Key Stage 3 is used to refer to the three years of schooling under the Cambridge International Syllabus, normally known as Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9, when pupils are aged between 11 and 15. In essence, KS3 refers to the first three years of secondary education.
All students entering Maputo International School at this level, are highly scrutinised before being placed into the most suitable year group based on their performance during an interview, age and previous education. Each year group has two classes of not more than 25 pupils of mixed ability. However, for Mathematics and English, students are set in three groups in accordance with their ability. French and Portuguese also consist of a beginners’ (Foreign Language) group as well as an experienced (1st Language) class. There is room for weak English speakers to improve through Special English.
Assessment is an essential part of a student’s schooling and it will serve various purposes at MIS. Assessing the students helps to:
- Inform teacher, student and parents of the level of attainment as compared to international standards, school standards and class average.
- Help to identify what areas need to be worked on, more or less depending on individual capacities.
- Characterise and monitor the student’s overall development as a process.
Most assessments carried out during the year are integrated into the learning process (e.g. corrections help to enhance learning).
What Students need to acquire:
- Specific content knowledge;
- Specific content skills;
- General literacy skills needed in the subject;
- General organisational skills;
- General communication skills;
- Cognitive skills (some cognitive differentiation levels that students need to attain: recognising information, giving information, describing process or facts, explaining why, and relating to other information).
Students are assessed using a variety of methods:
Tests, quizzes, home work assignments, project work, class work and any other task/work relevant to the subject/topic being taught.
All these shall be considered when issuing an attainment grade. Attainment grades classify overall academic performance and are used as follows:
- A - Very Good;
- B – Good;
- C – Satisfactory;
- D – Unsatisfactory;
- U – Ungraded * .
Effort grades will look at work completion, punctuality in completing/handing in the work required, general participation and involvement in class and out of class activities, whether individually or with peers. Students will be assessed according to individual capacity and how much effort they actually put into what they do. Personality differences will of course be taken into consideration.
Conduct will include behaviour in general in class, playground or anywhere that a school activity might be taking place, and students' attitude towards colleagues, teaching and non-teaching staff. Any behaviour in class that interferes with the learning process of peers is considered non-acceptable.
Attendance and punctuality will be considered but not as part of any category mentioned above. Poor attendance and lateness naturally affects school work, but it will be qualified as a separate item.
Effort and Conduct will be assessed as a quantified grade (A to D) whereas attendance will be indicated as a quality grade (Very Good to Unsatisfactory). At the end of the year students sit externally assessed Cambridge Checkpoints tests in English, Mathematics and Science. In other subjects there is an end of year assessment (internal exam) for grade 9, but this will count no more than between 20 and 25% of the year grade.
Assessment aims to improve the students’ performance and help in the development of skills necessary in future activities. It is a complex and dynamic process which should involve at all times teachers and students, and even parents. Each subject may have slight variations in terms of weight given to different skills or types of assessment. Please feel free to contact individual teachers/department heads/ KeyStage 3 leader for a full explanation of assessment criteria for individual subjects.
In term 3 of grade 9, parents and students are invited to an IGCSE Options Evening, held in conjunction with KS4 director. During this meeting, subject groups and choices are explained for the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) programme.Head of KS3
Antonio Chinguenhane & Raymond Maturure