The introduction of continuous assessment in the primary classroom has brought about several questions which require clarifications. The scope of the continuous assessment is to promote learning. It is an opportunity for learners to show their understanding through different modes of assessment, throughout the year. Continuous assessment is not a collection of class tests. Class assessment has always been a feature of teaching and learning. Teachers assign tasks in class to reinforce learning or to prepare the way for new learning.
Here are the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions.
Teachers record the mark of their students’ work at the end of a learning period, having done similar tasks in class. Teacher may remind students from time to time (not on every occasion) that marks are being collected and that these marks will form part of the total mark at the end of the scholastic year. Generally, there is no need to inform students from days before, that marks will be recorded. However, in the case of a class test, students need to be informed beforehand about the test, as per usual practice. Class tests are to be administered in the same way and frequency as had been conducted in previous years.
In cases where teachers will be using an assessment criteria/rubric to mark a class task, students should be informed about the criteria/rubric, in an appropriate way, according to the students’ age and level of understanding. This good pedagogy practice should be applied as appropriate. Using an assessment criteria/rubric enhances learning, as it informs students how marking will take place.
Whenever teachers assign classwork, students work at different levels. Students with learning difficulties are usually supported by the teacher or LSE. This good practice should continue to be the case even during assessment tasks that are meant for recording of marks. Students on alternative programmes should continue to be supported in class as has always been practiced. The school will take note that marks were assigned ‘with support’.
The assessment mark (out of 100) will be reported to parents, in the same way as in previous years. Parents of students in Years 4 and 5 will receive an assessment mark, out of 100 in all subjects, in February/March. At the end of the scholastic year, parents will receive an assessment mark (out of 100 – for all subjects), an annual exam mark (out of 100 – for English, Maltese, Mathematics and Science) and a global mark. The global mark for these subjects will be calculated as 40% of the assessment mark and 60% of the annual exam mark. The global mark will be worked out by the software where the marks are inputted. The assessment mark at the end of the scholastic year should include the work conducted throughout the year.
There will be no change in the End-of-Primary Benchmark in May 2019.
The annual report of Year 6 students will consist of the End-of-Primary Benchmark results, together with the assessment mark for English, Maltese, Mathematics, Science, Religion/Ethics and Social Studies. There will also be the annual examination mark for Science.
When students are sick/away from class on the day that class assessment marks are collected, the students should not be assigned a zero mark, but the teacher can consider another assessment and record its mark. In subjects, such as Social Studies, where there is already good practice for cases where students are absent during fieldwork, this practice should be kept and continued.