Namaste Academy Assessment Policy
At Namaste Academy, we believe that assessment is necessary at every level: in individual lessons so teachers can be assured that students are learning; at term end so that students and teachers are aware of their strengths and weaknesses; and, of course, in public examinations in order that students can gain admission to the best universities and even earn scholarships to attend them.
Children – even young adults – are very often frightened by exams, aware that so much depends on their performing well. Yet, not all assessment need make one afraid. Tests can also be a way of learning more and better, if they are conducted in groups, for instance, where stronger students work with weaker partners. In fact, every lesson should include some form of assessment as this is the only effective means for a teacher to judge whether her students have mastered a particular topic and are capable of translating it into practice.
Just as tests need not always be individual, neither should they always be written. Students’ understanding and learning can be as easily assessed by a presentation with Powerpoint slides, for instance, as they can by pen and paper examinations.
However, we at Namaste Academy are agreed that tests, whatever their purposes and forms, are an essential part of modern life and one with which our students need to familiarize themselves in order to achieve the highest grades possible and to take advantage of the learning opportunities they present. They focus students on their learning and encourage them to revise, thus enhancing their understanding and performance.
Yet, as we all know, some students do far better in examinations than others and it is for this reason that Namaste Academy also includes points in its term grades for attendance and home assignments and project work.
Teachers are also trained in compiling examination questions and in assessing students’ performance objectively by using grade descriptors and also random double marking by another teacher. In these ways we can reassure parents and students that points are not awarded to favourite students or deducted from others.
In conclusion, at Namaste Academy, we aim to use assessment to enhance learning both in writing and in presentations at the same time as acknowledging the effort and achievements students have made throughout the academic year. We also hope to dispel some of the fear that students often feel in exams by offering them practice beforehand so that they do their best on the day!