Curriculum Policies

Assessment Policy



“The Beacon Hill School community is a safe, caring and stimulating environment where everyone is respected and valued. The children will have every opportunity to achieve in all aspects of school life and they will understand their responsibility as global citizens.”

What is assessment?

Assessment is the gathering and analysing of information about student performance. It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at different stages in the learning process. (Making the PYP Happen)

BHS strives to ensure that all pupils develop an increasing responsibility for their studies and develop the ability to set own targets, reflect on their own learning and that of others.

Assessment is central to the PYP’s goal of thoughtfully guiding children through the five essential elements of learning: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take responsible action.
(Making the PYP Happen)

At BHS we believe that assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. Both teachers and students are actively engaged in assessing student learning and teaching. Assessment at BHS is continuous, built into learning activities and takes a variety of forms. Our assessment strategies provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, understandings, skills and attitudes.

Why do we assess?

To promote student learning
To provide information about student learning
To assist in the evaluation and planning of the programme of studies.

How is student learning promoted?

The results of assessment are used to guide further teaching and learning:
– Where are the students in their learning?
– What are the students’ areas of strength and how can we assist further growth?
– What are the students’ specific needs?
– How can the teaching and learning programme be planned and/or redefined?
– How can specific individual and/or group needs be met?

Students are involved in the assessment process: reflecting on their own learning, taking responsibility for their own learning, developing their ability to be self critical and setting targets for subsequent work. Students also learn to critically assess the work of their peers.
By tracking learning outcomes in relation to the written curriculum

How is information about student learning provided?

Examples of students’ work and performance
Examples of student reflection and evaluation
Records of test results
Written school report
Records of formative and summative assessments
Parent consultations

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of the PYP?

Assessment of student performance in relation to the ESF Overall Expectations and the ESF Scope & Sequence documents for subjects.

To what extent are the goals being met?

How can we ensure that overall curriculum aims are met?

Assessment of student performance in relation to their peers and other groups
Information to and from others (students, parents and colleagues)
Teacher meetings weekly to discuss effectiveness and share ideas.

What do we assess?

Understanding of concepts (big ideas that transcend traditional subject areas)
Acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, attitudes and concepts in relation to the ESF Overall Expectations and the ESF Scope & Sequences of different subjects
Development of transdisciplinary skills
Development of attitudes
Progress in relation to the attributes of the PYP Learner Profile

At BHS assessment is both formative and summative

Formative assessment:

This provides information that is used in order to plan the next stage in learning. It is interwoven with learning, and helps teachers and students to find out what the students already know and can do, so that further provocations can be provided in order to improve knowledge and understanding.

Teachers strive to ascertain students’ prior knowledge so as to provide them with challenging provocations and experiences to further construct meaning.

Summative assessment:

This aims to give teachers and students a clear insight into students’ understanding. Summative assessment is the culmination of the teaching and learning process, and gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what has been learned.

It can assess several elements simultaneously:
– it informs and improves student learning and the teaching process;
– it measures understanding of the central idea;
– it prompts students towards action and;
– it demonstrates student engagement with the five essential elements of the PYP: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action.

Some examples of assessment strategies:

The following methods of assessment are used within the school. They cover a broad range of approaches, from the more subjective and intuitive to the more objective and scientific.

Student Interview:

Student interviews are held with all students when they begin at BHS.

Teacher Observations:

Ongoing teacher observations with regard to students’ individual behaviour, peer interaction, transdisciplinary skills, social skills, performance, knowledge, understandings etc.Observations and tests by SEN teacher and/or outside agencies where necessary, in order to identify and diagnose specific needs.

Student Reflections:

KWL charts, Journals, Self assessment, Peer assessment and Evaluations


Peer-peer, Student-teacher

Project Work:

Teacher guided and/or independent inquiry work.


Work done at home in a non-controlled environment.

Individual Goal Setting:

Each student has individual goals, where progress is recorded in relation to curriculum aims.

Process-Focused Assessments:

The students’ transdisciplinary and disciplinary skills are observed often andrecorded by:
· noting both typical as well as non-typical behaviours
· collecting multiple observations to enhance reliability
· synthesizing evidence from different contexts to increase validity

Open-Ended Tasks:

These are situations in which children are presented with astimulus and asked to communicate an original response. Theanswer might be a brief written answer, a drawing, a diagram, a performanceor a solution depending on the nature of the inquiry.

Selected Responses:

These are single occasion, one-dimensional exercises. Testsand quizzes are the most common examples of these used in the school. Can be used as a formative or summative assessment. These may be teacher developed or an external standardised test eg: QCA SATs, PIPS, InCas

Performance Tasks:

These are goal-directed tasks withestablished criteria, which are authentic challenges andproblems. There are numerous approaches to challenges and problems that require the use of many skills andthere is rarely only one correct response. Audio, video,narrative, presentations and rubric records are often useful for this kind ofassessment.


These are collections of the children’s work that are designed to demonstrate successes, growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection over time. A portfolio should be thought of as an exhibition of an active mind at work.

Reporting to parents and guardians:

Reporting is the process by which assessment information is communicated to students, parents / guardians and teachers. Reporting provides information about what students know and can do, along with recommendations for their future learning.

The primary purpose of reporting is to improve student learning. Teachers work together with the parents and provide them with information concerning the pupil’s school situation, well-being and acquisition of knowledge.

At BHS, we believe that good communication between teachers, students and their parents plays an important part in improving student learning and growth.

Ways of reporting to parents

Teacher comments on schoolwork:

Written comments on schoolwork that is sent home for parents to view.

Ongoing communication:

Notes to parents and teacher via the student diary. Teachers can also be contacted by e-mail or telephone.

Individual meetings with teachers:

By appointment, to discuss student performance and progress. Meetings maybe requested by teachers or parents.

Parent Conferences:

Held twice a year. The teacher and the student’s parents meet in order to discuss theprogress the student has made, how well the student is progressing inrelation to what is expected against a standard, as well as areas for future development. Teachers complete standardised paperwork prior to these talks. All such forms are kept on record in the school and follow the child when he /she moves to a new year group or transfers to a new ESF school.

Student-led conferences:

Some of the parent conferences may take the form of
student-led conferences where the student discusses his/her work and progress with the
parent. Future goals are identified and set by the student in conjunction with the parent and

Written report:

As part of the assessment process every child has a written report card which clearly indicates the child’s level and effort within the PYP.

AR&R Essential Agreement

It is the responsibility of each teacher and subject coordinators to ensure that this policy is put into practice at BHS. Teachers will strive to ensure that everyone concerned with assessment, including students, teachers, parents and administrators, have a clear understanding of the reason for the assessment, what is being assessed and the method by which the assessment is made.

Subject coordinators and teachers will develop and use forms for tracking and reporting student progress on all elements of the PYP. The forms will be aligned to reflect the beliefs of the PYP. Teachers will actively use the language of the learner profile in the reports.

In order to assess student performance and the curriculum, teachers will assess core subjects according to the BHS Core Subjects Assessment Schedule (Appendix 1), keep records and student work samples as required. BHS requires that certain standardised forms are used for tracking this progress, for example, running records, traffic lights.

Teachers are free to choose the assessment strategies/tools that will be used to assess each UOI and will employ techniques for assessing student’s work that take into account the diverse, complicated and sophisticated ways that individual students use to understand experience.

Home Reading Policy

Home Reading


“The Beacon Hill School community is a safe, caring and stimulating environment where everyone is respected and valued. The children will have every opportunity to achieve in all aspects of school life and they will understand their responsibility as global citizens.”

We believe reading is an essential life skill. The pursuit of regular reading results in enjoyment, entertainment, escapism, education and enables empathy.

We agree that home reading is an opportunity to practise essential reading skills including:

· fluency
· questioning
· visualising
· enrichment of vocabulary
· use of background knowledge
· retelling

We agree that success in home reading results from a partnership between students, parents and teachers and if done well it will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

This document outlines the procedure for the Home Reading Programme involving the levelled readers, including library band readers. It does NOT relate to the Learning Centre books that students borrow according to personal interest.

Frequency of borrowing

We agree that students will choose a book from their teacher directed level. Those who are reading shorter levelled texts will tend to change books more frequently, for example in Year 1 and 2 this may be daily. Students who are reading more challenging books may keep them for a longer period of time.
We agree that if a student is not enjoying what they are reading they may change their book without completion, provided that they show evidence of reasoned reflection.

Matching the text to the student

We agree that PM and Prose Non-Fiction Benchmarking will be carried out as outlined on the assessment calendar for children who are reading levelled texts. We agree that professional judgment (classroom observation, performance in guided reading, informal miscue and other formal benchmarking) will be used at other times of the year to set targets and monitor progress.
We agree that the book taken home from school will be at a level that the child can read comfortably. This level will be written in the home reading diary.

Teacher feedback

Teachers agree to acknowledge parent’s reflections on their child’s reading and comment at least once a week. Oral feedback may also be given to the child on their parent’s comment.
Year 6 teachers agree to acknowledge student’s reflections in Reading Journals weekly.

Parent feedback

Parents will comment positively on the progress their child has made towards their child’s reading targets. They will be reminded to do so at parent teacher meetings, via an introductory letter to home reading and notes in the reading diary.

Target setting

We agree that target setting is an important part of home reading as it gives students ownership of their learning, informs parents and promotes success. Targets will be given that are related to the six areas identified above as skills which can be practised during home reading. We agree that students will be given a manageable number of targets to focus on at any one time and targets will be specific and worded in child friendly language. We agree that a student’s targets will be shared in the home reading diary.

Internet Use Policy

Beacon Hill School Internet Acceptable Use Policy


“The Beacon Hill School community is a safe, caring and stimulating environment where everyone is respected and valued. The children will have every opportunity to achieve in all aspects of school life and they will understand their responsibility as global citizens.”

The Students:

When I use the Internet, I have responsibilities and rules to follow. I agree to:

– keep myself and my friends safe by not giving out personal details including full names, telephone numbers, addresses and images and protecting my passwords

– be respectful in how I talk to and work with others online and never write or participate in online bullying

– use the technology at school for learning, use the equipment properly and not interfere with the work or data of another student

– not bring or download unauthorised programs to the school or run them on school computers

– not look for rude or offensive sites

– use the Internet at school to help me to learn

– remember that the content on the web is someone’s property and ask my teacher to help me get permission if I want to use information or pictures

– think carefully about what I read on the Internet, question if it is from a reliable source and use the information to help me answer any questions (I should not copy and paste the information as my answer).

talk to my teacher or another adult if:

– I need help online
– I am not sure what I should be doing on the Internet
– I come across sites which are not suitable for our school
– someone writes something I don’t like, or makes me and my friends feel uncomfortable or asks me to provide information that I know is private.
– I feel that the welfare of other students at the school is being threatened by online activities

I understand and agree to follow these rules. I understand that I may not be able to access the Internet at school if I do not act responsibly.

Student Name:……………………………………………………………………..

Student Signature:…………………………………………………………….

Parent Permission

I agree to allow my child to use the Internet at school. I have discussed the scenarios, potential problems and responsible use of the Internet with him/her as outlined in this Internet Acceptable Use policy.

I will contact the school if there is anything here that I do not understand. If there is a situation which concerns me, I will contact the school.

Parent Signature :………………………………………… ………………………………

Parent Name: ……………………………………………………………………………………….

Date:…………………… ……………………………………………………………..

Language Policy


“The Beacon Hill School community is a safe, caring and stimulating environment where everyone is respected and valued. The children will have every opportunity to achieve in all aspects of school life and they will understand their responsibility as global citizens.”

Language Philosophy and Practice

At Beacon Hill school we acknowledge that language is a vehicle for transdisciplinary learning and for learning about how language works. We also understand that every teacher is a language teacher. The practices outlined in this policy have been agreed upon collaboratively by all teachers and have included consideration from the perspectives of teachers, parents and students in the school.

Our students come to our school with many different language backgrounds and vary in their ability to learn languages.
All languages are equally valued and may be used as a medium of inquiry during the school day.

We view the on-going language development for BHS students as the shared responsibility of all teachers, parents and students.
We teach language through context and relate new information to existing knowledge.
We view the range of languages within our school as an opportunity which allows us to reflect and celebrate the multilingual society we live in.
We need to prepare students for a world where new technologies and rapid growth in information are transforming our society.

Language Profile of BHS Students

Beacon Hill School is an English medium primary school. Students at our school come predominantly from the local Hong Kong community with the majority having Cantonese as their first language. About 20% of our pupils speak English as their first language. Hindi and Tagalog are the next most common home languages. In total, over 20 languages are represented at Beacon Hill School.

Learning Centre

The learning centre plays an important role in language learning at BHS and is considered the ‘hub’ of the school.

English Language Learning

At BHS English is the primary medium of instruction. Admissions requirements ensure that students enter the school with English language proficiency levels that will allow them to access the curriculum. The English Language curriculum is based on the core learning objectives from the Primary Framework (UK) for Literacy.

Chinese Language Learning

The Chinese programme at BHS is taught in Putonghua, demonstrating our commitment to the local community and our relationship with the greater China region. BHS students represent a wide spectrum of linguistic makeup in Chinese. To achieve differentiations of a manageable number of categories of learners, three major pathways have been established within the ESF Chinese curriculum. While allowing students to reach achievable goals at their own pace, each pathway provides challenges and stimulation to maximize achievement.

Mother Tongue Support

Maintenance of mother tongue is central to our cognitive and cultural development and identity. Developing and using additional languages enriches our intellectual and social growth. Learning and development of the mother tongue scaffolds the acquisition of higher order thinking skills and enhances additional language learning.
We seek to provide opportunities for students to read, write, and speak in their mother tongue in situations where we believe this will enhance the quality of teaching and learning and consequently, student understanding.
New students will be surveyed at the start of the school year. This information will be added to school records where they will be accessible by all staff. Parents will be provided with contact details for mother tongue language support and learning groups across ESF, where these exist.


ESF Language Policy
ESF Chinese Curriculum
ESF Scope and Sequence Documents
IBO PYP Language Scope and Sequence
IBO Guidelines for Developing a School Language Policy