If you have special needs, please read IBDP Policy Regarding Inclusion and Special Needs at Torsbergsgymnasiet
IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME
Next review Dec 2022
The aim of this policy is to explain how assessment is performed and grades are awarded at the International Baccalaureate programme at Torsbergsgymnasiet.
Regular, continuous assessment is an important part of all teaching and learning. Assessment provides students, parents and teachers with feedback on how the student is learning, thus on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual student’s learning process; formative assessment. Furthermore it provides the information to students, parents and teachers regarding the student progress towards their final goal; summative assessment.
Assessment at Torsbergsgymnasiet’s DP aligns with that of the requirements of the IBDP. All assessment is criteria based and is based on the learning objectives. A variety of assessment types are in use and the students’ skills and competence are clearly defined. Prior to coursework commencing, before each area of study, teachers make sure the students understand the types of assessment and criteria on which these are based. Teachers ensure the students are thoroughly informed and that the legal guardians can access the information as well (via the school’s e-channels).
Assessment is done both formatively and summatively, as stated above. This includes varied approaches to teaching and learning, assessing them both formally and informally. Assessment is transparent to all stakeholders, clearly defined and criteria based. We allow students to demonstrate their skills and actively encourage our students to reflect on their learning process. The teacher helps the student to see their progress and their areas that need further improvement. This is done through evaluation that encapsulates self reflection and which is often done in combination with the evaluation of sections of the curriculum. ATL is a suitable planning tool as well as a tool for evaluation that can be used for this purpose. This way the teacher (i) lets the student reflect on their work, (ii) keeps the teacher’s plan of their teaching process as well as (iii) their curriculum and (iv) reflections in the same document. Teachers document their students’ learning process and the legal guardians are updated on a regular basis.
TYPES OF ASSESSMENT
Formative assessment guides the student so s/he becomes proficient in conducting self evaluation, thus being able to develop an understanding of personal learning techiques which is an essential learning skill. Formative assessment can consist of portfolios, presentations, homework, active participation in class, self-evaluation, peer response, as well as detailed subject guide assessment criteria. All of this also provides teachers with feedback for future planning and assessment.
Summative assessment, traditional assessment if you like, includes written examinations in all the IB subjects, oral examinations mainly in languages, both formal and informal written as well as oral student work. The quantity and requirements for summatively assessed work vary depending on the subject and the level of proficiency in the subject in question. In the preparatory year the students take standardized national tests in Swedish, English and Mathematics. The grades on these national tests are there in order to help the teacher assess the student at a correct level. During years 1 and 2 in the DP we use mock exams for this purpose as well as for the students to understand the level of knowledge they should reach in a more practical sense. Teaching the descriptors, assessment criteria doesn’t always provide the student with this insight.
Dates for submitting all assessments are planned by the IB team of teachers at the beginning of the academic year and there is a list of deadlines set to spread assessments evenly. This helps both teachers and students with their planning and workload.
FEEDBACK ON ASSIGNMENTS SUCH AS INTERNAL ASSESSMENT AND EXTENDED ESSAY
Drafts for assignments collected for formal formative assessment receive general teacher comments on a separate paper, and the teacher comments are only given in one round. If an entirely new topic is started, then new feedback may be given, provided the relevant deadline has been held. This concerns mainly Internal Assessments and Extended Essays as well as TOK essays. The procedure may be applied to other student work as well, depending on the subject teacher’s discretion.
Good standing status means:
* min. 80% attendance
* no missed deadlines (subjects, EE, TOK)
* Status Report with 20 points or more after IBY1
* satisfactory CAS progress
Being in good standing is a prerequisite for participating in excursions as well as registration for exams, and is a primary factor in being promoted to IBY2. Insufficient attendance, regardless of cause, leads to difficulty in evaluating a student’s progress, rendering both formative and summative assessment difficult. Determination of the students’ status is made continuously thoughout the academic year at the bi-weekly IB staff meetings.
When a deadline has passed (first draft EE, or any final deadline for work that is formally assessed externally or internally), it is essential to transparency that the subject teacher issue a Deadline Notice to any student who has not submitted work, as well as give a copy of the notice to the student’s mentor and to the IBDP coordinator (DPC).
Any student who does not submit an Extended Essay draft in May (1500 words min.), thus not having communicated possible difficulties, will not be advanced automatically to IBY2, and will be called to a meeting with legal guardians and the DPC or Head of School. This is so that we can make sure that the student is not subject to learning difficulties that have not been detected and also so that the student may understand the importance of keeping deadlines and planning their workload. Submission of the final Extended Essay by the November deadline is a prerequisite for being registered for IB examinations.
Our strategy to encourage the meeting of deadlines is twofold—including on the one hand a greater communication regarding both progress and difficulties, as stated in the IB Learner Profile, and on the other hand to provide opportunities for catching up and regaining “good standing”.
Mock examinations are primarily summative and held to help assess a student’s progress, as well as to help teachers determine Status Reports (SR) at end of IBY1 and predicted grades (PG) in IBY2. In the final year (IBY2), they are held prior to the period of revision thus enabling the student and teacher to see clearly which areas of the subject need more focus than others.
Teachers keep a continuous record of their students’ progress and information regarding student progress can be found online by both students, form teachers, mentors and (until the student is 18) by legal guardians (’Unikum’). These records are kept clear and simple. Status reports are distributed to students in early June, at the end of the academic year DPY1 with an accessible copy available online. The scale used aligns with the IB grading and is 1 – 7 with +/- option. Progress in CAS, TOK, and EE are also covered (however, not A – E).
The IBDP grades range from 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest grade. The assessment descriptors differ from subject to subject and are communicated by the subject teacher in question and made available online throughout the course. The grades include internal (assessed by the subject teacher, e g orals in literature and language courses, historical investigations, lab reports) as well as external (mainly based on examination papers) grades. PGs are determined and submitted via IBIS in April of the final year, but are not communicated to students, except when necessary for international application procedures. Internal assessments are submitted with a representative sample of the student work marked by the IB teacher and moderated by the IB. Externally assessed examinations are mainly set in May during IBY2, however other components are undertaken by students over an extended period earlier during the academic year.
The student can achieve 45 points maximum; 6 subjects with a maximum of 7 points as well as a possibility of 3 extra points for TOK and EE in combination. All assessment components for each subject must be completed as well as the requirements for TOK, EE and CAS. The minimum score in order to achieve the diploma is 24 points. Additional information can be found in the Assessment Procedures.
TRANSFER CREDIT FOR STUDENTS WHO DON’T ACHIEVE THE DIPLOMA (SW. ’VALIDERING’)
Many IB subjects can be used to establish credit in courses in the Swedish national system as a large number of subjects in the national system are similar to or largely correspond to the IB syllabi. There is no automatic exchange formula, however, and the Swedish grade must be determined by the teacher, using available results from exams, mock exams, internally and externally assessed work as well as continuous formative assessment.
CLASS CONFERENCE AND OTHER FEEDBACK CHANNELS
The school schedule and structure for class conferences will be followed for the pre DP IB class, and also largely for the classes in their diploma years (IBY1 and IBY2). Also, a portion of the bi-weekly Monday staff meeting is dedicated to assessment updates. IB subject teachers who do not attend the staff meeting both provide input as well as receive feedback relevant to these updates. Feedback is also given to students by their mentor and/or the DPC, and will be continuously available online (Unikum) from Dec 2019.
An annual review of exam results as well as students’ evaluations in each subject are conducted as part of the school’s routines for ensuring quality at the beginning of the academic year.
LEGAL GUARDIANS AND THEIR INVOLVEMENT
It is our belief that engaged and supportive legal guardians are an important part of successful student learning. At the beginning of the academic year for the preparatory class all parents are invited to the school. They are provided with information about the school in general and the IB years in particular. Throughout the IBDP there are two parent-teacher-student meetings annually, both preceeded by a mentor-student meeting. Teachers can be contacted via email and their work phone during school hours. If a student is struggling in a subject there is an F warning system. These warnings are typically issued by the subject teachers after mid-term and need to be signed by the form teacher, the student as well as the legal guardian. When the legal guardian takes part in a parent-student-legal guardian meeting the student’s academic achievements, strengths as well as weaknesses, are discussed along with other areas of the student’s well-being.
Revised Dec 2022
IB students learn in at least two languages. This is not simply for communication, but enhances intercultural understanding and creates a holistic education. We aim for students to be able to express themselves with confidence in order to achieve collaboration and in order to gain multiple perspectives.
Pre-diploma candidates must study a foreign language, including Swedish for non-Swedish speakers (Sva), at their appropriate level. This is in line with our goals regarding internationalism.
Non-Swedish speakers receive information regarding the requirement of Sva for studies at Swedish universities. A document is signed during the pre Diploma year to the effect that they have received the aforementioned information. This, we believe, enables them to become more disciplined and principled learners.
English is the presumed language of instruction for all subjects other than some groups 1 and 2, also in the pre-diploma year. All teachers are considered language teachers in this context. Therefore support in the language of instruction should be provided on a continuous basis for teachers who are non-native speakers of English.
Exposure to the languages taught is encouraged through offers of field trips, summer programmes and international exchanges.
Ab initio and Language B options should be offered, in cooperation with the national programmes’ courses, where appropriate. The school has a structure which supports mother tongue instruction including self-study candidates where necessary (School Supported Self-Taught; SSST).
Current teaching and reference materials in relevant languages should be continuously replenished and updated, with a purpose. All school documents of relevance should be available in English.