E, G, S, N, U . . . How can you make sense of it all? But what does it really mean? And why is there no score or percentage? PASB’s elementary school adopted this grading scale over 20 years ago and has been using it since; though, recently we included year 5, for consistency in our program. Some time has passed since then and with the recent adoption of the Primary Years Program, it is important to review what these letters mean at PASB and look closer at the assessment philosophy.
Let’s start at the beginning. Learning is a developmental process. The teachers design units and lessons based on standards (Common Core and Brazilian Base National Curriculum) keeping in mind the development of each child and their interests. Each child learns best when they are in their “proximal zone of development”, meaning the material is not too hard or too easy for them. Often teachers are designing scaffolds* for lessons so that each child can access the concepts and content in the lesson. From here the teachers teach, observe and collect evidence of learning. After the students have had time with the material, the teacher will record an evidence of learning score. This might be after giving several assignments, collecting written work, listening to students speak or observing students in groups. Teachers are gathering evidence of learning all day long, every day in each classroom. Often parents want to rush children through the process to achieve high grades; however, it is important to meet the child where they are at and support them in their process of growth.