Assessment

Introduction

This policy aims to assist educators in understanding, developing and implementing assessment practices that are appropriate the National Curriculum Statement.

Implementation of the NPA

  1. The school has implemented the national Protocol on Assessment (NPA) as indicated in Circular 27/2006 as well as the overall assessment guidelines and the Learning Area / Learning Programme guidelines.
  2. This will standardize recording and reporting of marks and intended to decrease the workload of educators.

 

Nature of Assessment

The assessment practices that are encouraged through the NCS for Grades1-7 are continuous, planned and integrated processes of gathering information about the performance of learners measured against the learning Outcomes. The level at which the learner is to be assessed is provided by the Assessment Standards which are progressive from grade to grade. A Learning Programme, Work Schedule and Lesson Plan design should ensure that assessment is an integral part of teaching, learning and assessment.

The Purpose of Assessment

  • Enhance individual growth and development, monitor the progress of learners and facilitate learning.
  • Find out what the learner knows, understands and/or can do.
  • Make judgements based on valid and appropriate evidence – these judgements should then enable us to make well informed decisions on what a learner needs to learn next.
  • Give an indication of the success of the programme of learning including how appropriate resources have been.
  • Include a variety of techniques.
  • Encourage learners to go beyond simple recall of dates or facts. (Bloom taxonomy)
  • Close the gap between the classroom and the real world.
  • To monitor a learner’s progress through an area of learning so that decisions can be made about the best way to facilitate further learning in terms of expected knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.
  • To provide information about learning difficulties and remedial action necessary to support learners who may be experiencing learning difficulties.
  • The purpose of assessment is not about promotion (Pass, Fail, and Conditional Transfer) but about progression.

Planning for Assessment

Assessment cannot be neutral with respect to what is taught and learned. Any assessment is an expression of values on teaching, learning and assessment. We need to view assessment as a critical and integrated part of the teaching-learning process. As planning for teaching, learning and assessment activities begins with a Learning Programme, planning for assessment should also be integrated in these plans.

When planning for assessment the following documents should provide the framework for planning:

  • National Policy on Assessment and Qualifications for Schools in the General Education and Training Band;
  • The NCS (The overview and the Learning Area Statements);
  • Assessment Guidelines for each Learning Area; and
  • Assessment Guidelines for inclusion.
  • Circular 27/2006.

The planning for assessment in the learning Programme should give schools an indication of resources and time needed for assessment in that phase. To do this educators need to know what knowledge, skills, attitudes and values the learners are expected to possess so that they are able to integrate the assess programme within teaching and learning activities.

In a Learning Programme for Foundation Phase educators need to:

  • Mention all the possible forms of assessment they likely to use in determining the achievement of the Learning Outcomes. In doing this also take the Assessment Standards into consideration;
  • Mention the resources they are likely to need (including assistive devices);
  • Take the context and core knowledge and concepts into consideration; and
  • Indicate the time that will be needed.

In a Learning area for Intersen Phase educators need to mention:

  • Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standard to be achieved.
  • Content to be used.
  • Indicate the time that will be needed.
  • Resources they are likely to need.
  • Possible integration both within and across Learning Areas.

In the Work Schedule planning for assessment focuses on a grade. When planning a Work Schedule considerations should be given to the following:

  • Learning Outcomes give guidance by indicating what should be assessed;
  • Assessment Standards indicate the level at which the learning Outcome should be assessed;
  • Indicate the assessment strategies or different forms of assessment educators plan to use;
  • Indicate the resources educators will use; and
  • Take into consideration the diverse needs of the learners.
  • Indicate teacher and learner activities to take place.
  • Possible integration.

In a Lesson Plan educators should:

  • Indicate how the Learning Outcomes would be assessed;
  • Consider the level at which the learning Outcomes would be assessed using the Assessment Standards;
  • Also consider the context, the availability of resources and the diverse needs of learners; and
  • Give a detailed description of how they plan to use the various assessment strategy (ies) and/or different form(s) of assessment, how these will be integrated within teaching and learning and what will be recorded.
  • Recording must be valid, fair and reliable.

For each level of planning in the Learning Programme, The Work Schedule and the Lesson Plan, educators need to describe the following clearly:

  • When they are going to assess;
  • How they are going to assess;
  • What resources they are going to use; and
  • How they are going to support the diverse needs of learners.

In a Teacher Assessment Plan educators should:

  • Indicate the Learning Programme/ Learning Area, grade, term and year.
  • Show the time frame in which the assessment task will take place in.
  • Indicate the LO’s and AS’s to be covered in each task.
  • Give a description of each activity in the task.
  • List the forms of assessment that will be used to assess the task.

The School Assessment Plan will give an indication of the dates when various tasks will be covered throughout the school.

At the beginning of each term, the SAT will have a meeting to discuss the following:

  • End of term arrangements
  • Pupils in need of additional support
  • Remedial programme and record keeping for these pupils
  • LO’s and AS’s must be reflected
  • Profiles
  • Merit awards and top achievers
  • Parents evening – Handing out reports
  • Regular meetings with parents/ guardians.

The Term Assessment Plan which is given to the learners will keep parents and learners informed as to the assessment to take place for the term.

The following steps must be taken each year:

  1. An annual assessment program will be developed by the School Assessment team (SAT) in conjunction with the Teachers’ assessment plans.
  2. The teachers’ assessment plans will follow from the annual assessment program.
  3. Teachers will develop an assessment plan for each Learning Area they assess. These will be derived from the Work Schedules.
  4. The assessment plans must be made available to learners and parents at the beginning of the year.

      What is expected for formal assessment?

Grade R-3

Learning Area Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Total

Literacy (Languages)

4 4 4 4 16

Language 2 (Optional Grade 1& 2)

2 2 2 2 8

Numeracy (Mathematics)

3 3 3 3 12

Life Skills (Life Orientation)

1 1 1 1 4

Grade 4-6

Learning Area

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Total

Language 1

2 2 2 2 8

Language 2

2 2 2 2 8

Mathematics

2 2 2 2 8

NS

1 1 1 1 6

SS

1 1 1 1 6

Technology

1 1 1 1 4

EMS

1 1 1 1 4

LO

1 1 1 1 4

AC

1 1 1 1 4

Grade 7

Learning Area

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Total

Language 1

3 2 3 2 10

Language 2

2 2 2 2 8

Mathematics

3 3 3 3 12

NS

2 2 2 2 8

SS

2 2 2 2 8

Technology

1 1 1 1 4

EMS

1 1 1 1 4

LO

1 1 1 1 4

AC

1 1 1 1 4

What must an Assessment task be?

  • A variety of activities that is:

–      Informative

–      Substantive

–      Required deep learning

–      Reflects the assessment standards prioritized

–      Leading to summative assessment through scaffold formative assessment

What is continuous Assessment?

  • Give direction to the teacher
  • Sets achievement targets for the learner
  • Allows parents to have realistic expectations
  • Allows assessment to take place over an extended period
  • Reflects the normal work of the learner
  • Allow flexible approaches to assessment to be used
  • Ensures a greater part of the curriculum is assessed
  • Allows skills and concepts that are difficult to test in an examination to be assessed
  • Allows course work and class tests to be adjusted to the particular needs of the learner
  • Motivates learners to work consistently through the year

Formal and Informal assessment

  • Assessment can be either formal or informal.
  • Formal assessment usually implicates a written document, such as a test, quiz, worksheet or paper.
  • A formal assessment is given a numerical score or grade based on student performance, by using a set criteria, e.g. A rubric, memo, etcetera
  • An informal assessment does not contribute to a student’s final grade.
  • An informal assessment usually occurs in a more casual manner and may include observation, inventories, checklists, rating scales, participation, peer and self evaluation, and discussion

Types of Assessment

  • Baseline Assessment
  • Diagnostic Assessment – Indentify the rate of the problem
  • Systemic Assessment – Measure the effectiveness on education system
  • Formative Assessment – Inform part of teaching process
  • Summative Assessment – Summarise the level of the learner.

Methods

Tools

Techniques

Self Assessment   Portfolio   Project work  
        Collage  
Peer assessment:   Observation sheets   Research work  
1.  Group to learner       Assignments  
2.  Group to group   Worksheets   Surveys  
3.  Learner to learner       Debates  
4.  Learner to group   Journals   Role play  
5.  Class to learner       Interviews  
    Questionnaires   Dramas  
Group assessment       Presentations  
    Cassettes   Panel discussions  
Interviews       Practical demonstrations  
    Assessment rubrics/grids   Scenarios  
Conferencing       Constructions  
    Exhibitions   Music  
Observation       Songs  
    Videos   Mimes  
Oral questions       Poetry  
    Photographs   Rhymes  
Answers       Story telling  
    Class lists   Narratives  
Self reporting       Oral Presentations  
    Profiles   Model making/plans/designs  
Performance assessment       Posters  
    Tests, examinations   Worksheets  
Recognition of prior learning       Sculptures  
    Written assignments   Paintings  
Parental assessment       Drawings/graphs  
        Mind mapping  
Teacher assessment       Game designs  
        Physical activities  
        Maps  
        Charts  
        Tables  
        Descriptions  
        Written presentations: essays, reports, etc.  
        Puppet shows  
        Announcements  
        Letter writing  
        Journal keeping  

 

© SABC Education

Recording and reporting

 

  1. The guidelines in the NPA will be followed in the recording and reporting of assessment.

In the Foundation Phase, codes will be used for recording purposes, bit in the Intersen Phase, Marks will be used. Comments will be used where necessary when recording, and will be used on reports. The following codes will be used.

 

Rating Code

Percentage

Description of competence

4

70-100

Outstanding/ Excellent Achievement

3

50-60

Satisfactory Achievement

2

35-49

Partial Achievement

1

1-34

Not Achieved

 

Codes and percentages for recording and reporting in the Senior Phase.

 

Rating Code

Descriptors of competence

Percentage

7

Outstanding Achievement 80 – 100

6

Meritorious Achievement 70 – 79

5

Substantial Achievement 60 – 69

4

Adequate Achievement 50 – 59

3

Moderate Achievement 40 – 49

2

Elementary Achievement 30 – 39

1

Not Achieved 0 – 29

 

  1. Recording is a process in which the educator documents the level of a learner performance. This needs to indicate the progress towards the achievement of Learning Outcomes. Records should provide evidence of learner’s progression within a grade and be used to verify the progress made by educators and learners in the teaching and learning process. Records should be used to monitor and to plan ahead.

 

Principles for recording:

 

  1. Learning Outcomes assessed in each task should be indicated on the Recording Sheet.
  2. Each language should be separately recorded according to different levels on which they are offered.
  3. A combination of marks, codes and comments may be used.
  4. Not everything that is taught should be assessed formally and not everything formally assessed should be recorded.
  5. Frequency of recording of formal assessment is provided by the District in the common work schedules

 

     Who is involved in assessment?

 

  1. The educator has overall responsibility for the assessment of learners.
  2. At its best, Assessment involves a partnership between educator, learner, parents, the School Assessment Team (SAT) and the District Assessment Team (DAT). It could include occupational therapist, speech therapists and psychologist.
  3. In certain cases learners can all so be holistically Assessed e.g. Epiworth.

 

When to assess?

 

  • Continuous Assessment (CASS) must be used. Continuous Assessment occurs during the period of teaching and learning and it is done on a continuous/on going basis. It is a gradual build up of a cumulative judgment about the methods of teaching and the product of learning activities.
  • In this process, the educator is monitoring, working closely with learners and recording the growth of thinking processes, performance, and development of skill and the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and values.
  • Educators need not assess every single learner in the classroom everyday. The focus of assessment should be on recording significant events, such as uncommon student behaviour, especially positive indications of new knowledge, competence or skill; a lack of understanding of a concept; or sudden understanding of a concept; actions that reflect internalized values.

 

Questions that may assist in planning assessment:

 

  • Why do I want to assess learners?
  • Do I know on what I want to assess the learners?
  • What knowledge, skills, values and attitudes should the learners demonstrate?
  • Are learners aware of what is important in this assessment?
  • What prior knowledge do learners have?
  • Which are the appropriate methods for assessing the activity ect. And how will I use them?
  • What appropriate tools and techniques will be used?
  • What activity or assessment task can be used for learners to show the evidence?
  • Who will be assessing?
  • How will recording take place?
  • What recording instruments are to be used?
  • On what, how and when will I report?
  • What does the recorded information tell me about the learners?
  • How can I use the recorded information to address the learners’ strengths and development needs?
  • What kind of feedback can be given to learners?
  • How am I planning to support my learners?

 

Addressing Barriers towards learning:

  1. Assessment must be inclusive and flexible enough to accommodate different learning needs and styles so that possible barriers to learning and development can be identified and addressed early in the first term.
  2. Some learners with learning difficulties can be appropriately assessed in the same way as those without learning difficulties. However, some learners with learning difficulties such as those with severe disabilities may require additional support during assessment. In these instances additional time may be required to conduct the assessment.
  3. Appropriate support should be provided for learners experiencing barriers to learning. It is necessary to bear in mind that the educator who is with the learner most of the time is central to the learner’s development. The School Based Support Team (SBST) as well as the District Based Support Team (DBST) can provide support but does not take over responsibility for the learner. The School Assessment Team (SAT) and the District Assessment Team should play an integral role in this process. Intervention and support should be planned, undertaken and monitored closely as soon as possible.
  4. Assessment methods and techniques used must be appropriate to the skills, knowledge, attitudes or values to be assessed as well as to the age and developmental level of the learner. It must focus on the inclusion of the full range of diverse learning needs.
  5. A broad range of learning needs exists among the learner population at any point in time. Learners may fail to learn effectively or be excluded from the learning system where these needs are not met. Different learning needs may arise because of:
  • Aspects of the curriculum such as:

–       The content (i.e. What is taught)

–       The language or medium of instruction

–       How the classroom is organized and managed

–       The methods used in teaching

–       The pace of teaching and time available to complete tasks

–       The learning materials and equipment

–       How learning is assessed

  • The non-recognition and non-involvement of parents.
  1. Refer to the learner support policy.

 

Management of school Assessment records

The assessment records that will be kept at school are schedules, report cards, Learner profiles and schedules. The management, maintenance and the safety of the learners’ profiles, schedules and report cards is the responsibility of the school management. The management and maintenance of the Learning Area records sheets and test papers are the responsibility of every teacher. A Learner is responsible to ensure the safety of his or her books.

Recording Sheets

  1. Teachers will keep an efficient and current record of the learners’ progress in each Learning Programme/Learning Area. It is expected that carefully compiled records and / or evidence of learner performance be maintained to justify the final rating a learner receives at the end of the year. Learning Area teachers keep current records of learners’ progress in files or books and the final records will be kept electronically. Backups will be made on the recording sheet and will contain the following information:
  • Grade and class
  • Learners’ names
  • Date of assessment
  • Names and short description of the assessment activity
  • The result of assessment activities
  • Comments for support purposes when and where appropriate.

2.     The recording sheets will be used to compile a schedule that will in turn be used to compile reports once a term. The school has therefore develop Learning Area Record Sheet using the criteria specified in the NPA

 

Schedules

  1. The schedule is a record with summary information about the progress of all learners in the grade in a school. The school will store this information both manually and electronically. Copies of the end-of-year schedules will also be sent to the district office.
  2. Schedules will be completed four times a year.
  3. The schedule will include the following information:
    1. Name of the school and school stamp
    2. Date
    3. List of names and surnames of learners in each grade or class
    4. Date of birth of each learner
    5. Gender of each learner
    6. Age of each learner
    7. Number of years in a phase
    8. Codes and percentages that indicate the performance of learners in each Learning Area
    9. Signature of teacher, Principal and the departmental official
    10. At the end of the year, a schedule for Grade R-8 should indicate whether the learners are ready to progress to the next grade or not.
    11. The-end-of –year schedule will be signed by the principal and a departmental official. Once the schedule is signed by the principal and a departmental official, it constitutes a legal document and will be kept at school in a file or box or electronically as part of the school archives for at least 5 years. After this period has lapsed, the schedules may be destroyed.
    12. A schedule should be considered a legal document. It will be used for drawing up reports and for reporting to parents and the education system on the overall progress of learners in each grade. This means that a schedule will be completed for each grade.
    13. The Department of Education will provide the schedule forms and the Provincial Department of Education are responsible for providing the school with the schedule forms either electronically or manually. A school stamp and signatures of Departmental Official and the school principal are required to authenticate the schedule.

 

Report Cards

 

The National Curriculum Statement (Grade R-12) states that formal report cards should be sent to parents once a term. The report card must provide a clear holistic picture of the learner’s achievements in different Learning Areas. This means that an overall rating of a learner’s performance in each Learning Area must be included in the formal report card.

 

The achievement rating in a report card will be indicated by codes in the Foundation Phase and Percentages in the Intersen Phase. The percentages and codes will be in accordance with the stipulations mention in the NPA. The comments will provide more information on the strengths and development needs of the learners.

 

Report cards will include information in the following essential components.

  • Personal details: Name of the learner, grade and class of the learner, date of birth, school attendance profile.
  • Official School details: Year and term, name of the school, date, signature and comment of parent or guardian, teacher and principal, dates of closing and opening of school, school stamp, explanation of the codes of the national coding system.
  • Performance details: A percentage or a code (depending of the phase) indicating the level of performance per Learning Area and a description of the strengths and development needs of the learner.
  • Constructive feedback: The feedback will contain comments about the learner’s performance in relation to his / her previous performance and relation to the requirements of the Learning Area.

 

A report card may be produced electronically and or manually using the style preferred by the school but will contain all the information mentioned in paragraph above.

 

A report card is an official document that is used to give feedback to parents on the achievement of learners. The school will ensure that there are no errors, erasures or corrections that will compromise the legal status of the report cards. The school management team is responsible for ensuring that reports issued to learners do not contain any errors.

 

The schools will not accept report cards with errors from other schools. Once a fraudulent report has been identified, the matter will be reported to the principal of the affected school and to the District and / or Provincial Department of Education offices.

 

In cases where a fraudulent report card is discovered, the Head of the Provincial Department of Education should institute an internal investigation of the matter and may take legal steps where necessary.

 

The parents or guardian has the right of access to report cards of their children.

 

The school is aware that we may not withhold report cards from learners for any reason.

 

 

The School Assessment Team

1.     Principal                                                Mrs. van den Berg

2.     Deputy Principal                                    Mr. Pretorius

3.     HOD – Foundation Phase                        Mrs. Kuun

4.     HOD – Intersen Phase                            Mrs. Coetzer

5.     HOD – Guidance                                    Mrs. Fourie

6.     Foundation Phase Senior teacher            Mrs. Buitendag

7.     Intersen Phase Senior teacher                Ms. Mathobela

 

 

The School Based Support Team

 

  1. Principal                                              Mrs Van Den Berg
  2. HOD Guidance                                     Mrs. A Fourie
  3. Deputy Principal                                   Mr. K Pretorius
  4. HOD Foundation Phase             Mrs. M Kuun
  5. HOD Intersen Phase                             Mrs. S Coetzer
  6. Foundation Phase Senior teacher           Mrs. L Buitendag
  7. 7.      Intersen Phase Senior teacher               Miss. M Mathobela
  8. 8.      Intersen Phase Senior teacher               Mrs. Havenga
  9. 9.      Intersen Phase Senior teacher               Mrs. Selepe