Academics

Language Policy

AGS Mission

Our mission is to nurture young minds through a sound educational programme which is sensitive to the multicultural ethos, so as to create caring and socially responsible individuals. The school promotes and ensures that each student has ample opportunities to be an impressive communicator, a keen inquirer and one who enhances his/her academics, social and sporting skills, thereby developing into a well-balanced personality.

PURPOSE OF THE LANGUAGE POLICY

This language policy is a working document developed by Principal, academic coordinators and faculty from each school programme (IBPYP, IGCSE and IBDP). The policy is consistent with the stipulated principles and practices of IB and CIE. This document outlines our school’s linguistic and academic goals and defines the programme designed to help our students attain these goals.

This policy is intended to provide an overview and guiding principles for language learning at AGS, Gurgaon which permeates the entire school curriculum through authentic contexts in a culturally rich and diverse environment. Our policy is an agreement to which staff and AGS community are committed.

PEDAGOGY

At AGS, we recognise that all teachers are language teachers who have the responsibility to facilitate language acquisition and promote communication skills through their grade level, subject areas and all activities. The pedagogical attributes of the IBPYP, CIE and IBDP as well as guiding documents are taken into consideration for this policy.

Philosophy

At AGS, we believe language is a vital tool for learning, communicating and being an active member of a global society. We have the responsibility of supporting our students to be multilingual learners. Language opens the mind and presents opportunities that will cultivate internationally-minded citizens. We believe language acquisition is best supported by a language-rich environment which includes books, periodicals, prints, online resources, and teacher and student writing. Teachers are role models for using and learning language and can foster a positive attitude towards language and literature. Language is the major connecting element across the curriculum. Therefore, the focus is on language acquisition, literacy and its application. Language is not perceived as individual content area. The integration of knowledge, skills and strategies of languages enables students to solve problems and think critically and creatively in all subject areas.

Language of Instruction

English is the language of instruction at AGS. Literature is an integral part of the curriculum. By learning language as well as learning about and through language, an appreciation of the richness of language and a love of literature is nurtured. Books are carefully selected to reinforce learning and the development of reading skills, as well as to reflect various cultural aspects. Books are read for enjoyment and can also be discussed, analyzed, compared and contrasted. Students learn how to understand, interpret and respond to the ideas, attitudes and feelings expressed in various texts; to think critically about what they read; and to be able to make predictions and inferences based on information that is both explicit and implicit in the text. Scaffolding and extension in language learning are strategies adopted to differentiate and challenge students.

Language learning at AGS extends beyond the classroom and has close connections to the resource centers. Teachers and students both use the library, ICT labs and varied tools to enrich their language learning as well as learning in other subject areas.

The classroom environment is rich in print and literature to equip students with the tools they need to become lifelong readers and writers who can communicate their thoughts. Teachers act as facilitators who model writing, reading strategies, listening skills and appropriate speech.

Oral language-At AGS, students come from different cultures and backgrounds and strive to demonstrate conversational accuracy. Teachers value hands-on experiences in order to reinforce primary and secondary language in addition to the classroom. Through oral presentations, skits, songs, debates, stories, reading aloud, assembly, etc. students become enthusiastic and open minded about other cultures. AGS provides ample opportunities for students to learn unique ways to communicate with each other. Language as a common practice opens doors to a life time of open mindedness and an appreciation of learning.

Writing- Writing across the curriculum is a significant activity across all grade levels. The writing process involves creating an environment where students can acquire the skills necessary to produce written products for a variety of purposes. The written product can be informative, persuasive, poetic, or in the form of a story or dialogue. When learning to write, students are encouraged to focus on meaning, accuracy and enjoy the writing process.

English Language Support (ELS)

Children from non-English speaking background who need support in English are offered ELS classes. These classes aim to support these students to learn English and support language development in all subject areas.

Mother Tongue Support

The faculty and staff are all accountable for communicating our support of mother tongue languages. We feel that students and parents who speak another language bring an added perspective to learning. We value their views and encourage them to share. We utilize their knowledge as resources and guest speakers. Our library is building resources on books in the home languages of all our students and continues to look for more resources to support both second language acquisition and other mother tongue languages. As the language programme develops, we will seek more opportunities to highlight and support other mother tongue languages.

PYP Perspective at AGS

The focus of language and its application is across subject areas and throughout the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry (POI). Language provides a vehicle for inquiry. The POI provides an authentic context for learners to develop and use language. Wherever possible, language is taught through the relevant, authentic context of the units of inquiry. The PYP language scope and sequence document identifies the major expectations considered essential in language learning.

English Language Support(ELS)

ELS is offered to support students of non-English speaking background to learn English and support language development in all subject areas. They attend 35 minutes classes five times in a week. They will merge into the mainstream classes after an assessment of their language development. Differentiated learning is practiced for these students in the classrooms. Hindi is not offered to them when they are getting ELS. ELS teachers plan with the homeroom teachers.

Second Language

Students of Nursery through grade 5 at AGS, have one Hindi class every day for 35 minutes. All students of Nursery learn the language with their homeroom tutors. From KG to grade 5, Hindi classes are taken by Hindi teachers. Students’ progress in Hindi is continually assessed.

Students of AGS are from different regions within the country and abroad, hence, at different stages of learning in Hindi. The practice for learning Hindi is differentiated to enable students to learn at their pace.

Students from countries other than the host country, India, learn about its culture. They learn about the people, traditions, music, history, and customs of India; students discover what is unique about India, and what we have in common with their countries. This leads the students to appreciate that the world is enriched by many cultures.

Support for Language Development

AGS has several support services available to help students in their language development.

Students who need additional support or an early intervention are discussed in a meeting by the homeroom tutor first with the PYPC and then with the SEN department and Principal. These meetings include classroom teachers, special education teachers, parents and support teachers. The team works together to develop a plan to help the student become successful by setting goals and monitoring progress towards those goals.

This also includes:

SPECIAL EDUCATION- Students who need Special Education services are supported by the classroom teacher and Special Education department. The special education teachers and the classroom teacher work hand in hand to implement the student’s IEP. All services are provided with consideration to the least restrictive environment, considering first providing support within the student's classroom if appropriate.

Teachers work closely with students to provide depth, complexity and enrichment in all areas of learning.

LIBRARY-The librarian collaborates regularly with teachers to support the students’ needs to provide research support, book selection and acquisition of resources. The students are active participants in reading programme in English and Hindi. Differentiated reading and continued assessment through reflections, vocabulary building and language development are elements of the reading programme supervised by the homeroom tutors and Hindi teachers. This programme involves the participation of parents. Parents are also invited to read and share stories with students in relation to the ongoing units of inquiry.

Programmes are being implemented in the library to expose students to a variety of literature in different genres. Author of the month is one such programme.

TECHNOLOGY-Students have access to a wide range of technology that supports language development. Laptops, desk top computers, iPads, cameras, webcams and projectors all help students compose, share and connect ideas. Software includes word processing, presentation, graphic organizing, photo editing and illustration.

Assessment

Students are assessed in their development of oral, written and visual language including viewing and presenting. While the product is assessed as an indicator of growth, the process is vitally important and assessed. Students are given feedback based on both their growth towards individual learning goals and through formal reports at the end of each term. Regular meetings are held with parents, individually, and through parent teacher meetings scheduled in the school almanac.

CIE Perspective

At AGS, English is the language of instruction and the medium through which students learn and communicate their understanding in all subjects. At AGS in order to cater to the needs of multi-cultural students and encourage Indian students to learn foreign languages as prospective global citizens, from Grade 6 to Grade 10, students have the options to choose from Hindi, French, Spanish and German.

Furthermore, the learning of languages through the provision of language curricula for English speakers learning foreign languages and for non-English speakers learning English, in IGCSE English is offered both as First Language English as well as English as Second language.

We support multilingualism by promoting other languages including mother tongues, by allowing candidates to opt for the study of self-taught languages and take the examination either in O level or IGCSE level wherever it is available.

In Grades 6-8 study of Host Country Culture has been initiated to encourage foreign students and non-Hindi speaking students to learn Hindi so that they are able to communicate with others, understand India’s culture and heritage and be comfortable in a foreign country.

Every teacher is a language teacher. Every teacher uses strategies to be ‘language aware’ and to plan language support in their classes. Use of English to English dictionary (non-digital) is used during lessons or examinations-except language exams. English Language Support classes are timetabled for those students who have been assessed for ELS needs according to their schedule. Ongoing feedback is given on the progress of the child. Once the student can work independently, the ELS department in collaboration with the programme coordinator and teachers send a report to the Principal. The Principal reviews student progress and informs parents accordingly.

Assessment

At AGS, to maintain high standards of academic rigour, summative assessments are held every week. In order to reiterate learning and encourage students to be active learners students are assessed on class assignments, research work and presentations.

IBDP Perspective

Aim of the language policy for IBDP students is as follows:

• To have a common language of interaction throughout the campus, whether the interaction is academic or social or recreational

• To discourage formation and thus isolation of any group of students on the basis of language and ethnicity

• To prepare students for higher studies at various universities

• To ensure clear communication and understanding

English language support (ELS SUPPORT)

ELS classes are held for students who need assistance and practice to be able to use English effectively. These classes are time-tabled five times a week and additional support is given in individual cases. Once the student can work independently, the ELS department in collaboration with the programme coordinator and teachers send a report to the Principal. The Principal reviews student progress and informs parents accordingly.

Other languages offered in DIPLOMA PROGRAMME

GROUP I

LANGUAGE A

We offer English and Hindi as Language A to the Diploma Programme students.

The prescribed course aims to introduce the students to a range of literary works of different genres, periods, styles and contexts. The study of works from different cultures and languages will introduce the students to the interdependence of culture on language and vice-versa. It will also enable the students to appreciate the art of fine writing.

Language A is offered at both Higher Level and Standard Level.

The course aims to promote interest and depth of reading among students. Reading will in turn promote fluency and precision in speech and writing enabling effective use of the language.

Self-taught Languages: Students are allowed to study his/her mother tongue as a self-taught language (Standard level only). The school and DPC provide the support when required.

GROUP 2

LANGUAGE B

The Language B course meets the needs of students who have previous knowledge of a second language. We offer the following languages:

• English both at Standard Level as well as Higher Level

• Hindi both at Standard Level as well as Higher Level

• French at Standard Level as well as Higher Level

• Spanish at Standard Level as well as Higher Level

• German at Standard Level as well as Higher Level

AB INITIO LANGUAGE

Diploma candidates who choose to study a new language are offered French, Spanish and German at ab initio level. The course aims to provide students with an ability to deal with everyday communication and provides them with an insight into the culture of that country.

Assessment

AGS makes use of quantitative and qualitative assessment strategies and tools that provide opportunities for peer and self-assessments.

Regular school assessments and reporting play a major role:

• in the students’ and parents’ understanding of the objectives and assessment criteria

• in the students’ preparation for final assessment

• in the development of the curriculum according to the principles of the programme.

The recording and reporting of individual levels of achievement are organized in ways that provide students with detailed feedback on their progress as it relates to the

assessment criteria for each subject group. The assessment reports are also placed in the school’s secure network.

Each subject has different criteria which are the conditions that must be met for an expected result. Criteria generally include knowledge, understanding, skills and presentation.

Teachers organize continuous assessments over the course of the programme according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each subject group. Task specific rubrics are prepared in accordance with the grade descriptors given in each subject area.

Academic progress is internally assessed and IB assessment grades are followed.

ADMISSIONS POLICIES

Applicants are required to complete a student information form that indicates their proficiency in their mother tongue, English and other languages. In the Primary, Middle and Senior Schools, any application for a student who indicates that English is not their mother tongue will be reviewed by the ELS department as part of the admissions policy.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

Parents are an integral part of our community of learners and are encouraged to provide support for language learning at AGS. The school uses multiple methods to communicate to parents the critical importance of maintaining academic proficiency in the mother tongue. Parents are involved as mother tongue teachers and provide resources for mother tongue programmes.

PUBLISHED MATERIALS

Students, parents and staff members at AGS originate from different countries and educational systems. To maintain consistency in published materials, British English spelling will be used for our formal written documentation. However, teachers and students may use their native country’s spelling and punctuation for all other work provided it is employed consistently throughout the document.

COMMUNICATION OF LANGUAGE POLICY TO THE AGS COMMUNITY

The language policy will be introduced to the AGS community through multiple pathways including staff meetings, PTM, grade level meetings and Principal’s News, Orientation programmes and IB Information sessions. The policy will also be featured

on the common server. New staff will be familiarised with the document during orientation.

Plan for Implementation and Review

The Pedagogical Leadership Team accepts the responsibility for ensuring the language policy is put into practice. Teachers and administrators will communicate language policy to parents and post it on the school website. The Leadership Team will regularly evaluate implementation of language policy as evidenced by classroom observations and school presentations.

AGS Language Policy will be reviewed every year or as needed by the Language Policy Steering committee and pedagogical leadership team.

Resources:

• Guidelines for developing a school language policy, IBO

• Making the PYP Happen, A curriculum framework for international education

• PYP Language Scope and Sequence, IBO

• Implementing the curriculum with Cambridge-A guide for school leaders 2014

• Handbook of procedures for Diploma Programme

Reviewed and revised: 22nd July 2016

 

Assessment Policy

AGS Mission

Our mission is to nurture young minds through a sound educational programme which is sensitive to the multicultural ethos, so as to create caring and socially responsible individuals. The school promotes and ensures that each student has ample opportunities to be an impressive communicator, a keen inquirer and one who enhances his/her academics, social and sporting skills, thereby developing into a well-balanced personality.

Philosophy

The assessment policy is a working document developed by Principal, academic coordinators and faculty from each school programme (IBPYP, IGCSE and IBDP). At AGS, Grades Nursery to 5 follow the IBPYP, Grades 6 to 10 follow CIE and grades 11 and 12 IBDP. The policy is consistent with the stipulated principles and practices of IB and CIE. Assessment at Amity Global School, Gurgaon involves collecting and analyzing assessment information, which is used to drive instruction and to communicate effectively with stakeholders within, as well as, outside the community. AGS Assessment Policy serves to guide and inform the staff, parents and community of the school’s assessment practices.

Assessment in Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Student learning is promoted through planning and refining the teaching and learning process through assessments. Summative assessments give teachers an insight into students’ understanding at the culmination of a learning process. Formative assessments provide teachers with understanding to plan and promote further learning.

Assessment will be reflected upon and should effectively guide students through the PYP five essential elements of learning - the acquisition of knowledge, understanding of concepts, mastering of skills, development of attitudes and decision to take action.

All stakeholders should have a clear understanding of what is being assessed and why; the methods used to assess; and the criteria of success for each type of assessment.

Reflection is integral to assessment in the Primary school at AGS as it enhances student learning throughout the Programme of Inquiry, as well as the teaching of learning objectives.

Principles of assessment

A variety of resources and approaches are used at AGS to meet the needs of all learners. Backward design is utilized to ensure the appropriateness of assessments for the learning objectives. Products and performances show a conceptual understanding of the learning objectives. The following are some principles included in effective assessment:

  • connections to IB Learner Profile attributes
  • connections to the Central Idea
  •  connections to the pre-determined objectives, concepts and lines of inquiry within the Programme of Inquiry
  • connections to the PYP Five Essential Elements
  • diverse and varied in method to address different learning styles
  • differentiated to meet the individual student’s learning needs
  • without cultural, ethnic, racial or gender bias
  • frequent and ongoing
  • supportive of concept development
  • concise and clear
  • consistent and grade-appropriate
  • meaningful and relevant to the student
  • inclusive of relevant and timely feedback

Practices—How we assess

Assessment practices include:

  •  assessment of students’ prior knowledge
  • formative assessment tasks
  • summative assessment tasks—assesses central idea
  • transparency—criteria for learning tasks are clear and known in advance by students and sometimes created by students
  • utilizing a range of assessment tools
  • expression of different points of view and interpretations
  • monitoring and assessing student progress in the five essential elements—skills, attitudes, concepts, knowledge, and student-initiated action
  • monitoring and assessing student progress in relation to the IB Learner Profile attributes including student self and peer assessments
  • creating rich tasks that cater to a variety of learning styles, multiple intelligences and differing abilities (differentiated products and performances)
  • gathering evidence from which sound conclusions can be drawn
  • ensuring student progress and performance are assessed in both the subject domains and the units of inquiry
  • creating grade-level grading guidelines to ensure consistency
  • documentation of student success, growth, ability and creativity through methods such as use of student portfolios
  • working with students in the preparation and evaluation of student-led conferences
  • providing opportunities to support and celebrate student learning
  • utilizing collaborative planning to build tools, reflect on implemented strategies, and share and analyze data

Strategies—methods used to gather information about students’ learning

  • observations 
  • performance assessments
  • process-focused assessments
  • selected responses
  • open-ended tasks
  • reflections
  • self and peer assessments
  • student portfolios

Tools—instruments used to collect data

  • rubrics
  • checklists
  • anecdotal records
  • continuums

Reporting

Amity Global School, Gurgaon, provides meaningful feedback consistently to students, parents and community members through parent/teacher/student interviews, student-led conferences, and report cards.

Reports will:

  • be provided every term – two in a year
  • deal with academic and non-academic learning
  • be followed by opportunity for discussion between the child, parents/guardians and teacher
  • include IB Learner Profile in student self-assessment and reflection with comments by teacher and parent

PYP Exhibition

PYP Exhibition is the culminating experience for the IB Primary Years Programme.

It requires students to synthesize their prior knowledge and to apply it in a self-directed manner. The Exhibition provides an authentic summative assessment for the PYP years. The subject of the Exhibition is a student-selected, real-world problem which warrants an extended investigation. It is a celebration which unites students, teachers, and families in an activity which represents the essence of PYP-transdisciplinary skills embedded with the IB Learner Profile and attitudes. Exhibition is undertaken by students in their final year (Grade 5) of the PYP. The Exhibition represents a significant event in the life of our school, encapsulating the essence of the PYP and encouraging younger students to look forward to their final year of the programme and their future participation in the community at large.

Assessment in the CIE

Assessment has a number of purposes that are essential to the education process. These include assessment for learning (providing feedback in support of the learning process) and summative assessment ( determining a learner’s level of development).

Purposes of Assessment

  • Assessments inform schools and the learners about their depth of understanding and their acquisition of specified subject skills.
  • Assessment of specific and transparent educational standards enables the benchmarking of learner achievement on an international scale.
  • Educational standards are referenced to criteria which relate to the objectives of students’ learning.
  • Assessments are planned and designed alongside the curriculum and particular attention is paid to ensure that all assessments are valid, reliable and fair.

At AGS, to maintain high standards of academic rigour weekly summative assessments(SA) are held. In an academic session 2 cycles of summative assessments are held in each of the two terms. Besides these, we have Term End assessments in December and May.

In order to reiterate learning and encourage students to be active learners, students are assessed through Internal Assessments (IA) based on class assignments, research work and presentations. The weightage during Term End Assessments are:

70% Term End Assessment +20% SA+10% IA

The students are encouraged to appear for the Checkpoint exams in Grade 8 to assess their skills in English, Mathematics and Science. This also enables them to understand individual strengths and weaknesses and choose subjects in IGCSE based on their abilities as well as interest.

In Grade 10, students appear for mock examinations by February/March, which help teachers to assess them and send the Predicted Grades to CIE.

At AGS, students take the IGCSE examination in May-June series. However, for students who take Hindi as a second language, the examination takes place in March series.

Self-taught language examinations could be opted either in O level or IGCSE level wherever it is available.

Assessment in IBDP

IBDP Assessment

In keeping with the ethos of approaches to learning, AGS makes use of quantitative and qualitative assessment strategies and tools that provide opportunities for peer and self-assessment. The assessment process at AGS prepares students for the IBDP examination. The principles of assessment follow the guidelines given by IB.

Regular school assessment and reporting plays a major role:

  • in the students’ and parents’ understanding of the objectives and assessment criteria
  • in the students’ preparation for final assessment
  • in the development of the curriculum according to the principles of the programme

The recording and reporting of individual levels of achievement are organized in ways that provide students with detailed feedback on their progress as it relates to the assessment criteria for each subject group. The assessment reports are also placed in the school’s secure network.

Each subject has different criteria which are the conditions that must be met for an expected result. Criteria generally include knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, skills and presentation.

Teachers organize continuous assessments over the course of the programme according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each

subject group. Task specific rubrics are prepared in accordance with the grade descriptors given in each subject area.

Academic progress is internally assessed and IB assessment grades are given based on the following:

  • Summative Assessment (20%)
  • Term End Assessment (80%)

During a term, there will be two cycles of Summative Assessment for each subject and a Term End Assessment. Term End Assessments are given at the end of each term; in December and May. Assessment dates are mentioned in the AGS Calendar, Almanac. Students appearing for IBDP examinations in May take Mock Exams in January and March.

Plan for Implementation and Review

The Principal and Pedagogical Leadership Team accept the responsibility for ensuring the assessment policy is put into practice. Teachers and programme coordinators will communicate assessment policy to parents and ensure posting on the school website. The Leadership Team will regularly evaluate implementation of assessment policy as evidenced by classroom observations and school presentations. AGS Assessment Policy will be reviewed every three years or earlier as needed by the pedagogical leadership team.

Resources

-Making the PYP Happen, A curriculum framework for international education, IBO -Implementing the curriculum with Cambridge-A guide for school leaders 2014 -Diploma Programme assessment Principles and Practice

Reviewed : 22nd July 2016