Assessment in the Middle School

Have you noticed that the amount of homework your child does varies over the course of the year? As a parent of a MS student, it is sometimes hard to keep up with what is due and when.  Homework at YIS is an extension of the learning that takes place in the classroom, and is always set with a purpose and is relevant to the material currently being studied.

In the Middle School we teach units of work. At the beginning of the unit the teaching is quite specific and much of the work is completed in class, with some homework being set in preparation for the next lesson.  An assignment is often set and students will work on this in class and for homework. Assignments can vary in length and complexity. Often an assessment task comes at the end of a unit which students demonstrate their skills, understandings and knowledge.  Assessment tasks may also be set during a unit.

Units are about 6 weeks long, though can vary in length and most teachers will begin and end a unit at a similar point in the year. You can see how this means that there are very busy times for students, and quieter homework periods at the beginning of the unit when explicit teaching is taking place.

We have set up calendars on the teachers blogs so we can all see when assignments are due, and we work as best as we can to balance out students loads. There are peak times in the year, which is the nature of life. Students learn how to manage these and this is an important aspect of middle school as they prepare for high school and increased workloads.

It is natural for there to be an ebb and flow of homework, and there are times when your son or daughter may seem like they don’t have much, and times when they feel they have too much. Of course, factors like time management and organization play key roles in students completing work on time.

You can find out about major assignments by visiting the calendars that are on the teachers’ blogs.  Talking to your child about what they are doing and what homework is important, though sometimes information can be less forthcoming as students become more independent. You can also see a picture of your child’s learning through looking at their blog.

You are always welcome to contact your child’s subject teacher if you have any concerns or questions.

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