IB Programme

IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

International Baccalaureate World School Logo


The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. 

Assessment Policy

PYP Definition

Assessment is the gathering and analysis of information about student performance. It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at various stages in the learning process. It is the means by which we analyze student learning and the effectiveness of our teaching and acts as a foundation on which to base our future planning and practice. It is central to our goal of guiding the child, from novice to expert, through the learning process.

(Primary Years Program Assessment Handbook, January 2000. © International Baccalaureate Organization)

Assessment Philosophy

At Orangewood Elementary School, we believe that assessment provides students with multiple opportunities to show, apply, and reflect on their development as a learner. It is differentiated and allows for creativity in how students show understanding of concepts and developing knowledge. Assessments determine areas of strength, growth, development, and needs while guiding and informing instruction.

Assessment is a continuous process that allows teachers, parents, and staff to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement, as well as the effectiveness of the program. At Orangewood Elementary we believe that through assessment we can strengthen teaching and guide the learning process.  

Purpose for Assessment

The purpose of assessment is to inform teachers, administration, students, and parents. Assessment promotes effective teaching and learning. It determines the learners’ levels of understanding and allows them to reflect on their learning. Assessment gives students the opportunity to promote further understanding and investigation of the unit of inquiry.  Assessment informs parents and enables them to better support their children. Assessment helps guide a teacher’s instruction. It allows the teacher to have data to assist in planning differentiated lessons and units of inquiry. Assessments allow a teacher to monitor student’s growth and progress to help identify student’s individual strengths and needs to determine student’s understanding and knowledge.

What We Assess

At Orangewood Elementary School, we believe assessment is essential to planning and guiding instruction as well as supporting and enhancing student learning. Through this ongoing process, we use a wide variety of assessments to effectively guide students through the five essential elements of learning:  the understanding of concepts; the acquisition of knowledge; the mastery of skills; the development of learner profile attributes and attitudes; and the decision to take responsible action.  Assessment is a collaborative process that involves students being actively responsible for their own learning and becoming lifelong learners. Assessment allows us to share student growth and progress with the entire school community. Since assessment is pivotal a way to measure student progress towards the essential elements of the Primary Years Programme, only student work that has been completed in class will be used for reporting and recording data.

Students are assessed in the following areas:
• Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, Personal Social Physical Education (PSPE), Arts, Technology, and IB units of inquiry
• Development of IB Learner Profile attributes and attitudes
• Prior knowledge, key concepts, related concepts, essential skills, approaches to learning, listening, and speaking

Why We Assess

• Check for student understanding of standards, concepts, and developing knowledge
• Monitor progress to guide instruction
• Show synthesis and application of knowledge 
• Determine areas of student strength, growth, development, and need
• Advise placement for intervention
• Allow for student reflection on their learning
• Inform stakeholders to maintain accountability

Principles of Assessment

Assessments are presented in a variety of formats and are used for different purposes. The process of assessment is ongoing, providing students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding. The results of the assessments are used to inform stakeholders of progress. 

Types of Assessments

Pre-Assessments are given at the beginning of a unit to assess prior knowledge and experiences. Data from these assessments is used to guide learning experiences and activities.  

Formative is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what the students already know in order to plan the next stage in learning. Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other.

Summitive assessment happens at the end of the teaching and learning process and gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. The Primary Years Program promotes the use of a range and balance of school-based assessment and feedback techniques including student/teacher/parent conferences, writing samples, structured observations, and performance tasks assessed by teachers and by the students themselves. (Benchmarks, Profiles, End of Planner assessments…)

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Characteristics of Effective Assessments

• Authentic
• Provide multiple opportunities to show and apply understanding (Pre, Formative, and Summative)
• Differentiated based on student need
• Offer a variety of tools and strategies 
• Specific and aligned to an objective
• Formal and informal
• Measureable and objective 
• Allow for creativity 
• Allow for reflection

Assessment Practice

A variety of assessment strategies and tools will be used to provide feedback on the learning process. Assessments are administered on an ongoing basis and can occur weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. This information will be gathered and reported to all necessary stakeholders.

Strategies for Assessments

Formative, Summative, and Self-Assessments are incorporated throughout the curriculum. Classroom assessment serves different purposes at different times. Formative assessments deliver information during the instructional process and provide information to be used to plan the next stage of learning. Summative assessments measure students’ understanding of the central idea and prompt them toward action. Students engage in peer and self-assessment and reflect on their learning during the entire process of learning. Students are active participants in creating components of assessments. There are a range of strategies for formative and summative assessments.

How We Collect and Record Data

• State Assessments

  -Smarter Balanced

  -California English Language Development Test
• District and Grade Level Assessments
   -Accelerated Math

  -Accelerated Reader

  -Achieve 3000


   -Writing Prompts
• Open-ended responses
• Presentations
• Portfolios (Grade Level Portfolio and Multi-year Portfolio)
• Exhibition in 5th grade
• Self and
peer evaluation

• Check off lists
• Teacher observation form
• Rubrics (student and teacher created)
• Teacher anecdotal records
• Standards-based report card

How We Analyze and Report Student Progress

• Grade level and staff collaborative meetings
• Analyzing data and student work samples
• Reporting on the IB units
• Standards-based report card
• Rubrics 
• Parent-Teacher Conferences


Making the PYP Happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education; IBO (2012)

Essential Elements


There are 6 Transdiciplinary Themes

  • Who We Are
  • Where We Are In Place And Time
  • How We Express Ourselves
  • How The World Works
  • How We Organize Ourselves
  • Sharing The Planet



  • What is it like?


  • How does it work?


  • Why is it like it is?


  • How is it changing?


  • How is it connected to other things?


  • What are the points of view?


  • What is our responsibility?


  • How do we know?


  • Communication skills
  • Research skills  
  • Self-management skills
  • Social skills  
  • Thinking skills 


  • Appreciation  
  • Commitment  
  • Confidence  
  • Cooperation  
  • Creativity  
  • Curiosity
  • Empathy  
  • Enthusiasm  
  • Independence  
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Tolerance