and more importance in today’s world. The Government of India has introduced many policies in education of children. The most relevant policies on
education being the Sarva Siksha Abhyan and The Right to Education Act, 2009.The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) 2000 a programme initiated by the Government of India is aimed to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the agesof 6-14 years. The programme is being implemented by the State Government with the objective of improving enrolment, reducing the drop- out rate from school and provide quality education and remove gender differences and gaps (SarvaShiksha Abhiyan 2000; Sharma 2013). An amendment to the constitution through the Right of free and compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 makes free, appropriate and compulsory education a right of all children between the ages of 6 to 14 years. It aims at providing quality education in a formal school which satisfies norms and standards set under it (RTE Act 2009). As of now 32 States and Union Territories have adopted the RTE Act. Education in India is primarily the responsibility of the States with the central government coordinating and setting standards for higher education and technical education (Naik 1975). In India the education is provided by the Government through their own schools, through aided and unaided private schools. There are four levels of schooling in India – the lower primary school – Grade 1 to 5, Upper primary school – grade 6 -7, High school – grade 7 to grade 10 Students learn a common curriculum with the exception of the regional language that is as applicable to the states where they are receiving their education.
EDUCATION SYSTEMS IN INDIA
The education in India is provided by the following types of Schools
•Public/government schools: The Government Central and state are the providers of education to most schools in India. More than 75% of the schools running are funded by the Government
• Private schools: Many private schools have emerged in India in the recent times. Under this you have the private aided schools (recognised and funded by the Government) and private unaided schools. (Schools owned and funded privately)
• International schools: International schools though few in number in all major cities. They cater to children belonging to the affluent sections of Indian society and NRIs and foreigners. In order to be considered an actual international school, it is widely agreed that a school generally follows a national or international curriculum different from that of the host country.
• Special-needs schools: These are schools mostly set by NGO’s that provide schooling for children who are unable to fit in to mainstream schools The children who attend these schools are mostly those with special educational needs. Some of these schools also provide vocational training to the children. There are 4 common boards of education that are applicable in India namely:
· ICSE board (Indian School Certificate Examination) is a private body founded in 1956 which follows an adapted version of University of Cambridge’s examination system to India.
· CBSE board: (Central board of secondary education) has more than 900 schools affiliated to it in India and has it presence in more than 21 nations across the globe.
· State boards: Many states in India have their own board of education which are prevalent within the state.
· IB International Baccalaureate (IB) set up in 1968, now works with over 3000 schools in 141 countries. The board is currently limited to the metro and large Tier-I cites in India.
Another board that is gaining popularity with people unable to attend regular schools but wishing to complete their education is the NIOS (National institute of open schooling)
(Institute for Studies in Industrial Development ,year –unknown). There are many schools and many boards in India that cater to the needs of Education in India. Other than teaching, sports, arts and crafts, assessment also plays a major role.
Educational assessments are conducted by schools and teachers in order to assess the learning of children. It is the recording of the progress of each and every child in measurable terms. But the author believes that what the final purpose of assessment in their school depends on the school management. What are their thoughts and beliefs on the assessment process? What are they assessing and how do they propose to do it? A detailed literature review on assessment is discussed later in the paper.
The assessment policy provides guidance to the teachers, parents and learners on the school assessment procedure.
Assessment provides the educators to assimilate data on the learning of the chid (in measurable terms) by collecting, analysing and interpreting. It helps understand the learning achievement of the child at each stage, the progress made, and the steps forward.
The learning process of the child is the responsibility of the teachers, learner and parents. The school through its assessment policy ensures that the results of the assessment conducted are fair and reflect the true ability of the learner.
Achieve Academy is a school that believes in creating free thinkers as its vision! Achieve was school was started to bring a revolution in education and make education a pleasurable process. One of its major philosophy is to not conduct entrance tests for admitting children into the school but also to include every section of the society. The school strongly believes that any child who comes in should be accepted because every child has the ability to learn.
The school campus hosts children from 2 years plus to 15years of age:
· children between the age of 2 to 3 years are in pre1
· children between the age of 3 to 4 years are in pre 2
· children between the age of 4 to 5 years are in pre 3
· children between the age of 5 to 6years are under pre 4
· Children 6 years and above are placed in classes based on their chronological age.
All the above are categorized as lower kindergarten or the preschool. The preschool consists of 32 children in each class with 2 trained teachers and a helper. Beyond the preschool, grade 1 to grade 10 has 32 children are enrolled in each level. The most unique thing about the school – is the maximum strength is about 432 and does not exceed beyond the same.
The school is formally recognized as a state board school which is affiliated to Karnataka State and the school follows a concept of its own called Studio School. The school does not have multiple sections, . It is centrally located which serves as an easy access with respect to transportation.
The school is built on a studio concept which is quite different from a regular school. Unlike schools that have a classroom for each grade and a separate science lab, computer lab or math lab here the classrooms are changed to studios and the school hosts Maths, English, Social, Science, Kannada, board room, art room, library, music room and a play area. All these places are visited by the children as per the allotted time table. For example if grade 3 children have science as per the time-table, the entire class 3 moves to science studio. Which means children change classrooms every hour and there are no fixed rooms for each grade as in a normal school. Here the teacher is the home teacher of that particular studio. This serves as a huge strength to the teaching faculty and has both advantages and few disadvantages .Charts, project works and the models are displayed in the respective studio depending on the subject the children have made.
What excites children is moving from one studio to another; this creates a lot of excitement and also gives children a chance to stretch their feet/mobility before they settle down in their respective studio, unlike the regular traditional concept where teachers change the rooms while the children sit in permanent places, in the same room.
Appendix A includes the various Methods used to impart education in the school. An understanding of this is necessary to be able to understand the assessment policy rationale While the 11 points as stated in Appendix A tell us how the school is different in its teaching methods, the author concludes that assessments is more of writing and does not adapt to their teaching methods. In this assignment the author would like to explore to bring in assessments through all the 11 forms which enables the children to get assessed in various forms and combinations. The author would like to look at challenging all types of learners and challenge every student in the school (source NCF 2005 India). The author based on his own experience and feedback from his teachers feels these points are connected to how text books should be change it to how the same can be lead to assessments and provide a reference.
Literature Review Assessment in education according to Huba and Freed 2000, “is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning.” Assessment in the field of education is conducted to
understand if the child has learnt the concepts taught, and the feedback plays an equally important role as it helps the child improve his learning by knowing which are the areas he is not doing well at and what needs to be done to improve his knowledge/ learning in that particular area (Sadh, 2007).
Based on experience with running a school and reading the author believes that Assessments are conducted to get a clear view of the academic and holistic growth of the child. The genuine purpose of an assessment is a feedback towards the teachers teaching. Thus assessment is of two types: Assessment for learning and Assessment of learning.
There is enough research and it is proven that assessment of learning has very little or no impact on learning. The evidence to date is that none of these initiatives has had a large effect. When you control for the demographics of student populations, the net impact on student achievement appears to be effectively zero (William, 2007).
Five reviews of the research in this area (Black & William, 1998; Crooks, 1988; Kluger & DeNisi, 1996; Natriello, 1987; Nyquist, 2003) synthesized a total of more than 4,000 research studies under-taken during the last 40 years. The conclusion shows that when implemented well, formative assessment can effectively double the speed of student leaning (William, 2007).
The author believes that assessment of children in academics is important because of all the decisions and policies that we make about children when teaching will have an impact. These decisions involve how best to educate our children. Some of these decisions will seem small and may not make a major change of influence while some others will be “high stakes,” influencing the direction of course of children. All of our assessment decisions taken as a whole will direct and alter children’s learning outcomes. The following points are made to bring out the purpose of an assessment which helps teachers to enhance their lesson plans/teaching methods/assessment procedures and helps decision makers of the school to come out with policies and helps children understand the purpose of assessment and help them realign with the future requirements (Boston, 2000; William, 2007).
Assessment helps in understanding the child’s current awareness of the subject, recognizing children who require individual attention, to plan and implement appropriate curricula to meet children's individual abilities. It further helps parents know the status of their child’s learning and help them enhance their learning. It also helps teachers identify children's capacities, potential and needs, plan lessons and activities, source material/ resources to teach, monitor and improve the teaching-learning process and meet the individual needs of children and customize it the ability and pace of learning to individual child (Boston, 2000; William, 2007).
According to Huba and Freed 2000 the following 5 points play a crucial role in transforming an educational institution to a place where a learning model is followed:
· Identifying the learning outcome intended
· A system to measure the learning outcome for individuals and the class as a whole · Teaching the curriculum backwards i.e., from the intended outcome to what needs to be taught to achieve that outcome.
· Having varied resources and teaching methods to achieve the said outcome
· Continuous investigation of varied methods to teach
The author agrees with the points stated by Huba and Freed 2000. In following with the points stated by them the complete circle of learning is covered and at the same time it involves working towards providing education that focuses on learning rather than grades or marks.
In India, formative assessment plays a crucial role (as stated earlier under the school boards and their assessment system). Based on literature review the author feels that formative assessment should clarify and share learning intentions and criteria for success with students. For example, some teachers share work samples completed by previous students and have current students discuss which ones are strong and which are weak, and why. It should be driven by effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks. Well-planned questions can prompt students to think and provide teachers with information to adjust instruction. Teachers need to use effective questioning techniques that keep all students engaged and that gauge the understanding of the whole class instead of just selected students. Teachers should provide feedback that moves learners forward. Comments that address what the student needs to do to improve, linked to rubrics when appropriate, promote further learning more. The goal should be to activate students as the owners of their own learning. For example, have students assess their own work, using agreed on criteria for success. The teachers should further encourage students to be instructional resources for one another. Peer assessment and feedback is often more acceptable and engaging for students than teacher feedback is (William, 2007). Formative assessment has the power to produce unprecedented improvements in student achievement in our schools.
An assessment policy is a document that lays down the approaches adopted by an institution in conducting the assessment practices. An assessment policy must include the approach adopted by the institution towards assessment and its purpose of said assessment (Black, and William, 1998).
The following general principles should guide both policies and practices for the assessment of young children:
· Assessment should be productive for children.
· It is not easy to collect accurate data from young children as results of assessments vary upon many internal and external factors, so lot of care and attention must be paid during the entire process,
· Assessments must have a clear purpose it should help the child directly or indirectly
· Assessment should be customized to a specific abilities of the children and should be reliable, valid, and fair for that purpose.
· Assessments created for one purpose need not be valid if used for other purposes.
· Assessment policies should be created by keeping in mind and recognizing that validity of assessments increase with children’s age. Young children may not be serious during assessments, so it is more difficult to obtain reliable and valid assessment data.
· It is practically extremely difficult to accurately assess children’s cognitive abilities before age six. Because of problems with reliability and validity, some types of assessment should be conducted later until children are older, while other types of assessment can be pursued, but only with necessary safety.
· Assessment should be age appropriate in both content and the method of data collection.
· Assessments of young children should cater to the full range of learning and development, including physical well-being and gross motor development; social interaction skills and emotional response development; local and foreign language development;
· Methods of assessment should be able to identify that children need familiar contexts to be able to demonstrate their capabilities.
· Assessments should focus on both strengths and weaknesses of the child and help in future cognition development. It must not be used to provide judgemental opinions about children.
· Assessment should be linguistically appropriate, recognizing that to some extent all assessments are measures of language. Regardless of whether an assessment is
intended to measure early reading skills, knowledge of colour names, or learning potential, assessment results are easily confounded by language proficiency, especially for children who come from home backgrounds with limited exposure to English, for whom the assessment would essentially be an assessment of their English proficiency. Each child’s first- and second-language development should be taken into account when determining appropriate assessment methods and in interpreting the meaning of assessment results.
· Parents should be a valued source of assessment information, as well as an audience for assessment.
· Parents are a major stake holders in the life of the child. They must be involved in the process of assessment of the child.
· Assessment results should be shared with parents as part of an ongoing process that involves parents in their child’s education and parent should be partnered in the growth process of the child. (Black, and William, 1998; Shepard, Kagan, and Wurtz, 1998; Stiggins, 2002).
Requirement of assessment policy revamp at Achieve Academy
Achieve school of education has a massive capability for innovation. The school is using technology in the best possible way. There are multi-dimensional activities and these are helping the school to progress. The school in a short span of time of 3 years has full strength with respect to admissions. However the school needs to work on 2 areas of improvement assessment
1. Differentiation and inclusion of all types of children in assessment
2. Support for behaviour and academic issues at all levels.
Considering the above points and based on literature review we feel a major revamp is necessary with respect to the assessment policy and inclusion of all types of learners. The
school has informally accommodated children with diverse abilities as of now, but has no formal policy for the same. This is an immediate priority and the author feels a need for an assessment policy. The policy will include:
· children with diverse abilities
· accommodate creative approaches to the policy
· provide with alternative assessment methods
· customize the assessments and the outcome to the level of individual students and not a general class grade
· tap the potential of children by allowing the teachers to innovate and move away from the rote methods of assessment wherein the children learn something and the testing is more on their ability to remember what has been learnt
· ensure that assessment becomes a pleasurable process of learning rather a burden
These amendments will allow all children to be included in the process of evaluation. As the teachers will be given space to accommodate and include varied methods of assessment type, they will be able to create a customized evaluation procedure which suits the children; it results in inclusion of slow learners, learners with disabilities, average performers and gifted children. The whole process will lead us to move towards inclusion.
Based on an internal investigation by the author and feedback received from the children and teachers the author derived at the following:
· Assessment is done mechanically as a part of the education system and in tandem to what is followed by most schools in India. The current policy doesn’t cover children with special educational needs nor does it provide a much scope for the growth of children who are gifted too.
· Few teachers do take up the challenges of children who have issues based on learning abilities but the policy doesn’t have a specific mention of the same and more clarity can be provided in the policy about inclusion.
· Teachers need more flexibility in the policy to make creative assessments and should be encouraged to have unique testing methods which leads the child to explore and encourage the curiosity and not merely focus on memorization and recollection of mere data.
· Rote methods of assessment seem to dominate the system and currently in the school and everybody seems to be quite comfortable with the same.
· Assessments are to understand where the child stands in his/her understanding and learning levels. The scores of these assessments are mostly used to judge and compare children with other peers by parents and few of the teachers. Help or constructive action for the child after the assessment is missing.
· Standard of assessment is not challenging enough for the gifted children and does not have a major and concrete inclusion policy to involve all types and grades of learners.
· Most of the assessments in our existing policy are written and do not have the scope for oral assessments and kinaesthetic involvement. Only quantity based assessments are provided but subjective and imaginative abilities of the child are not tapped on in the whole process.
B. PURPOSE OF THE POLICY
1. To empower children with a holistic view towards life and makes them aware that academics will only be a part of this path and will never be a judgmental criteria
2. To ensure that the school conducts Formative and summative assessments in a balanced proportion ( number of tests to be equal on both)
3. To ensure that assessment caters to all levels and will be customized as per the child’s ability and not as per the universal standardization
4. There is no entrance exams for any child in the school till the 7th grade. Entry for grade 8 is on the basis of an assessment and post assessment the child is helped deal with the necessary differentiated which are customised; this assessment in not an entrance test
5. Assessment is a feedback for the teacher and teachers must probe into the performance of assessment and should have internal audits of the same. This will enable us to treat assessment as a personal performance of teacher too.
6. To ensure assessment should always provide the student with his/her current status in a specific subject To ensure assessments and its results should help in modification of teaching methods and use of learning aids
8. To ensure assessment results are trustworthy and handling/data entry/verification of these results must be carefully graded
9. To ensure assessment evaluation scheme must be discussed with children before the assessment begins and is a vital part of the formation of the rubric
10. To ensure learning process of post assessment is an important part and is discussed with every clarification of the student
11. Assessment should help the child/teacher discover the child’s strengths and weaknesses, it should not be used to predict the child’s future
C. ASSESSMENT TIME LINE
1. Assessment format-type of assessment – evaluation scheme- post learning to be approved by the academic director
2. Assessment dates and format to be entered in the tracker of the child. Assessment dates and content of assessment to be notified to the children 1 week prior to assessment dates.
3. Assessment to be conducted on the same date as mentioned and planned as much as possible
4. Results of the assessment to be presented to children individually and not declared in public , results to be entered and updated in the CMS of the school
5. Documents related to the assessment preserved and filed in its appropriate files
6. Low scoring children’s performance to be reviewed and to be assisted in the area needed and motivated to perform better
7. Average and gifted children to be motivated to explore more and new things
8. Chronic low scorers to be presented to the notice of coordinators and reviewed by the entire team of teachers dealing with the child
9. Coordinators to ensure the performance of the children and rope in the services of the counsellor available in school. A Special educator to be included in the team to assist the child if needed. Wherever applicable Remedial classes may be arranged / to be notified to the management
10. Parents to be involved in growth plan of the child under the aegis of the coordinators/principal/academic director. All assessment results to be sent to parents so as to inform them and assist them with the learning process of their child.
11. Open communication to be maintained with parents to keep them abreast on the progress of their children on a regular basis through
a. Parent-Teacher meeting
b. Special meetings with parents or a specific grade
c. Letter of concern requesting specified parents to meet with their child’s teachers
12. Based on individual cases – aid such as scribe, enlarged copy of question paper, spelling concessions, reading support, differentiated question paper etc to be provided
13. The educator must go through the test with the learners and provide the correct answers. This is to ensure that the learner can correct any misconceptions he/she has and improve on their results in the next assessment.
D. PROCEDURES TO BE ADOPTED DURING TESTS/ EXAMS
1. A record of children attending the test and absentees to be maintained separately.
2. All students to be seated at their desks 10 minutes before the exam commences with the required stationery. The bags need to be placed outside the classroom.
3. The test/ exam paper needs to be handed face down along with the answer sheet. Children entitled to a scribe Or needing other accommodations need to be placed in a separate room so as to provide them privacy and not disturb the ongoing in the exam room.
4. The first 15 minutes of the exam time is provided to the students to read through the exam paper.
5. The students need to adhere to the time given for the examination (except for those who are entitled to extra time )
6. The examiner/ teacher is required to move around the class during the test /exam time.
7. The students are required to stay seated till all the answer sheets have been collected.
8. The examiner/ teacher to count the test sheets to ensure all the sheets have been handed in by the students.
1. The students will not be allowed to move out of the exam room/ classroom during the on goings of the exam/test. Permission to visit the washroom will be given only during the last 45 minutes ( in case of a 3 hour exam ) and last 10 minutes ( in case of a 1 hour test).Only those with a permission slip ( due to medical reasons ) will be allowed to leave the room.
2. The examiner needs to call in for assistance, the administration office in case needed. If an emergency evacuation commences during the test, follow the policy as set out for emergency drills.
1. Absenteeism during tests and exams is not encouraged. Parents need to get special permission form the school in such cases.
2. If the examiner suspects the student of cheating or a student is caught cheating during an exam the following steps need to be followed:
a. Take away the answer sheet from the student
b. Inform the school office and take the child to the school head
c. An investigation to be conducted by the school head, academic co-ordinator.
3. In case of suspected irregularities involving teachers, the same will be dealt with strictly by the school head.
G. SUBMISSION OF WORK BY LEARNERS
1. Students are required to adhere to the submission dates provided unless permission to submit late has been obtained in writing from the teacher.
2. Work not handed in time hat this is without will be dealt in the following manner:
a. 5% of total marks to be deducted for each day of late submission during week 1
b. After one week (5 school days), 50% of the marks will be automatically deducted.
c. Post this period no marks will be allotted for the concerned assignment.
3. Work copied from others or from any other sources such as books, internet sources will not be counted as submission. Students will not be given any further submission date and scored 0 for such assignments. The academic co- ordinator will be notified of the same. Students who need assistance or any kind for the assignment will be provided with it before hand
3. Learners who are absent from the final exam need to get :
a. The permission letter
b. doctor’s certificate
4. “Valid reasons”include: a. illness supported by a valid medical certificate, issued by a registered medical practitioner; b. emergencies such as death in the family; c. any other reason as has been accepted by the school head
5. Absenteeism for reasons other than those mentioned above will be marked 0 and a remark will be added to the report card.
6. For those who have received the permission – a remark on the same to be added to the report card, the marks for the said test/ exam will not be included in the final report.
H. PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS
No child is to be held back till Grade 8. Post Grade 8 the following criteria needs to be adhered to in order to promote the child:
Grade 8, Grade 9 and Grade 10 – the state board stipulates the pass mark for all subjects at 35%. This includes children with special educational needs who have been provided various accommodations such as scribe, spelling exemption, extra time.
I. IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW
· This policy will be reviewed by the school head, academic co- ordinator at the start of each year
· It will also be discussed with the teachers at the beginning of each academic year.
· Each teacher will explain the assessment process to the students at the beginning of the year.
· The assessment salient point will be communicated to all parents at the beginning of each year and a signature will be obtained from them.
Date of Review:
Date of Acceptance:
Date of Policy implementation:
Assessments are a necessary part of education and have many benefits to the children, teacher, and parents to name a few. Assessment help us understand where the child is at in his learning process and plan future actions to enable better learning. In India as is based on the experience of the author assessment is generally conducted based on rote learning. The author based on his own internal investigation at school and literature review felt that the school needs to shift from the regular assessment process adopted by his own school and schools in general in India and focus on assessment for learning. Through this paper the author has developed an assessment policy tailor-made for his own school (though this can be adopted by other schools) that he proposes to introduce in the near future.
Appendix A - Methods used to impart education in the school
Based on Edgars core of learning (reference)
‘To teach children the process of germination’ – by?
1. Reading of sentences by the children from the text book, without the use of any learning aid in the classroom. ( reading )
2. Listening to the words read by teacher and oral explanation of the same by the teacher.( (reading and listening)
3. Showing the process of germination by charts or pictures printed in the text book, Teachers in this school here are also equipped to use internet and each teacher has a personal laptop to collect the pictures of different stages in germination and have a small slide show to depict the process of germination. ( visual )
4. Watching a movie , we allow teachers to collect images and produce a movie out of a simple movie maker or display an open sourced video uploaded in you tube through a projector in the classroom online .This enhances the ability of the child to remember more as they tend to understand things better when shown than explained or read out.(visual)
5. Looking at an exhibit – here we do bring in some prototypes made of plaster of Paris and Plastic models and display the same in the classroom where the child gets a chance to see touch and feel the same . ( models and exhibits )
6. Watching a demonstration – in this case the teacher uses the exhibit to explain the process and talk about the same to children in the classroom. The demonstration can be done by the teacher or any other professional to be possibly involved. ( demonstration )
7. Seeing it done on location – in this case the children are taken out to a park or a garden and a demo by the gardener is arranged and the process is explained to children, these are referred to as field trips in our school ( field trips )
8. Participating in discussions - Here at Achieve school we have a dedicated board room for discussions and seminars for children. Group discussions about the process of germination can happen here and the topic of germination can be provided to be discussed upon ( group discussions )
9. Giving a talk - children are asked to prepare talks and present PowerPoint presentations in the presence of their fellow members , sometimes they are open to questions. They get very involved in this process ( presentation/seminars )
10. Simulating the experience – Artificial seeds can be taken and a small sand pit can be made inside the school and the artificial seeds can be sown and artificial props can be installed to depict the progress of germination (Simulation)
11. Doing the real thing - real seeds are to be sown by children. Observation of the whole process by watching and monitoring the progress of the same every day .This is the ultimate form and process of learning for most of the children with respect to retention and learning according to Edgar cone of learning. ( doing the real thing )
Current assessment policy since 2012:
The current assessment policy is based on the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern introduced by Karnataka education department ordinance passed in 2013-2014.
A typical academic year is for one year and consists of three semesters/ terms
1. Snap test – for all 6 subjects (EVS , Kannada , English , Mathematics , Science , Sanskrit) 6 times a year - comprehension questions for 10 marks
This test is conducted to develop the writing skills of children which is slowly fading away due to the interference of the technology. This test includes more of Q and A where the student is expected to write answers in a structured sentences and avoid answering the same in a single word. This will build their comprehension.
2. Monthly test - for all 6 subjects 4 times a year for 25 marks – The same scores are used to complete CCE ( continuous comprehensive evaluation )
This test is blend of both short answers and long answers and includes more than 1 lesson in the testing period of the monthly exam .This not only helps the child to revisit the previous chapters but also adds Strength to the study skills of the children in the reading and revision skills of the children
3. Mid-term exams - for all 6 subjects 2 times a year for 80 marks
This exam is conducted at the end of the semester which is considered as the end of a term, usually consists 5 months of period. All lessons completed in the 1st term are considered here
4. Mimio test – 25 marks for all 6 subjects conducted 4 times in 1 academic year
This is a very creative concept of test in our studio school. 32 children can take this type of assessment at a time. Each child gets a remote as displayed in the picture below
Questions appear on screen (projected) and the options alphabets light up on the remotes of the child. There is an option for the teacher to set up time limit for each question too. Once all children have given their input of the answers the correct answer flashes on screen .This system reinforces the children to learn in case they have punched in the wrong option.
5. Final exam (Promotional exam) – 6 subjects 1 time a year
This exam is considered the major exam and usually this is conducted at the end of the academic year in the month of March. This forms the basis of promotion for the child to the next grade.
All assessment scores are uploaded online within 3 days of the exams and are accessible by parents at all points of time
Feedback of the new Assessment by zulekha and mamtha – ( coordinators of Achieve School Of Education )