In its aim to instill in students a lifelong love of learning, the International School of Brno recognizes that appropriate and timely feedback is an essential component of this process. The points detailed below guide the school in providing that feedback.
ISB recognizes that each student:
An assessment consists of collected information which allow for a teacher to monitor and guide students through the learning process as well as determine a student's level of attainment with regards to a specific learning objective (or group of learning objectives). It can cover a specific classroom activity or a series of classroom activities (unit) and occur often. Overall activity or unit assessments should also include self and peer assessment. Summative assessments (grades) are available to students and parents/legal guardians via Edookit.
The fundamental purpose of assessment and reporting is to improve student learning.
In the broadest sense, student assessment provides valuable feedback to individual teachers and the school as a whole which promotes an evaluation and subsequent improvement of teaching and learning practices. It also provides a grade for reporting understanding and progress to parents.
On an individual basis, assessment communicated to students should always be:
Methods of Assessment
ISB uses a wide variety of formative and summative methods of assessment which are inherently linked. ISB teachers use their knowledge of summative assessment expectations and practices to help students improve performance in a formative way. The type of assessment chosen are related to learning outcomes and governed by decisions about its purpose, validity and relevance.
Formative assessment is woven into the daily learning process, provides teachers and students with information about how learning is progressing and helps to plan the next stage of learning. Formative assessments occur continuously and include:
This evidence of learning is kept for example in workbooks or portfolios, which in turn can be used by students and teachers to reflect on, summarize, and evaluate student progress. Teachers provide students frequent and descriptive feedback that aims to improve performance. The feedback given should provide incentives for improvement and should be positive in tone, providing encouragement, positive feedback as well as constructive critique. Generally this feedback will not include a grade, though occasionally a level or mark will be given as a diagnostic tool and as an incentive for improvement. Students are involved in the formative assessment of their own learning and that of their peers through feedback and formal and informal discussions.
Summative assessments are given to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. Summative assessment is generally used as part of the grading process. Examples of summative assessments include, but are not limited to, tests, unit tests, final lab reports and research papers. Summative assessment tasks occur after much formative assessment. The timing, type, scope and format of each summative task should be clearly communicated to the students ahead of time, and rubrics, examples and practice assessments should be distributed and discussed.
The fundamental purpose of reporting is to communicate to a range of stakeholders (the student, parents/legal guardians, future teachers/schools, the School Leadership Team) information about student learning: progress and attainment.
At the end of each quarter, mid term progress reports are sent home (mid November and April). These are intended to provide families with an indication as to the student’s progress within the given time-frame. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of any issues which might result in a student not reaching their full potential. They are a single A4 paper; comments are typically provided when a student is not working to their full potential. They go home on the Friday prior to Monday parent-teacher-student meetings and serve as the basis for the ensuing discussion.
ISB End of Term Reports are compiled two times per academic year at the end of each term (at the end of January and June). They are always made available to parents/legal guardians prior to planned end-of term meetings so that they may serve as the basis for discussion. There is space on the document for both student and parent comments. Given that, levels of achievement and/or comments may not be changed once parents have been presented with the information.
For students registered in the EAL programme, EAL specific objectives are reported on via an insert.
For reporting purposes, ISB uses the following grading schemes:
Kindergarten students work towards very specific objectives that are set for their age group that fit into the wider framework of the EYFS curriculum. For example, whereas a three-year old student will work at holding scissors properly, a four-year old will work at using proper technique and a five-year old will focus on cutting along lines. The extent to which kindergarten students meet these expectations is described via three worded levels of achievement.
To ensure that reporting is as positive and encouraging as possible, students in the primary years receive worded levels of achievement which describe their progress and attainment against all curriculum objectives covered during each term. The aim is for all students to be meeting the expectations of the curriculum; any student receiving that level of achievement has consistently worked to the expected standard and has a solid understanding of the curriculum content. To help teachers assign these levels, benchmark percentages are included below. It is important to note that these percentages are not displayed on the ISB Progress Report. Teachers use these levels to guide them when assessing student work. If parents or students are interested in finding out more about how these levels are used, the percentages may be shared in a discussion.
The levels are:
Meeting some expectations
Progressing towards meeting most expectations
Progressing towards meeting all expectations
Meeting all expectations
0% - 29%
30% - 49%
50% - 69%
70% - 89%
90% - 100%
* To receive incomplete, there must be insufficient assessment available for the teacher to be able to assign a level of achievement. This is typically due to excessive absences (30% +)
+ Students who are reported to be exceeding expectations must go beyond the stated expectations of the curriculum on a regular basis. Their performance must qualitatively and objectively surpass that of their peers.
Please click here to for more information about assessment and assessment guidance in the primary division.
As students mature, it becomes more appropriate to quantify their learning. This is to prepare them for IGCSE exam scores, the IB Diploma Programme and university. ISB students in Secondary and High School receive letter grades.
The levels are:
0% - 29%
30% - 49%
50% - 59%
60% - 69%
70% - 79%
80% - 89%
90% - 100%
*The two levels of achievement are not passing grades at ISB. In order for students to receive a passing grade, they must achieve 50% or greater.
All students registered in the English as an Additional Language or Special Education Needs programmes will be working towards modified expectations in subjects to appear in an Individual Education Plan/Present Level of English Proficiency, which will also describe the modifications.
Students not registered in either programme can still be given an Individual Educational Plan though the exact reasons and terms require discussion among the students, the teacher(s), the parents/legal guardians, the SLT and other staff members.
A note on challenged comments and/or levels of achievement
If a parent/legal guardian or student feel that an assigned level of achievement and/or comment is unfair or unjustified, they may ask for a formal review. The review will be overseen by at least one of the principals and may include the Head. All teachers should keep complete records of student grades as well as keep the ManageBac gradebook updated. This information will be reviewed so as to make the determination as to the appropriateness of the level of achievement assigned.
In order to provide a more complete picture of the student on reports, there are 6 key competencies that are regularly assessed and also receive comment on the Primary and Secondary ISB Progress Reports. They are:
Often, there may be specific issues in one or some of the competencies that impact directly on student learning across the curriculum. Addressing that issue must become priority in order to make teaching and learning more effective.
Learning Skills and Strategies
Comments for this competency should focus on how students approach learning activities, what type of activities their prefer, how are they often successful, where they can focus their efforts in order to improve their progress across the subjects.
Problem Solving Skills
The focus here is critical thinking/reasoning as well as students' ability to act on their thinking.
Comments should focus on what processes/strategies the student employs when approaching and solving all kinds of problems. Does the student consciously break problems down in to components in order to determine the ideal solution or does they instead determine the ideal solution and then take appropriate steps to reach that conclusion? Or is the student often confounded when posed with academic or social problems and have difficulty initiating a process that will move towards the solution. It could also be noted that while the student may not consistently conjure up and communicate a solution, they can always be relied upon to work with others towards the solution by taking on responsibility for one or two steps of the solution.
Comments for this competency should focus primarily with how students choose to communicate. Bear in mind that the English comment will comment on their ability to deploy words and phrases in speech and writing. The competency comment should provide information on the manner and style of their utterances around the school. Does the student communicate their intentions, desires, opinions, known facts, instructions, grievances, rebuttals and so forth with clarity, confidence and respect? Or could improved communication skills help them to resolve or avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, to improve performance in group activities or to enjoy school/life more in general? It is also important to note how well the student is able to listen to others when they are communicating.
The focus of this competency is the students' ability to conceive the greater good and how they can contribute to it. Is the student mindful of how their actions, decision and utterances can make the class/school/world a better place for others? Or do they tend to neglect to be concerned with their responsibility to, at the very least, not make their surroundings a worse place for others.
Organization and Self-Management Skills
Perhaps the easiest competency of all, the focus here is the students' ability to be where they need to be, to have what they need to have with them when they need it, to demonstrate appropriate self-control and not just be mindful of the rules of conduct but to ensure that they follow them on a daily basis.
Teachers are required to enter student assessments in Engrade on a regular basis.
For more information, please see the Engrade section of the teachers’ website.
It is very important that when a student is not working to their full potential, the issue is addressed by the class teacher and a team meeting is arranged. Given our commitment to individualized learning, it is vital that everything possible be done to ensure that students perform in accordance with their potential. If a student is not doing so, class teachers must alert the student, the family and the SLT so that measures can be taken to discuss, investigate and remediate the situation.
ISB does not believe that holding Kindergarten and Primary students back (causing them to repeat a year) is in their best interests. Research has clearly indicated that all students learn best in their peer group, in which every member of the group is at more or less the same stage of cognitive development. If a student is not able to meet the objectives of the curriculum due to English proficiency reasons, expectations can be modified and an IEP can result.
For students in years 7 and up, there is a pass/fail threshold. If a student’s performance does not allow them to have met 50% of curriculum objectives, they will need to repeat that stage of the relevant subjects. For subjects in which they did meet 50%, they continue.
For primary and kindergarten years, students automatically proceed to the next grade, though there can be some conditions or remarks that accompany the decision. An IEP may accompany them to the next grade.
For Secondary 1 students, term 1 and 2 grades are not averaged to determine whether a student is to repeat the subject. If a student does not achieve 50% in the first term but does in the 2nd term, then they receive a pass. These conditions are determined on a case by case basis. If a student achieves 50% in the first term but not the second, then this is perhaps an indication that there is a problem and this must be addressed before academic decisions are made.
For Secondary 2 students, term 1 and 2 grades are averaged. For HS1 & 2 students, students receive 2 different grades on the end of term report:
The purpose of the two grades is to provide the students with feedback on their performance in the individual subjects but to also give direct feedback on the extent to which they can be successful writing a Cambridge-style test. This is intended to help them to see what is required of them in certain areas to provide the best possible guarantee of success on the IGCSE exams. As there can be wide discrepancies between the different grading thresholds for different Cambridge subjects, we use the most recent grade thresholds for each subject.
Students not performing to their full potential can be placed on academic probation at any point in the school year. This is meant to ensure that the student receives the appropriate support to succeed as well as to ensure that all members of the learning team are informed immediately should any assignments not be turned in, tests failed/missed, homework missed, etc.
If a student is on academic probation, any or all the following may apply:
Reviewed: July 2016 - Sona