There are two main types of assessments, each of which has its specific function:
Formative Assessment is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students discover what the students already know in order to plan the next stage of inquiry learning. Formative assessment and learning activities are directly linked; neither can function effectively nor purposefully without the other.
Summative Assessment occurs at the end of the teaching and learning process and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned.
Each student has an Assessment Folder in which teachers track individual progress in Chinese, Mathematics and English.
From Year 3 onwards, VSA students participate in the International Schools Assessments (ISA). ISA is an annual assessment programme conducted in English, which international schools around the world have been participating in since 2002. The assessments have been specially developed to measure the skills in mathematical literacy, reading and writing. Parents receive information in the form of a comprehensive individual report which gives them a detailed record of their child’s performance. The results of these assessments are also used by the school to inform curriculum planning.
From Year 3-5, VSA students will also participate in the Chinese Proficiency Test and the Chinese Writing Test, launched by the Division for Co-operation in Basic Education of Beijing Normal University.
These two tests are used to assess student proficiency in Putonghua. Each student will receive a transcript that shows an overall grade as well as a breakdown of the various parts of the test. The results are used by the school to inform curriculum planning.
Parents will receive a detailed written report by the end of each term. There are also many opportunities for parents and teachers to meet to discuss student progress. These include Parent Consultations, Student-led Conferences, Three-way Conferences and Learning Journeys. Teachers and parents maintain strong channels of communication to ensure all students achieve their full potential.
Under the guidance of teachers, Year 5 students carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, known as the Exhibition. It represents a significant event in the life of both the school and students, synthesizing essential elements of the programme and sharing them with the school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the learner profile that they have been developing throughout their engagement with the programme. It is a culminating experience marking the transition from the PYP to MYP.
Portfolios provide one method of documenting student achievement and progress through the curriculum. Both students and teachers select materials for inclusion in an individual portfolio, which may include: samples of the student's work showing development over time.