• Academic Awards Policy - Primary School

ACADEMIC POLICY

This policy includes three separate policies namely:

  1. Primary School Assessment and Moderation Policy
  2. Primary School Promotion Policy
  3. Intersen Phase: Academic Requirements Guidelines
1. PRIMARY SCHOOL ASSESSMENT AND MODERATION POLICY

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE

Assessment is the process of collecting, analysing and interpreting information to assist teachers in making decisions about the progress of their pupils.

  • Assessment should provide evidence of student performance relative to learning outcomes and assessment standards as described in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for Grades R - 3 and Grades 4 - 7.
  • Classroom assessment should be both formal and informal, and should be used to provide feedback to pupils that supports and enhances their learning experience.
  • Formal assessment tasks must be designed to provide systematic evaluation of student performance and progress, and evidence, which can be used to evaluate student performance relative to the assessment standards for each specific learning programme or subject.
  • In addition, informal assessment which will not be formally recorded, will be used to inform daily teaching and learning
  • For each learning programme or subject, the formal assessment tasks should include a range of appropriate activities. These may include examinations, tests, projects, oral presentations, written reports, observations of demonstrations, performances and investigations, practical work, and creative writing.

The aim of the policy is to ensure that the assessment procedures are followed in accordance with the National Policy. So that every pupil is given the opportunity to achieve to his/her full potential, all assessment should be fair, valid, authentic and reliable. All assessment tasks should as far as possible cover core skills and knowledge which have been taught and informally assessed in the classroom.

PROCEDURES

Annual and Termly Assessment Plans which include a variety of relevant assessments must be completed and the term plan supplied to pupils.
Internal moderation of formal assessments must be done by HOD’s/Subject Heads/Deputy Principal or Principal.
Formal assessments must be recorded methodically and accurately.

FREQUENCY OF ASSESSMENT

School Based Assessment (SBA)

  • Informal assessment should form part of the daily classroom routine of teachers as a means to monitor individual progress and to provide feedback to pupils. This informal monitoring should include homework checks, questioning, teacher observation of student work, discussion, brief informal oral or written tests etc.
  • Formal SBA should take place on a regular basis and should be based on CAPS documents relating to the 3 subjects in the Foundation Phase and the 6 subjects in the Intersen Phase. Each teacher is required to submit a subject assessment plan for the year which lists the following items for each grade:
    • The nature of SBA tasks.
    • The set date or completion date for each task.
    • The mark allocation for each task.
    • The proportion of marks that the task will contribute to the total final SBA mark (weighting).
    • The teacher responsible for setting the SBA task.

ASSESSMENT TYPES

  • Observation (Speeches, debates, memory exercises etc.)
    • The task should be set out in such a way that clearly states what is expected.
    • The assessment tool or rubric linked to the task should be clear and unambiguous.
    • Reasonable preparation time should be given.
    • Resources to fulfil the tasks should be easily accessible by pupils.
  • Written Tasks (Creative writing, projects, drawings, etc.)
    • The task should be set out in such a way that clearly states what is expected. (See below)
    • The assessment tool or rubric linked to the task should be clear and unambiguous.
    • Reasonable preparation time should be given.
    • Resources to fulfil the tasks should be easily accessible by pupils.
  • Written tests/cycles/examinations
    • Attention should be given to uniform layout (as per Moderation document), clear, unambiguous instructions, clear mark allocation, wording of the questions which must be clear and language usage which must be age appropriate to the pupils in the grade. (Studies show that Arial 14 and Comic Sans 14 are generally the easiest fonts for 9 to 11 year old children to read. 12 and 13 year old children can cope with Arial 12 and Comic Sans 12 if the paper is laid out clearly.)**
    • Work should be well spaced (line and paragraph spacing should be at least 1.15).
    • Work should be laid out to minimize ‘flicking back and forth’ e.g. Comprehension passages and questions on same page or opposite each other.
    • Colour copies of diagrams/maps etc. should be made available to pupils wherever black and white reproductions will be unclear.
    • The memorandum must be completed and available before moderation.
    • For effective moderation to take place, the test/cycle/examination must be available for moderation at least 5 days before the set date. Both the test and the memorandum must be available for moderation. The moderation cover sheet must be completed. The assessor must make all requested changes before the moderator signs it off. The HOD will sign off the final document and send it for duplication. The moderation sheet must be attached to a copy of both the test as well as the memorandum.
  • Formal examinations
    • These take place in Grade 4 - 7 in the second and third terms each year. Mid-year and final reports to parents will reflect the S.B.A mark, the examination mark and the final marks achieved by each Student.
    • In Grade R-3 these will be given as rating codes (1-6). In Grade 4-7 these will be given as percentages.
    • Mid-Year reports for Grade 7 pupils will consist of examination marks only.
    • Mid-Year and Final-Year examinations for Grade 4 - 6 pupils will make up 40% of the term mark for terms two and three.
    • Grade 4 pupils will only write examinations in English, Afrikaans and Mathematics in the mid-year exams and year end exams.
    • On completion of mid-year examinations, pupils will be given an opportunity to review their scripts. After the mid-year examination these scripts will be used for remediation purposes and to improve the examination technique of pupils.
    • Final-Year examinations are kept in the school safe for a period of two years.

MISSED ASSESSMENTS THROUGH ABSENCE

  • Pupils who miss an examination through ill-health are required to provide a doctor’s certificate confirming this.
  • Pupils who miss S.B.A tests through ill health or other legitimate reasons will be expected to write the test upon their return to school. Their mark may be adjusted at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Pupils who for legitimate reasons such as ill health miss tasks which form part of their S.B.A assessment should be given an opportunity to complete the tasks upon their return to school.
  • Pupils who fail to hand in assignments or projects or who miss tasks through absence for reasons that are not legitimate may be kept after school to complete the task.
  • A Student may be given 0 for a task only in instances of proven dishonesty or plagiarism.

ASSESSMENT CONCESSIONS FOR PUPILS WITH BARRIERS TO LEARNING

On the advice of a competent professional such as a doctor, educational psychologist or psychometrist, a Student with temporary or permanent barriers to learning may be granted various concessions. All affected staff will be informed of names together with the concession they are permitted. Concessions may include:

  • additional time to complete tests and examinations
  • spelling dispensations
  • handwriting dispensations

PORTFOLIOS

Subject portfolios: each Head of Department is required to keep a portfolio of all material related to the assessment of all the subjects for the year for each grade. Each subject portfolio must include the following:

  • The assessment plan for the year for each grade.
  • The formal SBA tasks for each grade, including the rubric or marking.
  • Memorandum used to assess the task (once completed).
  • A copy of the examination papers and marking memorandum for each grade (once completed).
  • The learning programmes, work schedules and lesson plans (once completed) for each grade.
  • The subject averages, symbol and code distributions for each grade for the subject (Grade 4-7).
  • The mark list for each grade listing, for each student, all marks included as part of the formal assessment as well as the average mark for each assessment task.

Teaching portfolio: each teacher is required to keep a portfolio of all material related to her teaching and assessment for each class that she teaches. The portfolio must include the following:

  • The assessment plan for the year for each subject and grade that she teaches.
  • The formal SBA assessment tasks for each subject and grade that she teaches, including the rubric or marking memorandum (once completed).
  • A copy of the examination papers and marking memorandum for each grade (once completed).
  • The work schedule(s) and lesson plan(s) (once completed) for each subject and grade that she teaches.
  • The mark lists for each subject and grade that she teaches listing, for each student, all marks included as part of the formal assessment as well as the average mark for the class and the grade, for each assessment task.
  • The student portfolio guidelines document for each subject and grade that she teaches.

** Note:

Which Fonts Do Children Prefer to Read Online? By Michael Bernard, Melissa Mills, Talissa Frank, & Jan McKown – Wichita University - Generally the larger, 14-point font size was considered to be easier and quicker to read, as well as being more attractive and more desired to be used in schoolbooks. In addition, the Comic font type was perceived as being easier to read and more attractive, as well as being more desired to be used in schoolbooks than the other font types. Along with Arial, it was also preferred over the serif fonts for use in schoolbooks. Overall the 14-point Arial and the 12-point Comic was the most preferred font types.


2. PRIMARY SCHOOL PROMOTION POLICY

TERMINOLOGY

  • Pass: When a student complies with set requirements as stipulated in this document.
  • Pass (with conditions): When a student does not comply with the set requirements but it is felt that it is in his best interest to progress to the next Grade (with certain conditions attached).
  • Not yet competent: When a student does not comply with set requirements and is not competent to continue the work of the following year.

INTRODUCTION

The terms of the Regulations Pertaining to the National Curriculum Statement (Grades R – 12), 2012 provide for, amongst other things, the promotion requirements for Grades R – 12. Although these regulations do apply to independent schools, the School feels that they should guide our planning regarding the Promotion of students from Grade to Grade.

In terms of the regulations, and supported by Marist Brothers Linmeyer, a student may be retained once in a Phase provided adequate support is given. Should the necessity arise for a student to be retained a second time in a phase, the regulations provide that such a student must be allowed to progress with the age cohort.

FOUNDATION PHASE: PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS

Promotion from Grade to Grade through this phase within the appropriate age cohort should be the accepted norm, unless the student displays a lack of competence to cope with the following Grade’s work. A student, who is not ready to perform at the next level, should be assessed to determine the level of support required. Parental contact and discussion about the student’s academic and emotional progress is essential and should be minuted.

The table hereunder outlines the Scale Level which best describes the performance of students in this Phase.

SCALE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
6Excellent performanceStudent displays a high level command of all concepts taught and goes beyond expectations independently.
5Very good performanceStudent displays a high level command of most concepts taught and works independently most if the time.
4Good performanceStudent displays competent command of most concepts taught and works independently some of the time.
3Adequate performanceStudent displays some command of the concepts taught but does not work independently yet.
2Minimal performanceStudent meets only the minimum requirements, showing significant weaknesses.
1Inadequate performanceStudent does not meet minimum requirements and displays major weaknesses.

The following are guidelines for determining a student’s progress in Grade R:

  • Adequate Performance (Level 3) in the official language of English and Mathematics and
  • The requisite social, emotional and physical development to age appropriate levels.

The following are guidelines to determine whether a student should be permitted to progress from Grade 1 to 3 in the Foundation Phase:

  • Adequate Performance (Level 3) in the official language of English at Home Language level and
  • Adequate Performance (Level 3) in Mathematics and
  • Minimal Performance (Level 2) in the first official Language of Afrikaans at First Additional Language level.
  • The requisite social, emotional and physical development to age appropriate levels.

INTERMEDIATE PHASE: PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS

Promotion from Grade to Grade through this phase within the appropriate age cohort should be the accepted norm, unless the student displays a lack of competence to cope with the following Grade’s work.

The following are guidelines for determining a student’s promotion from Grade 4 to 6 in the Intermediate Phase:

  • At least 50% in the official language of English at Home Language level,
  • At least 40% in the first additional language of Afrikaans at First Additional Language level,
  • At least 40% in Mathematics,
  • At least 3 other subjects above 40%,
  • At least 1 subject above 30%.

Immigrant students may be exempted from the First Additional Language for a period of two years after moving to South Africa from a foreign country.

A student may only be progressed once in the Intermediate Phase in order to prevent the student being retained in this phase for longer than four years.

SENIOR PHASE: PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS

The following are guidelines for determining a student’s promotion from Grade 7 in the Senior Phase:

  • At least 50% in the official language of English at Home Language level,
  • At least 40% in the first additional language of Afrikaans at First Additional Language level,
  • At least 40% in Mathematics,
  • At least 4 other subjects above 40%,
  • At least 2 other subjects above 30%.

Immigrant students (as registered with the IEB) may be exempted from the First Additional Language.

CONCLUSION

In all decisions regarding the promotion of a student from one Grade to the next, the primary factor to be taken into consideration will be whether such action will ultimately benefit the student on an academic, emotional and social level. Such decisions are to be taken in liaison with teachers, the Head of Department, the Deputy Principal, Principal, parents and any other stakeholder in the child’s educational development.


3. ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS POLICY (INTERSEN PHASE)

PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS

Grade 4-6Grade 7
English = 50%English = 50%
Afrikaans = 40%Afrikaans = 40%
Mathematics = 40%Mathematics = 40%
3 x Subjects at 40%4 x Subjects at 40% (Excluding Afrikaans, Mathematics)
1 x Subject at 30%2 x Subjects at 30%

SUBJECT WEIGHTING

SubjectGrade 4-6Grade 7
English100 points100 points
Afrikaans100 points100 points
Mathematics100 points100 points
Zulu50 points-        
Natural Sciences & Technology100 points-
Social Sciences100 points
History = 50 points
Geography = 50 points
100 points
History = 50 points
Geography = 50 points
Life Skills100 points
Religion = 50 points
Creative Arts = 50 points
-
Science-100 points
Science = 50 points
Biology = 50 points
E.M.S-100 points
Technology-100 points
Creative Arts-100 points
Life Orientation-Religion = 40 points
P.T = 20 points
Guidance = 40 points
Term weighted aggregate(Total points ÷ 650) x 100%(Total points ÷ 900) x 100%

TERM WEIGHTING

Weightings for each term are as follows:

TermGrade 4-6Grade 7
120%15%
240%30%
Exam = 100%
3a___________________25% S.B.A
340%30%
S.B.A =10%, Exam = 90%
S.B.A = School Based Assessment (Tests, Tasks, Exercises, Projects etc.)

Grade 4-6:

  • Generally summative vs SBA is on a 40:60 ratio of the final Term Mark.
  • Teachers may use their professional discretion, in consultation with the HOD of the Intersen Phase, in this regard. Summative assessments will, however, not exceed 40% of the final term mark.
  • The following factors necessitates the teachers’ professional discretion in so far as the weighting:
    • Grade 4s do not write Cycle tests in Term 1
    • Grade 4s only write exams in the subjects of English (Home Language), Afrikaans (First additional Language and Mathematics in June and November. Grade 5 and 6 write exams in the following subjects – English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Natural Science and Technology, History, Geography
    • There are no exams for Creative Arts, Phys.ed and Religion from grade 4-6 (Only in Grade 7)

Grade 7:

  • Summative assessment not to exceed 60% of term mark.

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