Assessments and evaluation

Assessments and evaluation

The Finnish School of Kosovo offers a quality international education to children aged 3 to 18 years old, providing a safe and nurturing environment, encouraging all of its students to develop a genuine love for learning and to strive for academic success using Finnish Inspired methodology. The innovative use of data and clear learning objectives is used so that students know exactly where they are in their attainment. Assessment is very skills based and this has proven to accelerate their personal progress.

At Finnish School of Kosovo, although the assessment methods are highly different from the traditional ones, teachers use standardized international assessments which help in understanding the thinking skills and approach to learning for every students and through these data teachers individualize the learning plan for each student.

The Cognitive Abilities (CAT4) is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn and what their academic potential might be and at the same time it evaluates how students think in crucial areas of learning, Finnish School of Kosovo enables all of its students, and not only, the CAT4 assessment which is linked directly to personalizing the individual learning plan for each student, and the results from this assessment help us understand the potential for academic achievement in each child.

How we have personalized learning for each student at Finnish School of Kosovo – by Finnish School Vice Principal, Dr. Tassos Anastasiades

We use data to provide personalised learning journeys. The school uses GL Education’s Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4), Progress Test Series (PT Series) and New Group Reading Test (NGRT), alongside their internal system of age-related curriculum expectations (or steps) for each subject. This provides teachers with a comprehensive overview of each student and allows individualised learning journeys to be mapped for each child.

The student progress sheet brings together scores from CAT4, NGRT and the school’s internal assessment and comments to provide a complete picture of each student, including the curriculum learning objectives. These are reviewed every six weeks, allowing at-a-glance snapshots of student progress throughout the school year. This supports teachers, students and parents in having informed conversations around where each student had got to on their learning journey. We are able to discuss and identify areas for improvement and pinpoint where additional support or challenge might be needed.

Encouraging learner agency and Finnish Inspired methodology

The data also promotes learner agency – building the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that students need across the curriculum. The information empowers students to talk about their own learning and helps them identify where they are in terms of attainment, allowing them to manage their own progress.

Students collect evidence in digital portfolios and Seesaw, where they can track progress through their work and conversations. Every six weeks they report their learning using student-led conferences (SLC) where they review where their evidence of evidence of learning with their parents.

Getting staff engaged

Implementation at the Finnish School of Kosovo is very collaborative and data is shared with teachers in an open and transparent way. We encourage them to use the data, putting together the information and applying this to students’ learning objectives. The GL question level analysis also gives teachers an insight into areas of the curriculum where students have gaps in understanding, supporting lesson planning and personalisation of learning. Using the assessments from GL education, Finnish School has enhanced learning conversations with parents, students and teachers.

Using data for literacy intervention

A large proportion of the students at the Finnish School of Kosovo learn English as an Additional Language (EAL), so the team are aware that literacy is an area that they wanted to look at specifically. Students who are identified by CAT4 as having a lower verbal ability are further investigated using NGRT. Some students, more specifically new students joining our school, have low literacy therefore these data are helpful in identifying the literacy at early stages. Comparisons of different factors such as sentence completion, comprehension etc help to differentiate between EAL students and those who may have other literacy support needs.

The environment is supportive, non-competitive and collaborative, and is designed so that all students can become proficient. Teachers believe that all children can and will learn, they are willing to support students as they struggle, and they need to provide the time necessary for all students to learn.

As in Finland, teaching and learning is structured to develop a strong foundation of knowledge, and key concepts are frequently revisited to allow enough time for slower learners to learn the basics and for higher achievers to extend their learning. Student produce something almost daily to demonstrate what they’ve learned…. data just supports us in ensuring we provide learning challenges resulting in success for every individual.

November 2021
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