Assessment in the Primary Years Program (PYP)

Reporting in the PYP

How ISNS Communicates Learning

Reporting on assessment at ISNS includes communicating what students know, understand and can do. Reporting involves parents, students and teachers as partners and is honest, comprehensive and understandable to all stake holders. 

Reporting in the Early Years:

In the early years, the journal feature of Seesaw is used as the reporting platform. 

  • Parents will choose 3 Seesaw posts from the semester that they want to discuss with the teacher.

  • On the posts that they choose, parents will comment with one of these prompts:  “I like the way you....”   “I find it interesting how/when you...”   “I am proud of you because...”  

  • Teachers will choose three Seesaw posts from the semester that show growth, skills development or areas for growth.

  • Teachers will arrange face-to-face conferences with parents.

  • This would take the place of report card comments.

  • We will develop an exit report for those students who leave the school and need a report.

  • There will be four scheduled opportunities to meet:

  • The first reporting will happen at the end of September to provide information on how the child has settled into classroom.

  • The second will happen in November in line with the Parent Teacher Conferences

  • The third will happen in April in line with the Student Led Conferences 

  • The fourth will happen at the end of the year (end of May/early June)

Reporting in Grades 1-5: 

In grades 1-5, ManageBac is used as the formal reporting platform. 

Grade 1-5 Reporting Indicators:

Assessment in the Primary Years Program (PYP)

Seesaw is utilized as an informal assessment platform used by teachers and students to share feedback, and by parents as a window into daily classroom life.

Reporting periods in grades 1-5:

Reporting Period 1: Parent Teacher Conference

Time Period: November of each academic year 

Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC) are formal reporting sessions where the parent and teacher meet to discuss the student’s skill development, strengths, and areas for growth.

Reporting Period 2: Semester 1 Report Card  

Time Period: February of each academic year 

Semester 1 Report Cards provide parents with outcomes and indicators regarding the student’s progress in all subjects and progress in Approaches to Learning.

Reporting Period 3: Spring Student Led Conference

Time Period: April-May of each academic year 

Student Led Conferences (SLC) are formal reporting sessions where the students meet with parents to share goals and growth in all areas of the learning.

Link to Information about Student-Led Conferences

Reporting Period 4: Semester 2 Report Card

Time Period: June of each academic year 

Semester 2 Report Cards provide parents with outcomes and indicators regarding the student’s progress in all subjects and progress in Approaches to Learning.

Ongoing: UOI Reporting

In grades 1-5, there are six transdisciplinary Units of Inquiry (UOI) throughout the year. UOI reporting happens three weeks after the completion of the unit.  UOI reporting provides parents with outcomes from the unit and indicator regarding the student’s progress in the subjects covered in the UOI.


Assessment in the Primary Years Program (PYP)

Assessment Strategies used in the PYP:


All students are observed often and regularly, with the teacher taking a focus varying from wider to closer, i.e. from class to individual and from non-participant (observing from without) to participant (observing from within). 

Observation of: 

  • Individual and general class behavior 

  • Student interactions 

  • Subject specific skills (Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Physical Education)

  • Response to instructions 

  • Student application of what has been learned

  • Development in Approaches to Learning

Performance Assessments:

The assessments are goal-directed with established criteria. They provide authentic and significant challenges and problems. In these tasks, there are numerous approaches to the problem and rarely only one correct response. Audio, video and narrative records are often used for this kind of assessment.

Assessment is based on performance during: 

  • Role-play 

  • Presentation 

  • Demonstration 

  • Problem-solving 

  • Response to challenges

Process-Focused Assessments:

The students’ trans-disciplinary and other skills are observed and recorded by noting the typical as well as non-typical behaviours. Collating multiple observations enhances reliability, and synthesizes evidences from different contexts to increase validity. A system of note taking and record keeping is created that minimizes writing. Checklists, inventories and narrative descriptions (such as learning logs) are common methods of collecting observations. Assessment of process driven assignments would focus on:

  • Research effectiveness 

  • Project work 

  • Trans-disciplinary skills 

  • Typical and non-typical behaviours

  • Behaviours over time (i.e. multiple observations) 

  • Behaviours in different contexts, with synthesis of evidence 

Selected responses: 

Single occasion, one-dimensional exercises. Tests and quizzes are the most familiar examples of this form of assessment. Assessment would be for example on:

  • Written Test performance

  • Oral Test performance

  • Quiz responses

Open-Ended Tasks:

Are situations in which students are presented with a stimulus and asked to communicate an original response. The answer might be a brief written answer, a drawing, a diagram or a solution. The work, with the assessment criteria attached, is included in the portfolio.

Assessment Tools:


Is an established set of criteria for rating students in all areas. The descriptors tell the assessor what characteristics or signs to look for in students' work and then how to rate that work on a predetermined scale. Rubrics at times are developed by students. The rubrics are used in all formative and summative assessments. 


Samples of students' work serve as concrete standards against which other samples are judged. Generally, there is a benchmark for each achievement level in a scoring rubric. Teachers are encouraged to set benchmarks that are appropriate and usable within the particular unit context. 


These are lists of information, data, attributes or elements that are presented. A mark scheme is a type of checklist. 

Anecdotal records/ Conferring: 

Anecdotal records are brief notes based on observation of students. “Learning stories” are focused, extended observations that can be analyzed later. 


These are visual representations of developmental stages of learning. They show a progression of achievement or identify where a student is in the process.