Assessment AS learning…

An interesting encounter with the limiting nature of graded assessment…

Students (and teachers and parents) frequently focus on grades, rather than the evidence of learning, the reflection and feedback which will lead to progress and growth.


As a PYP school, we are currently engaged in a self-study, prior to an evaluation by the IB Organisation next year. It’s a great opportunity to reflect as a community, to celebrate what we’re doing well and to consider how we can improve our practice.

The self-study involves assessing our performance in relation to the PYP standards and practices. In our first round of staff meetings, teachers focused more on the ‘low to high’ scale to assess our achievements, than on the learning process.

It was only when we let go of the evaluation aspect and focused on unpacking the standards and practices, understanding, sharing, making connections, having conversations… that we began to a) enjoy ourselves and b) learn.

I wish we could start the process over again, now that we have a better understanding! In the first phases of the self-study, the focus of our learning community has shifted from assessment OF to assessment FOR and, best of all, assessment AS learning.

What’s the message for school?

8 thoughts on “Assessment AS learning…

  1. Love the cartoon! I remember when we went through the process a few years back. So valuable, but seems so long ago now after so many staff changes. (I think that is what a lot of international school struggle with: building up a common knowledge, understanding and history in the team.)


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