The structure of our assessment system, an important pillar of the Colegio de San Francisco de Paula educational program, reflects updated paedagogical methods, their adaptation to modern society’s needs and advances in Education Science.
The evaluation contents, methodology and criteria are defined for each area and level, so that all the teachers use common indicators and uniform criteria, allowing each student to develop and be assessed in a global way.
Each of the School’s departments has assessment criteria specific to its subjects, and these assessment criteria carry a specific weighting. These are scored independently and continuously throughout each term. In the end however, all these criteria are combined into one single mark, as required by current law. However, our system allows teachers, parents and students themselves to understand their specific progress in each criterion. Therefore, for example, a parent can find out that their child is progressing well in terms of Spanish content, but is having difficulties with style and usage. Similarly, they can find out that their child knows their Mathematical theories, but is falling behind in reasoning and calculus, and how they may be helping or hindering their progress.
Another aspect of the Colegio de San Francisco de Paula assessment system that sets it apart is that, in addition to assessing the different information and skills required in the academic curriculum, it assesses other variables. These include consistency of work, meeting deadlines, punctuality, behaviour, attendance, participation and how students perform in different tasks that explore aspects other than those dealt with in class. These variables are assessed under the criterion “attitude, interest and effort” and form an integral part of the numerical mark each student receives. This differs from the traditional system, where attitude was assessed, but did not affect the final numerical mark.
Another unique aspect of the Colegio de San Francisco de Paula assessment system is that it rewards continuous, rather than occasional, effort. Its assessment process takes into account the students’ academic progression and their work over the course of the entire term, as well as their performance in written or oral tests at the term’s end. Therefore, students at all levels must achieve a minimum number of marks per term, which are determined according to the workload of each subject. In addition, said marks should correspond to different assessment techniques (oral and written tests, marking work, etc.). These results should be provided regularly, so that a student’s progress can be tracked and any aspects in which they are not sufficiently proficient can be identified.
At Secondary level, and in accordance with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, the assessment system incorporates certain special features, including the distinction between formative and summative marks. These are used so that errors, which form part of the learning process, are not penalised, but are considered by the student to be a learning opportunity; a fundamental part of cultivating enterprising, creative, curious and investigative minds.
Finally, it should be noted that students taking the International Baccalaureate are examined via communal exams with students from all the other schools that are members of this organisation and that they are marked by the IBO’s markers. Therefore, parents can be sure that the mark their child receives reliably corresponds to the marks received by the students in the best schools in the world.