Assessment Policy

Statement of Intent

The aim of this Policy is to communicate the purpose of assessment at the FIS to all stakeholders. This Policy aligns assessment at the FIS with:

  • the FIS Mission and Vision;
  • the philosophy and principles of the IPC and the IB;
  • research-informed best practice.

At the FIS, we want to develop “environments that bring out the best in people, take learning to the next level, allow for great discoveries, and propel both the individual and the group forward into a lifetime of learning. This is something all teachers want and students deserve.” (Ritchhart, 2015:5-6). Assessment plays a crucial role in this process as it aims to provide students with essential feedback on their learning and thinking, in line with the FIS definitions of high-quality learning and international-mindedness.

Learning at the FIS:

  • is encouraged within authentic contexts;
  • is constructivist, and inquiry-based;
  • develops and thrives through creativity;
  • fosters critical thinking.

All members of the FIS community are open, respectful and accepting. We seek to learn about others, recognizing both our differences and similarities, to create a better world.

Application of Policy

All members of the school community play a key role in ongoing assessment practices, be it as learners or when providing feedback on learning. It is important to note that, as we consider ourselves a community of lifelong learners, all members of the community are constantly expected to be both learners and evaluators of learning:

Effective assessment … provides valuable information to understand what constitutes learning and how to support it, and is meaningful to all members of the learning community.

Students become effective, self-regulated learners when they are actively engaged in assessment and act on constructive feedback. This helps them reflect on their progress, set goals for their learning and engages them in making decisions about what they need to do to achieve these goals.

Teachers become more effective when they continually learn about what students know and can do. They reflect on their practice, adjust their teaching based on data, and offer timely, specific and well-considered feedback to better support learning.

Parents and legal guardians become more informed when they understand the learning goals their child is working towards, and the progress their child is making. They extend their child’s understanding and development of skills when they support learning. They contribute to their child’s joy of learning and growth as a successful learner through sharing insights with the learning community.

Schools become more impactful learning communities when they use assessment as a tool to evaluate the depth of their curriculum and the effectiveness of their teaching. They make decisions about targeting resources and support to the most pressing priorities and professional development needs. (IBO “Learning” 67/8)

Assessment at the FIS is considered an important part of our home-school partnership: Teachers are expected to communicate assessment information to students, parents and leadership in a timely manner, as necessary and appropriate. Students are aligning their work attitude to assessment routines and schedules. They have the right to appeal against assessment decisions by invoking the IB Complaints Procedure. Parents support their children when preparing for and understanding assessment. They are seeking clarification for the progress of their children as necessary. Middle and senior leaders ensure that assessment data are used in a meaningful way when determining necessary steps for school development.

The policy applies at all times and to all FIS stakeholders. There are no known restrictions, exclusions or special conditions to this policy unless stated either in the Inclusion or the Language Policy.

Curricular areas will translate the principles of this policy into subject specific department handbooks where necessary and appropriate.

Policy Statement

What is Assessment?

Assessment is always to be understood as an assessment of learning. We are assessing the broad areas that are determined by our definition of curriculum in our curriculum design (vertical and horizontal alignment document):

  • Knowledge (the content or the what is being learned).
  • Subjective-specific and transdisciplinary skills (how we engage with subject content and how we learn).
  • Understanding (concepts enabling students to access the world through a variety of contexts).

We align our understanding and practice of assessment with that of the International Baccalaureate Organization as shown in this quote:

“Assessment” can mean any of the different ways in which student achievement can be gathered and evaluated. Common types of assessments include tests, examinations, extended practical work, projects, portfolios and oral work. Sometimes, assessments are carried out over a prolonged period, and at other times they take place over a few hours. Assessments will sometimes be judged by the student’s teacher, while other times they are evaluated by an external examiner. (IBO “Assessment” 24)

In line with the FIS guiding statements and IB philosophy, meaningful assessment can be described with the following characteristics:

  • Authentic: It supports making connections to the real world to promote student engagement.
  • Clear and specific: This includes desired learning goals, success criteria and the process students use to learn.
  • Varied: It uses a wider range of tools and strategies that are fit for purpose to build a well-rounded picture of student learning.
  • Developmental: It focuses on an individual student’s progress rather than their performance in relation to others.
  • Collaborative: It engages both teachers and students in the assessment development and evaluation process.
  • Interactive: Assessment encompasses ongoing and iterative dialogues about learning.
  • Feedback to feedforward: It provides feedback on current learning to inform what is needed to support future learning and raises students’ motivation. (IBO “Learning” 68)

Formative and Summative Assessment

Both formative and summative assessment is expected to be used to assess learning. All assessment is formative while summative assessment is designed for specific purposes. These purposes are further outlined in departmental handbooks.

For formative assessment, the aim is to provide detailed feedback to teachers and their students on the nature of students’ strengths and weaknesses, and to help develop their capabilities. Types of assessment such as direct interaction, for example a discussion, between teacher and student are particularly helpful here.

Vygotsky (1962) describes the teacher as being seen as a supporter rather than a director of learning and so should make use of assessment tasks and instruments that help the student work in what he refers to as the “zone of proximal development”. This is the range of achievement between what the student can do on their own, and what the student can do with the support of the teacher.

This concept of the notion of “scaffolding” was formed by Wood et al (1976), where the teacher provides the scaffold for the construction of learning but only the student can do the constructing. The intention of the teacher must be to set formative assessments that are at just the right level of challenge for the student, and to keep adjusting that level as the student progresses.

In contrast, the summative assessment focuses on measuring what the candidate can do, typically to demonstrate the completion of a training programme and/or readiness to progress to the next stage of education. While formative assessment is interested in why a student does something, summative assessment wants to know whether they did the correct thing. While this may seem less useful than the why question, consider the different purpose of summative assessment, which is to make a judgment about the candidate, not to inform future teaching. (IBO “Assessment” 25/6)

Assessment Capable Learners

As we consider all of us lifelong learners, we aim to grow and develop with and through assessment. Consequently, we aim to constantly develop and evolve as assessment capable learners. The following figure defines our understanding of what it means to develop assessment capable learners (IBO “Learning” 71):



This model is expected to be extended to all members of our learning community.

Principles of Feedback and Reporting

Feedback is understood as an invitation to thinking. It is an essential part of all formative assessment. For feedback to be effective, it must be ongoing and frequent. Any feedback should always consider the specific personal circumstances of the learner and how the feedback might impact their confidence and self-esteem. Feedback is expected to support the learner in their growth and development, yet must be appropriately challenging; it must provide clear, meaningful and achievable next steps to further develop knowledge, skills or understanding and must never be interpreted as the judgment of the learner as a person.

Reporting is a special case of feedback. Programme specific guidelines may apply as the audiences of reports can vary from students, parents, other schools or higher education establishments. Guidelines for specific reports might qualify or modify feedback expectations accordingly.

These are opportunities throughout the year whereby parents, teachers and students meet to discuss both academic and/or social and emotional progress. In the course of further implementing the impact of approaches to learning, we will seek to implement these as reflective opportunities for students and parents in the context of reports.

Monitoring Assessment Standards

Assessment, both formative and summative, is expected to be provided consistently, continuously, meaningfully and fairly. As a consequence, it needs to be aligned with standards of assessment, the outcomes of assessment standardized across a teaching group (which may span different classes or even grade levels).

Assessment is an integral part of all unit designs. They are expected to be evaluated and reviewed within the defined curriculum review cycle and should in all cases be the product of collaboration within curricular areas. Summative assessment details need to be shared with parents and students at the beginning of a unit. If an assessment has not provided learners with appropriate means to demonstrate their knowledge, skills or understanding; or if learners feel that detrimental circumstances prevented them from being able to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately: teachers, students and parents are encouraged to engage in conversation in order to agree on additional ways how learning could be demonstrated. There should always be more than one opportunity for learners to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding within a defined assessment cycle. Details are to be determined in appendices or curricular area handbooks. Generally speaking, report grades are expected to be determined by more than one different assessment data point per semester.

All summative assessment needs to be standardized. Standardization is a quality assurance process that ensures marks or grades are awarded, and/or feedback is provided, appropriately and consistently, and, where appropriate, to the standards defined by the IB. A student should receive the same evaluation, and a similar style and quality of feedback, irrespective of who is marking the assessment, to increase the reliability of the assessment opportunity.

Details of standardization processes are determined in curricular area handbooks. They will always be aligned with these principles:

  • Standardization involves more than one evaluator.
  • Student assessment samples must be made available for our written curriculum to inform consistency across years.
  • Ultimately, it is the task and responsibility of curricular leaders to oversee the standardization process. They may delegate this responsibility to volunteering colleagues as appropriate.
  • Standardization must be completed before outcomes of summative assessment are communicated.

Assessment in the PYP

Assessment Strategies

The following figure outlines the four dimensions of assessment methods for evidencing learning in Primary school (PYP: from Principles into Practice – Learning and Teaching – Assessment – How to Assess pg. 76):



Monitoring: identifying learning growth; Documenting: collecting evidence; Measuring: recording and analyzing learning.

These dimensions of assessment are interwoven when using a variety of assessment strategies and tools:

  • Strategies are the methods or approaches that teachers use when gathering information about a student’s progress and learning.
  • Tools are what teachers and students use to record this information.

Assessment Strategies
PortfolioObservationsObservations of student learning are ongoing
and can be focused on an individual student, small group or whole class.
Performance AssessmentsGoal directed tasks that are supported by success criteria (teacher directed or
co-constructed with the students). These tasks are designed to go beyond simple memorization and enable students to demonstrate skills and share their understanding in a variety of ways.
Process Focused AssessmentsBehaviors a student displays while carrying out a task and not the end result.
Selected ResponsesTests, quizzes and short answer responses.
Open-ended TasksHave more than one right answer and may be completed in more than one way.

Assessment Tools
ExemplarsSamples of learning that demonstrate the level or outcome required.
ChecklistsLists of information, data, attributes or elements that should be present in the students' learning.
Anecdotal records or notesWritten notes based on observations of students that capture a moment in time.
RubricsEstablished sets of criteria with descriptors that inform what to look for in students’ learning. These may be co-constructed by teachers and students, and can inform a student's next steps.
Progression GridsA visual continuum of developmental stages in learning. They identify student’s achievements and where they are in a process.

Measuring Assessment

Toddle is an online planning, assessment, portfolio, and reporting tool customized to fit the needs of PYP schools. It is the role of the head of curriculum, deputy head of curriculum/PYP and relevant heads of department to track and analyze the taught and assessed curriculum, to analyze assessment data, and to facilitate Learning Progress Meetings.

It is the role of the teacher and students to assess student progress and learning. Teachers record summative assessment data over the course of every unit of inquiry, upload examples of student learning, use the data collected to inform Learning Progress Meeting, and use Toddle to inform reporting to parents.

Formal Feedback on Learning

Teachers report on student learning, in the form of report cards, twice a year. Reporting provides clear information on a student’s strengths, areas of development in the form of goal setting. Reporting provides accurate, evidence-based information about students’ progress within curriculum areas with reference to summative assessment.

Reporting in the Primary uses the evaluative language of Working towards, Meeting, or Exceeding to provide clear information about student progress.

Students have opportunities to share their learning of each unit of inquiry at the end of each unit. This culminates in the Grade 5 exhibition, which provides a milestone opportunity for students to share and celebrate the collective learning of their PYP journey with their families and the wider community.

Assessment in the MYP

Programme/Subject Specific Guidelines

The MYP framework is concept driven, therefore assessments at the FIS must center around the student’s understanding of the identified Key Concept(s), Related Concepts and a unit’s Statement of Inquiry. As learning contexts must model authentic world settings, assessments must strive to be meaningful, allowing students to show their understanding of Global Contexts and result in meaningful Action.

Student self-reflection on Approaches to Learning skills and Learner Profile attributes is an integral part of MYP assessment practices. Teachers are encouraged to include comments using the language of these skills and attributes in their feedback on assessment.

Authentic assessment tasks in the MYP are generated by teachers and, where appropriate and possible, students. Objectives for each subject group are identified by the MYP subject group guides and are aligned with the assessment criteria. Assessment must support effective teaching and learning ensuring the student is offered an active role. Student feedback should be sought on all assessments.

External Assessment – Subject Groups

MYP requirements are that candidates must be registered for assessment in at least six subject groups.

  • language and literature
  • language acquisition (or an additional language and literature subject)
  • individuals and societies
  • mathematics
  • sciences
  • one subject from arts, physical and health education, or design.

In MYP 4-5, in addition to completing the assessment requirements of six subjects, a candidate must also successfully meet the requirements of the core to be eligible for the award of the IB MYP certificate.

  • Interdisciplinary on-screen examination
  • Personal project
  • FIS Service as Action

External Assessment

The MYP ePortfolios are marked and moderated by classroom teachers. IB examiners assess sample ePortfolios for moderation. This external coursework and on-screen exams are meant as a final record of MYP success.

MYP Assessment Criteria

Students are assessed by criterion-related rubrics that are also found in the MYP subject group guides. The rubrics describe eight levels of competency against the unit objectives. (see Figure 2). Judgments are made by consulting the levels of achievement and assigning the level that best describes the quality of work submitted. The aim is to find the level descriptor that most accurately matches the achievement seen in the work using the best-fit approach across the strands.

To determine the final achievement level in each criterion for each student, teachers must gather evidence from a range of assessment tasks to enable them to make a professional and informed judgment. Subject groups must assess all strands of all four assessment criteria at least twice in each year of the MYP. Levels awarded in reports should be awarded based on the teacher’s professional judgment of where the student is at that time based on the evidence provided in assessments. Teachers are, however, strongly encouraged to design assessments that contain multiple examples of student learning in a variety of criteria as well as assessments of student understanding of the Statement of Inquiry.

MYP Grade Scale and Descriptors

To arrive at a criterion level total for each student, teachers add together the final achievement levels in all criteria of the subject group.

Grades must not be determined by averaging summative performance levels over the year. In MYP1, teachers will use MYP1 criteria found in the subject guide. For MYP2 and 3, teachers will use MYP criteria for ‘year 3’ found in the subject guide. For MYP4 and 5, the teacher will use criteria for ‘year 5’ found in the subject guide.

Choosing a Level of Achievement by Adopting a ‘Best-Fit’ Model

The descriptors for each criterion are hierarchical. When assessing a student’s work, teachers must read the descriptors (starting with level 0) until they reach a descriptor that describes an achievement level that the work being assessed has not attained. The work is therefore best described by the preceding descriptor.

Where it is not clearly evident which level descriptor should apply, teachers must use their judgment and along with evidence from most recent formative assessments and/or classwork select the descriptor that best matches the student’s work overall.

The final report card grade is based on the total of four criteria (a level from 0-8 per criterion, up to a total of 32) along the following grade boundaries between 1 and 7 (Figure 3 (*1)):

GradeBoundary GuidelinesDescriptors
11-5Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Very rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge or skills.
26-9Produces work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and contexts. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills.
310-14Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts, with occasionally significant misunderstanding or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classroom situations.
415-18Produces good-quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstanding and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations but requires support in unfamiliar situations.
519-23Produces generally high-quality. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.
624-27Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and
real-world situations, often with independence.
728-32Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skills with independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations.

(*1) ‘Middle Years Programme, MYP: From principles into practice’, IBO (2017)

Differentiation of Assessments for EAL Students and Students with Identified Exceptionalities

EAL students in MYP classes will be assessed according to MYP assessment criteria, and tasks will be differentiated so that EAL students can achieve the highest levels of the assessment criteria.

In MYP1-3, where it is not yet possible for a student to achieve the highest levels of certain assessment criteria in certain subjects (because their English language level prevents them from accessing the highest levels even with accommodations, support and differentiation), no numerical rating level will be awarded for these criteria, rather narrative feedback provided based on the assessment criteria. This applies to feedback on both formative and summative tasks, and to semester reports. The criteria this applies to are decided collaboratively between the EAL department and subject teacher. In MYP4-5, all EAL students will be given numerical rating levels in all assessment criteria in all subjects, regardless of their English language level. For further information, please refer to the Language Policy.

Where EAL students’ level of English is below a certain level defined by the IB, they will participate in all assessments with inclusive arrangements pursuant to their level.

Students with identified exceptionalities will participate in all assessments with inclusive arrangements pursuant to their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or their Accommodations Certificate. These accommodations are based on specific needs as determined by external professional assessments and serve to allow access to the rigorous curriculum while not providing unfair advantages. For further information, please refer to the Inclusion Policy.

Assessment in the DP

This appendix should be read with reference to the High School Diploma Appendix.

More detailed guidance on DP assessment across the core (Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Activity and Service) and all subject areas can be found on the IB Programme Resource Centre.

Introductory Information

  • Individual DP subjects are assessed on a 1-7 scale, with 7 being the highest.
  • DP formal assessment consists of final examinations and internal and external assessments, which are created in school and also at home, during the two-year course period.
  • These formal assessments contribute to an individual student’s final DP qualification.
  • It is expected that teachers will be familiar with all information relating to formal assessment in their subject areas.
  • Exemplar work will be available to students for consideration and familiarization with the application of the assessment criteria as they relate to each particular DP subject.

Formative Assessment

  • Formative assessments in the DP will be based on subject knowledge, understanding, concepts and skills. They may be set as classwork or homework.
  • Students can expect feedback on formative assessments in a variety of ways, including self-assessment or reflection, peer assessment, verbal or written comments from teachers, as well as scores and percentages.
  • Formative assessments will be recorded on Managebac, where appropriate, and especially if written feedback has been given, so that students can access them for reference.
  • There is no expectation that a numerical grade is assigned to formative assessments.
  • Formative assessments are not weighted to make up part of the Semester or End of Year grades.

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment ‘is concerned with measuring student performance against Diploma Programme assessment criteria to judge levels of attainment.’ (IBO, 2010).

  • Summative assessments are designed to collect reliable information about what students know and can do under particular conditions/requirements.
  • From the beginning of DP1, summative assessments will be:
    • based on appropriate subject content,
    • based upon the assessment criteria for particular subject areas.
    • as close to authentic IB assessment components as is possible at that point in the course.
  • Teachers will share task details in advance.
  • Teachers will inform students in advance which assessment criteria or assessment objectives will be assessed in a summative assessment.
  • Teachers will provide written feedback on all summative tasks, based on the assessment criteria or assessment objectives.
  • This will include individualized comments for all students, so that students know how to improve.
  • Grades will be recorded on Managebac, and published to students and parents. (Teachers may choose to delay the publication of grades to parents to a day later than the publication of grades to students.).
  • Grades will contribute to students’ Semester 1 and End of Year grades.

Marking of Summative Assessments

Through authentic and reliable feedback, based on grades that accurately reflect a student’s performance, as measured against DP objectives and subject-specific criteria, students are informed about their performance and are given suggestions as to what they need to do to progress. Emphasis is placed on students learning how to learn, with the aim to help them be better judges of their own performance, so they can develop strategies to improve (‘Guidelines for developing a school assessment policy in the Diploma Programme’, p.3).

  • When marking summative assessments, any mark scheme used should not be considered exhaustive. Teachers must reward alternative but equally valid answers that contain coherent ideas.
  • In the DP each subject has specific criteria and these criteria are measured on numeric scales, which differ by subject/course. Marks and grades will align with expectations set out in IBDP subject guides.
  • The weightings for assessment components in each DP subject are based on those set out in DP subject guides.
  • Grade boundaries are based on those published by the IB in subject reports.
  • When a new DP subject cycle begins, teachers, in consultation with Heads of Department and the DP Coordinator will review historical data along with any relevant IB notifications or clarifications to determine grade boundaries for the assessment components of the new course until the first subject report with grade boundaries is published and made available.

DP Formal Assessments (Contributing to Students’ Final Diploma Grades)

  • Formal assessments ‘are defined as assessments directly contributing to the final qualification, [and represent] the final summative assessment practice in the IB continuum of education,’ (‘Guidelines for developing a school assessment policy in the Diploma Programme’, p.2).
  • Students are required to submit a feedback draft for all DP internally produced, externally moderated (IA), and internally produced, externally marked (EA) components. This is required by the IB, as an essential part of the academic integrity process, and helps teachers to confidently authenticate the students’ work. (Language B Individual Orals are an exception.).
  • Students are permitted to only receive one round of verbal or written feedback on one draft piece of work. For additional clarifications, teachers will consult their subject-specific guides.
  • Assessment of final IAs and EAs will follow the stipulated requirements set out in each DP subject guide.


  • Where there are two or more teachers of a subject and level, standardization will take place for all summative and formal IB assessments.
  • Wherever possible, standardization will take place, even where there is only one teacher per subject and level. For example, teachers of the same subject but at a different level can help the usual class teacher to standardize the marking of assessments (e.g. German B SL teacher may listen to German B HL Individual Orals to provide their assessment advice).
  • Heads of Department can also advise on standardization, for example, the Head of Maths supervises the final marking and standardization of all Maths IAs.
  • Various methods of standardization are detailed on the FIS Intranet (add link). Teachers should choose the method that best fits their subjects, the nature of the assessment and their own circumstances.

The FIS High School Diploma & IB DP

  • Where at all possible, and from the outset of DP1, teachers will design summative assessments that allow students access to the full range of grades (1 – 7) in order to align with the FIS High School Diploma (HSD) provision, allowing students to earn credits for their HSD.
  • This may require scaffolding and other forms of support and modification. These supports will naturally be reduced as progress is made through the respective DP courses.
  • Summative assessments in DP 1 may be adjusted. For example, they may be based on fewer assessment criteria than final IB assessment components. (For example, an English Language and Literature Paper 1 may not assess Criterion C as a scaffold has been provided.)
  • In order for students to continue to accrue credit for their High School Diploma, the following assessments will all be included in the determination of the Semester 1 and End of Year report grades at the appropriate points during the DP:
    • DP1 End of Year exams
    • TOK Exhibition
    • TOK Essay
    • January Mock Exams
    • All subjects’ IAs EAs for the Group 6 subjects

Recording, Reporting and Analyzing Assessment Data

  • Managebac is used to record formative and summative assessments, and is therefore the main way of recording student progress.
  • A record of all summative assessments and the student’s grades for them will be available on Managebac.
  • Where appropriate, assessed work will be stored in the Dropbox for the relevant task.
  • If the teacher has marked work by hand, scans of this work will be uploaded.
  • Formal reports are published, via ManageBac, to students and parents at the end of Semester 1 (‘Mid-Year Report’) and at the end of Semester 2 (‘End of Year Report’). Reports state a DP student’s level of attainment for each of the DP academic subjects and the DP Core requirements (Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, Creativity, Activity, Service).
  • Report grades reflect that the school ‘values the most accurate demonstration of student performance, rather than just averaging attainment grades over a reporting period.’ (IBO, 2010) As such they are informed by teachers’ professional judgment rather than based exclusively on summative assessment grades.
  • Predicted grades for the purposes of university applications are provided in the Grade 11 End of Year report. To protect the academic integrity of the school and to support our students in making realistic Higher Education choices, these predicted grades are not negotiable.
    • As university applications take place, during the course of DP2, The Head of Careers will confirm directly with individual subject teachers that predicted grades are still current and accurate.
  • FIS grades for IAs and EAs (except for the EE) will be published. These grades may change when externally assessed by the IB, and a statement to that effect will be included with each grade publication.
  • Exam results analysis takes place every year, in the autumn. Teachers are provided with subject results from the preceding summer’s exam session, along with Academigo files and any requested returned marked scripts, in order to collaborate and reflect on teaching and learning practices in their subject areas, identifying areas of strength and areas for development. This analysis may include, but is not limited to, consideration of past results, averages and predictions in conjunction with an analysis of current comparisons to world averages, accuracy of predicted grades and relative performance in each subject assessment component. Core points through the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge performance are also included in this analysis.


  • A year group specific EE timeline will be communicated to all students, parents, carers and teachers in November of DP1, at the time of the EE launch.
  • A year group specific Assessment Calendar will be communicated to the same people in the Spring of DP1, so that all stakeholders have an understanding of the “big picture” of the Diploma Programme design as well as basic knowledge of all the assessment requirements for the subjects offered at the school.
  • FIS internal summative dates, hosted on the Managebac calendar must be adhered to and, once published, any changes in the course of the semester must be authorized by the Deputy Head of Curriculum/DP.
  • Summative tasks will be posted to the ManageBac calendar by a set date at the start of each academic semester. Teachers will be informed in advance of this set date to allow adequate planning time.
  • Feedback on summative assessment will be given within 10 working days, wherever possible.
  • For formal DP assessments, especially where more extensive standardization is required, grades may be published several weeks after the submission date and written feedback may be minimal as students have completed the assessment and no longer require advice on how their work may be improved.

Academic Integrity

For all concerns regarding academic integrity, at any point in the DP course, refer to the school’s Academic Integrity Policy.

  • All summative assessments that are completed digitally will be submitted through ManageBac so that they can then be checked for plagiarism via Turnitin.
  • All final IAs and EAs will be submitted to Turnitin, via Managebac. For this reason, it is better to either:
    • not submit a draft IA to Turnitin, but to assure academic integrity in an alternative way,
    • submit a draft to Turnitin, and keep a record of it for comparison to the final IA, as the percentage match will probably (but not definitely) be quite high.

Librarians and experienced staff can assist in initiating this process on ManageBac if necessary.

Absence from Timed Summative Assessments

  • Students may be requested for evidence such as a doctor’s note, if they miss a summative assessment for medical reasons. They may also be required to complete the summative in ARP (Academic Recovery Period), for logistical reasons.
  • EOY exams and January mock exams are mandatory and any absences MUST be accompanied by medical evidence, otherwise the student will receive a 0 for that assessment

Non-submission of Components of IAs and EAs

  • For guidance on the setting and management of deadlines for IA and EA components, please refer to this document.
  • If a student fails to submit a final IA or EA, the school reserves the right to take one of the following courses of action:
    • Mark, standardize and submit the mark of the draft IA or EA. The draft IA will also be uploaded to IBIS, if required for moderation.
    • If no draft IA or EA was submitted, to consider the submission as a blank file, awarding 0 marks. This means that the student can still receive a grade in this subject, from the other assessment components, such as the exams. If required, an empty file will also be uploaded to IBIS.
    • Submit an N for non-submission on IBIS. This means that the students cannot be awarded a grade in that subject.

The first two courses of action mean that the student still has the possibility of achieving the full IB Diploma, if they perform well enough in their other assessment components.

In-School Examinations

  • DP students will complete End of Year exams in June of Grade 11 and Mock exams in January of DP2.
  • Guidelines for the administration and conduct of both school-based examinations, as well as formal IB external examinations, are provided separately, and at the appropriate time of year.

Assessment for the High School Diploma

Program/Subject Specific Guidelines

The FIS High School Diploma is a school-based award that recognizes a student’s cumulative academic achievement over the final four years of secondary school i.e. Grades 9-12.

The FIS High School Diploma is aligned with and recognized as equivalent to the North American academic school leaving qualification awarded upon high school graduation. Recognition is provided by the school’s joint accreditation with the CIS and NEASC.

All students in Grades 9-12 are automatically enrolled by the school onto the FIS High School Diploma, which runs ‘in the background’, alongside the externally assessed MYP and DP programmes.

In order to be awarded a FIS High School Diploma, students must earn a minimum of 24 credits.

A full credit is awarded, at the end of each academic year, for each class successfully completed. The criterion for success is a FIS grade of 3 or higher. The mid-year report grade is thus only an indicative grade, with the award of a full credit being made at the end of the academic year, determined by the end of year report grade. Exceptionally, half-credits may be awarded in the case of a mid-year course change, or mid-year admission to the school, but where at least a full semester has been completed, to the above standard.

Credits must include:

4 – English

3 – Mathematics

3 – Humanities

3 – Science

2 – Design or Performing Arts or Visual Arts

2 – Physical and Health Education (PHE)

3 – ‘Language and Literature’ or ‘Language Acquisition’ (excluding English)

4 – Further credits from any disciplinary area

Additionally, students must demonstrate:

  • continuous participation in the Service as Action (Grades 9 and 10) and CAS programs (Grades 11 and 12), meeting all stated learning objectives;
  • continuous participation in Physical Education is required for graduation;
  • continuous participation in Global Perspectives (Grades 9 and 10) is required for graduation;
  • an overall minimum 85% attendance level (including excused and unexcused absences).

Further considerations (e.g. credit conversion and transfer) will apply to students joining the school after the beginning of Grade 9.

Special circumstance:

  • At the exceptional discretion of the Head of School, students who have not completed the graduation requirements by the end of Grade 12 but have demonstrated valid academic achievement in other ways may be awarded a FIS High School Diploma. In such a case, the Diploma will be supported by an explanatory letter, issued to the student.

The FIS High School Diploma is recognized for entry into a number of American colleges through our accreditation with the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC).

Further clarification for how to earn credits will be provided by the beginning of school year 21/22 and then added to this appendix.

Assessment Methods

All courses offered in Grades 9-12 are designed to meet the assessment objectives of either the IB Middle Years Programme subject groups (Grades 9-10) or IB Diploma Programme subjects (grades 11-12). Other than a school-based PE and Advisory program, the FIS currently does not offer non-IB courses in grades 11-12.

As such, students have a choice between the following pathways when designing their programme for Grades 11-12:

  • FIS High School Diploma + IB Diploma
  • FIS High School Diploma + IB Course Certificates

In rare circumstances, a student may opt to pursue the FIS High School Diploma alone. Students need to understand that course offerings consist of IB Diploma courses, which can be chosen at the Standard or Higher level. Teachers can make some modifications to course expectations for students within a DP SL or HL course (see further guidance below).

Modifying IB Diploma Courses for HS Credit

To provide consistency of expectations and practices for students who opt not to pursue an external course certificate with the IB for their classes, the following parameters are intended to support teachers in modifying courses fairly and consistently. Modifications can be made to either or both of:

  • Assessment components (e.g. criteria, tests, IAs)
  • Assessment objectives & content

Modifying Assessment Components

Modification of assessment components is at the discretion of the teacher, pending approval from HoD.

Modifying assessment components is the most commonly employed approach to modifying DP courses for credit candidates. It can entail modifications to the defined assessment criteria, test expectations or the mark bands used.

For criterion-related assessments, it is recommended that descriptor bands are modified as follows: Descriptor sets are shifted ‘up’ by one band, requiring a newly defined lowest descriptor band and replacing the highest level descriptors by the descriptors that formerly described the next highest band of achievement.

For summative assessment, teachers may eliminate the most challenging questions or tasks, ensuring that the resulting assessment is approximately 80% in scope of the comparable DP SL assessment.

For Internal Assessment (IA) or External Assessment (EA) coursework components of DP SL courses, departments are encouraged to develop alternative assessments geared towards the individual student’s interests, in the context of the course, wherever possible.

Modifying Assessment Objectives & Content

A teacher has the discretion to choose whether this is an appropriate course modification to make, pending approval from the HoD. If this approach is pursued, students are expected to cover approximately 80% of the same assessment objectives and/or content as DP students.

Feedback and Reporting

Feedback practices align fully with the programme-specific guidelines (please refer to MYP and DP appendices for further information). Students who take a modified DP SL course for HS credit are expected to complete an internal final exam each year. In grade 12, they will also sit a mid-year exam (timing aligned with DP mock exams).

When reporting on courses (report cards, transcripts), modified DP SL courses will be shown as follows: [subject] [grade level]. For example, instead of grade 11 DP English Language and Literature SL, the course designation English 11 is used; instead of grade 12 DP Theatre SL, Theatre 12 is used. Repetition of a specific [subject] [grade level] for which credit had been awarded, cannot result in a further credit.

In addition to the IB 1-7 grading scale, the following grade designations may be used in reports:

  • N/A. (‘Not Awarded’) This is used when a student has not been in the class long enough for a grade to be awarded.
  • M. (‘Medical reasons’) This is used when a student has been absent due to a certified medical condition for a prolonged period of time, and has not been assessed sufficiently within a semester to provide a report grade. This can only be awarded after confirmation by the Head of Secondary.


  • The school believes that students should work to the best of their ability all of the time, rather than preparing intensively only for summative assessments. The school also, however, acknowledges and supports the IB’s position of allowing students the opportunity to improve where they may have underperformed.
  • Retakes of summative assessments are possible under the following circumstances:
    • The student completes a self-reflection form in full and has it signed by a parent or carer.
    • The teacher is able and willing to provide a substantially different summative assessment at the same level of challenge.
    • The student completes the retake in ARP (after school) unless another time is more convenient for the subject teacher.
    • The student does not habitually use retake opportunities to falsely inflate their grade – this would be an academic integrity issue and may lead to students performing significantly worse than expected in final exams.


This policy was first developed during the 2010/2011 school year by the Curriculum Director and volunteer teaching staff. Following this, the policy was further updated in 2016 and developed in response to the implementation of MYP in 2018.

The policy updates were reviewed by the curriculum coordinators, volunteer teachers, and Heads of Departments (HoDs) and approved by the Senior Leadership Team in School Year 2017/18.

This subsequent version (August 2020) was the result of a further review by the SLT in May/June 2020, responding to the feedback from curriculum leaders.

This current version (June 2023) is the result of an inclusive review process with participation from students, parents and teachers and curricular leaders through the school year 2022/23. It was aligned with expectations from the 2020 IB standards and practices.

Publication Information

Policy approved: June 1, 2023

Effective: August 1, 2023

Supersedes: Assessment Policy 2020

Review date: June 01, 2025 (2 year review cycle)


Black, Paul and Wiliam, Dylan (2009), Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability, p.5

Hattie, John (2012) Visible learning for teachers, Routledge

International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) (2018), Primary Years Programme – Learning and Teaching. My IB, Programme Resource Center.

International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) (2022), Assessment principles and practices—Quality assessments in a digital age. My IB, Programme Resource Center.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ritchhart, R. (2015). Creating cultures of thinking. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Wehlage, G. G., Newmann, F. M., & Secada, W. G. 1996. In F. M. Newmann (Ed.), Authentic achievement: Restructuring schools for intellectual quality, (pp. 21-48). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


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