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IBDP Policies

Academic Honesty Policy

Version 1.4 November 2019
Discovery Centre International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – Academic Honesty Policy

CONTENTS

  1. Background
  2. Purpose
  3. Audience/Stakeholders
  4. Subject/Scope
  5. Rationale
  6. Philosophy and Principles
  7. Academic Honesty aligned with IB Learner Profile
  8. Academic Honesty
  9. Academic Dishonesty:
  10. Malpractice
  11. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
  12. Denying other’s access to Information or Material
  13. Academic Honesty: Roles and Responsibilities
  14. Final Award Committee
  15. Investigation of Malpractice
  16. Consequences of Academic Dishonesty
  17. Training
  18. Communicating (and Communications about) the Academic Honesty Policy
  19. Monitoring and review of the Academic Honesty Policy
  20. Bibliography

1.       Background

The Discovery Centre is authorized to start, run, administer and manage the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for its students in Karachi, Pakistan.

In this context, Discovery Centre is required to have in place an Academic Honesty Policy (AHP) and an associated manual/guide, including other outputs – the school’s website and the admissions packet, for example, that guides, administers and monitors best practices in academic honesty by all of its relevant stakeholders.

While the school has an academic honesty policy manual for its existing educational systems at the Discovery Centre that has been in operation since the school’s inception, current document is prepared specifically for administration and management of the IBDP at Discovery Centre.

This ‘document’ is primarily initiated and triggered by the need to fulfill IB authorization requirements, and it is reviewed yearly to make it suitable for internal circulation (and for associated actions) to all stakeholders.

 

2.       Purpose

This document articulates the Discovery Centre policy on academic honesty for the IB Diploma Programme.

 

3.       Audience/Stakeholders

This document is shared with and signed by the following Discovery Centre stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the school management.  The primary (‘impactees’) stakeholders of this document are the students.

 

4.       Subject/Scope

The Discovery Centre – IBDP policy on academic honesty:

  1. Provides a rationale for putting in place the policy
  2. Defines academic honesty, academic dishonesty, plagiarism, malpractice, and collusion (and nuances therein)
  3. Identifies all the stakeholders, and their responsibilities in this context
  4. Articulates the procedures and processes to be followed against specific events germane to nature of an event in the landscape and nature of academic honesty, including the rights of the stakeholders (in particular, the students)
  5. Identifies ways of and types of training relevant to stakeholders (teachers and students) in understanding and following academic honesty
  6. States a mechanism for communicating the policy
  7. States a practical schedule for the monitoring and evaluation of the policy against experience
  8. The scope of this document is consistent with the recommendations and guidelines for a school level manual / document of the core IBDP document on academic honesty titled Academic Honesty (2011).

 

5.       Rationale

There are various aspects that need to be considered by educational institutions in the modern times. This includes information overload, access to wide variety of sources and dependency on technology.

Education and learning are no longer confined to textbooks and notebooks, it includes internet and multiple applications to play around with the information. Where this has made learning more convenient, it has also increased the level of risk associated with misuse of information in the form of plagiarism, collusion and intellectual infringement. This hinders creative and critical thinking along with the development of original ideas.

This gives rise to the need for protecting intellectual capital through firm policies related to Academic Integrity to inculcate and further develop the idea of academic honesty in terms of acquiring, sharing, disseminating and indeed ‘acknowledging’ knowledge. It is broadly in this context that the Discovery Centre has prepared a policy that can guide academic honesty at the school and within that essentially ‘protect’ students and enable them to be ethically sound governors of knowledge.  In particular this AHP serves the school’s IB Diploma Programme

 

6.       Philosophy and Principles

By necessity the philosophy and underlying principles of the Discovery Centre school’s AHP are derived from and sourced by the IB’s mission and strategy statement:

“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.” ~Source: http://www.ibo.org/mission/

 As such, the Discovery Centre’s AHP is derived from the overall directives of the IBO to which it is obligated to follow. IBDP’s academic honesty policy advocates the permeation of the virtue of truthfulness in all the values and skills that instill personal integrity and best practices in a pedagogical school setting.

The IB aims to develop and produce graduates who are honest, trust worthy, respectful of others and responsible for their own actions. Respecting the need for authentic student work is an important part of this goal. We acknowledge IBO’s desire to produce young people who are principled and responsible. To that extent, students will be held “accountable for the ethical use of ideas and words of others.” (IBDP Academic Honesty 2007). The school’s concern to promote academic honesty is in full accordance with the stance taken by the IB, as described in the publication “Academic Honesty: Guidance for Schools”.

In turn, the school’s IBDP Academic Honesty Policy also incorporates and reflects its understanding and experience of the local context.

 

7.       Academic Honesty aligned with IB Learner Profile:

The IB Learner Profile is embedded in the Discovery Centre’s daily life and therefore is the heart of this policy. Further guidance comes from the IB publication “Academic Honesty: Guidance for Schools”. In developing the school’s academic honesty policy, we encourage our students to develop IB Learner profiles:

 

8.       Academic Honesty

According to the IB, ‘Academic Honesty’, “…must be seen as a set of values and skills that promote personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment. It is influenced and shaped by a variety of factors including peer influence, culture, parental expectations, role modeling and taught skills.” (Section 1.1: IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)

It is defined as an authentic piece of work based on one’s original ideas and work of others fully acknowledged.

  • Authenticity of Work

“An authentic piece of work is based on the student’s individual and original ideas along with the ideas and work of others being full acknowledged. Therefore, all assignments for assessment, regardless of their format must wholly and authentically use that candidate’s own language, expression and ideas. Where the ideas or work of another person are represented with a candidate’s work, whether in the form of direct quotation or paraphrase, the source of those ideas or the work must be fully and appropriately acknowledged.” (Section 1.5: IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)

It is important to note that students are expected to produce authentic pieces of assessed work in all subjects at all times using proper referencing procedures.

Another area of concern is the validity of data – particularly in the sciences. Data must not be fabricated or manipulated falsely to suit a student’s needs.

  • Students must acknowledge use of the following
  1. The work and ideas of others
  2. Version of another person’s words
  3. CD ROM, Email messages, Websites, Chat Rooms, Blogs
  4. Electronic Media (News Feeds, PoDiscovery Centreasts, YouTube etc)
  5. Sources of Photographs, Maps, Illustrations, Computer Programmes, Data, Graphs, Audio-Visual aid
  6. Direct Quotations
  7. Works of art including: Film, Dance, Music, Theatre, Arts, Visual Arts (Section 2.3: IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)
  • Intellectual Property

Every effort will be made to prevent plagiarism and students will be asked to respect various forms of intellectual property.

IP (Intellectual Property) is divided into 2 categories:

  1. Industrial Property: This includes patents, trademarks and industrial designs
  2. Geographical indicators of source and copyright: It includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures and architectural designs.

According to IB, “The concept of intellectual property is potentially a difficult one for candidates to understand because there are many different forms of intellectual property rights, such as patents, registered designs, trademarks, moral rights and copyright. Candidates must at least be aware that forms of intellectual and creative expression (for example, works of literature, art or music) must be respected and are normally protected by law.” (Section 1.3: IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)

  • Proper Conduct during Examinations

Students will be expected to adhere to policy during exams. Malpractice situations will be communicated with the students and will be documented as well. Students will be made aware of proper conduct procedures before their scheduled examinations.

  • Legitimate Cooperation/Collaboration and Creativity

In some units, students may legitimately cooperate and collaborate on a project, sharing materials or data collected and discussing the interpretation of such material. Examples of legitimate Cooperation and collaboration include:

  1. Informal Study/Discussion Groups
  2. Interpretation/Discussion of Assessment criteria
  3. Strengthening and development of academic writing, study skills through peer assistance

An academically honest student is expected to:

  1. Follow all examination rules
  2. Complete and submit his/her own work
  3. Encourage others to take responsibility for their own work and/or seeks help from the teacher
  4. Acknowledge information taken from all sources
  5. Uphold and value the academic honesty policy
  6. Use direct quotations appropriately

S/he does not:

  1. Copy the internal assessment work of other students
  2. Give another student his/her work to copy
  3. Use notes during a test unless allowed by the teacher or permitted by the examination rules
  4. Do homework for another student
  5. Present material written by another student as his/her own
  6. Purchase and submit pieces written by someone
  7. Write essays for other students
  8. Present artistic or creative work in any medium that has literally been reproduced except in a manner allowed by the teacher or permitted by the examination rules

9.       Academic Dishonesty:

Academic dishonesty consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate or otherwise tamper with data, information, records or any other material that is relevant to the student’s participation in any course, laboratory or other academic exercise/function.

10.   Malpractice

It is defined as a behavior which may result in someone gaining an unfair advantage over another. Most, not all, such attempts fall into one or more of the following categories.

  • Plagiarism

One of the most common forms of cheating is plagiarism, using another’s word or ideas without proper citation. When students plagiarize, they usually do so in one of the following six ways.

  1. Using another writer’s words without proper citation. If another writer’s words are used, quotation marks are placed around the quoted material and include a footnote or other indication of the source of the quotation.
  2. Citing your source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks. This makes it appear as if you have paraphrased rather than borrowing the author’s exact words.
  3. Borrowing all or part of another student’s paper or using someone else’s outline to write your own paper.
  4. Using a paper writing “service” or having a friend write the paper for you. Regardless of whether you pay a stranger or have a friend do it, it is a breach of academic honesty to hand in work that is not your own or to use parts of another student’s paper.
  • Collusion

Collusion is defined as supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in “allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another”. (Section 12.2: IBDP Academic Honesty)

A candidate allows another candidate to copy all or part of his/her work and the other candidate that copies the work then submits that work as his/her own.

  • Duplication of Work

This is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or IB requirements.

A candidate hands-in work that is the same or substantially similar for 2 different assessment components. A student submitting a single piece of work for credit in two different subjects is actually making multiple submissions for which he/she must clearly inform both teachers involved.

  • Misconduct during an examination

It includes any behavior that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate. It may involve:

  1. Using unauthorized notes or other study aids during an examination
  2. Using unauthorized technology during an examination
  3. Improper storage of prohibited notes, course materials and study aids during an exam such that they are
  4. accessible or possible to view
  5. Looking at other student’s work during an exam where collaboration is not allowed
  6. Attempting to communicate with other students in order to get help during an exam
  7. Undertaking any activity intended to obtain an unfair advantage over other students
  • Miscellaneous
  1. Malpractice includes any behavior that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate. (Section 12.5: IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)
  2. Fabrication: Falsifying or inventing any information, citation or data. It also includes using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate.
  3. Altering graded work and submitting it for regarding
  4. Allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting it as one’s own
  5. Obstructing or interfering with another student’s academic work

11.   Facilitating Academic Dishonesty

  1. Aiding another person in an act that violates the standards of academic honesty
  2. Allowing other students to look at one’s own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed
  3. Providing information, material or assistance to another person knowing that it may be used in violation of course, departmental or college academic honesty policy
  4. Providing false information in connection with any other honesty inquiry

12.   Denying other’s access to Information or Material

  1. Any act that maliciously hinders the use of or access to library or course materials
  2. Removing of pages from books, journals or reserve materials
  3. Intentional hiding of library materials, refusal to return reserve readings to the library

All of these acts are considered as dishonesty and harmful to the society.

 

13.   Academic Honesty: Roles and Responsibilities

  • Role of IB:

The role of IB is to:

  1. Provide the regulations and instructions that govern the conduct of each examination session.
  2. Offer guidance to schools on what constitutes malpractice and how it can be prevented.
  3. Investigate cases of illegal malpractice, in liaison with the school concerned.
  4. Review all available evidence collected during an investigation into malpractice and decide whether to dismiss the allegation or upload it.
  5. Make a final decision on cases of suspected malpractice and notify the head of school of the decision.
  • Role of School Head (HOS) and Diploma Programme Coordinator (DPC)

In collaboration with the DPC, the HOS school will ensure that all candidates:

  1. Understand what constitutes academic honesty and an authentic piece of work
  2. Understand what constitutes malpractice, particularly plagiarism and collusion
  3. Receive guidance on the skills of academic writing and acknowledging sources
  4. Know the consequences of being found guilty of malpractice
  5. Understand their rights
  • Teachers’ Responsibility

Teachers should:

  1. Provide students with instruction on how to use ethical research practices.
  2. Provide instruction and guidelines on academic writing and reference styles required in each subject.
  3. Provide students with consistent advice and feedback in the drafting process of assessed work as permitted within the guidelines of the IB.
  4. Support and comply with the school’s AHP, including in particular the identification of instances of academic dishonesty and in following its associated protocol
  5. Confirm, to the best of his or her knowledge, that all candidate work accepted or submitted for assessment is the authentic work of the student.
  6. Assist in the detection of instances of plagiarism.
  7. Provide clear guidelines on the procedures of conducting and assessing group work with emphasis on the difference between collaboration and collusion.
  8. Ensure that they are trained in basic research practices through both their own initiatives and through school administered in-house training by the Librarian and or any other such expert employed by the school
  9. Lead by example, in particular in their own citation work that is shared with students and other stakeholders
  10. Demonstrate high standards of scholarship and academic integrity in their work and conduct
  • Role of Students

Students must:

  1. Have ultimate responsibility for ensuring that his or her work is authentic, with the work of others or ideas of others fully and correctly acknowledged.
  2. Comply with all internal school deadlines so that suitable feedback time is provided before work is submitted to IB.
  3. Comply with academic honesty guidelines in written and oral assignments and in the examination sessions.
  4. Seek advice from his/her teachers and/or librarian for clarification on matters related to Academic Honesty.
  • Rights of Students

The AHP is essentially created to safeguard students and to empower them to ethically conduct academic work in the immediate instance, as well as to promote and develop in them an ethically responsible disposition.

Students have the right to appeal decisions made by members of the School Academic Honesty Policy Committee to the Diploma Coordinator who heads the Committee.

(All teachers by default are part of the School Academic Honesty Policy Committee which is headed by the Diploma Coordinator; in due course of time, the DPC may appoint this role to the Librarian or one of the teachers).

Students must submit their case in writing within a week of the decision to the Diploma Coordinator articulating why they believe the decision ought to be rescinded or re-considered. Parents will be required to sign the appeal application.

In collaboration with the Committee members of AHP, the DPC must revert to the student within one week of a formal written receipt of an appeal from the student.

The right to appeal is reserved for cases of Level II and Level III.

  • Examiner’s Responsibility

In internal year-round examinations (that are not sent to the IB office) the examiner will essentially be the teacher of the subject in question. Therefore, in this situation the examiner will follow the responsibilities imposed on teachers (as noted in section 3 above).

The role of external examiners will be triggered when they are moderating internal assessments that are sent by the school to them and or when they are assessing the final papers of any given subject. In this context the role of the examiner will be determined by the IB office.

Examiners are experienced educational practitioners who are familiar with texts and websites that deal with their subject area. Examiners are well placed to identify plagiarism and they are expected to be vigilant and report to the IB in any case where there is evidence to support an allegation of malpractice.

  • Role of Librarian

The IB Academic Honesty document states that:

“Teachers should take advantage of the role and expertise of the school librarian. Trained librarians are fully aware of issues associated with plagiarism, copyright and other ethical issues. School librarian will teach and imply good academic practices for documenting sources used. Their knowledge of sources available and their research skills can be used to validate sources cited and they are often able to trace the origins of suspect passages. More importantly, the librarian’s skills in locating, evaluating and using information can help students find and use authoritative and reliable information from a variety of sources, print, online, people and more.” (IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)

Discovery Centre has appointed a librarian and she will be supported by the TOK teacher and the EE supervisor who will be the core members of the Discovery Centre AHP Committee. The Diploma Coordinator, in consultation with the Head of the School, may form the AHP Committee. In this capacity the committee members will also be responsible for updating the Discovery Centre’s AHP Document.

Driven by the IB AHG, one of the core roles of the school librarian and the AHP committee will be to train incoming students of DP 1 during the orientation week. Apart from familiarizing students with the Discovery Centre’s AHP, the TOK teacher will conduct a hands-on information literacy session which will encompass introductory research skills. Indeed, prior to the orientation week itself, the committee will also train all teachers from all subject ‘groups’.

The librarian will be accessible during and a little after school hours throughout the two-year program. Teachers in particular will constantly encourage students to take recourse to the committee members for advice, direction and guidance with respect to all matters of academic honesty.

The formal citation standard and style used by the DISCOVERY CENTRE will be the American Psychological Association (APA) style – www.apa.org.

  • Role of the Parents

They must provide support by sharing the school’s academic honesty policy with their children encouraging ethical behavior and monitoring student’s work in the home such as: Computer use, homework or written assignments. Parents will also jointly sign the Academic Honesty: Student Contract.

14.   Final Award Committee

If the Final Award Committee has considered a breach of regulations, the appropriate head of school will be notified of the decision reached by the final award committee.

15.   Investigation of Malpractice

Students are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their submitted work is authentic. Once submitted, the subject teacher will review the work. The following list outlines the possible procedure that should be followed where a suspicion of malpractice occur.

15.1 Procedure of Investigation by School

  1. The teacher will notify the DPC if malpractice is suspected and any suspicion of malpractice will be kept confidential.
  2. The teacher and DPC will determine if malpractice has taken place based on information and investigation.
  3. The DPC will inform the parents of the process.
  4. If evidence of malpractice is confirmed, the students and parents will be notified of the consequences.

15.2 Procedure of Investigation by IBO

The four most common circumstances that initiate investigation by the IB are:

  1. A Coordinator (upon being informed by the teacher) informs IB Cardiff that they suspect a final work submitted for assessment may be affected by malpractice.
  2. A coordinator informs IB Cardiff that malpractice may have taken place during an assessment.
  3. An examiner suspects malpractice and provides evidence to justify his/her suspicion.
  4. An IB member of staff identifies examination material that may not be the authentic work of a candidate and provides evidence to justify his/her suspicion. (Section 7.1: IBDP Academic Honesty 2011)

 

16.   Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

Violations of Academic Honesty will be divided into 3 levels. These levels are determined by the importance of the assignment and premeditation of the student.

 Level One:

Violations will be dealt with by the teacher privately with the student and will be reported to the coordinator. Students who are caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive a zero on the suspected assignment. Parents may be contacted in these situations.

Level One violation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Copying homework
  2. Looking at another student’s test/quiz
  3. Allowing another student  to look at your test/quiz
  4. Using other secretive methods of receiving or giving answers on a test/quiz
  5. Taking information from another source that is not properly cited
  6. Working with others on an assignment that was meant to be done individually

Level Two:

Violations in this category are severe and will be dealt with by the teacher, the coordinator and the administration. Parents will be contacted immediately in these situations.

Level Two violations include, but are not limited to:

  1. Copying paper from the internet, other publications
  2. Taking any part of a test to use or give to others
  3. Submitting a computer programme that has been developed by another student

 These violations will be considered THEFT.

As a consequence of Level Two violation:

  1. Student will receive a zero on the suspected assignment
  2. The points on this assignment will not be added to the student’s score
  3. Exclusion from extra-curricular activities

Level Three:

Level Three violations are extreme and will be dealt with by the administration of the school.

Level Three violations include, but are limited to:

  1. Stealing examinations
  2. Altering grades on a computer database

Sanctions will include (but are not limited to) removal from the IBDP.

 

17.      Training

Training for teachers, and students in particular, will take a few core forms.

  • Students

At the first instance as students join the DP program, then at the time of the one week orientation, they will be ‘taken through’ the AHP by the AHP Committee of the Discovery Centre or the DPC. In addition students will be taken through the American Psychological Association (APA) citation standards and styles.  They will be shown demonstrations of plagiarism software such as turnitin that the school’s Head office has identified and is being used.

Throughout the year teachers will continue to embed best practices with respect to academic honesty and act as exemplars for it. In preparing assignments and or any other special research project (such as the ‘extended essay’), teacher will accord attention to student citations. As noted earlier (section on Teachers Role) teachers themselves will use appropriate citations when they share their work with others, including students. In these few practical ways the school hopes to constantly ingrain ethical practices in our students.

  • Teachers

Well ahead of the IBDP program commencement date all teachers have been trained by the deputy designated by the DPC on using plagiarism software Turnitin, Managebac, AHP of IB and code of conduct for examinations of IBDP. New teachers during the course of the year will also be trained as one of school’s on-going professional Development program.

 

18.   Communicating (and Communications about) the Academic Honesty Policy

The AHP will be timely communicated to all stakeholders. This will typically be during orientation. Students and their parents will sign-off on the ‘Academic Honesty Policy Student Contract’ (see appendix), and original copy of this contract will be filed in individual student records maintained by the school administration (the DPC’s office). In addition, the AHP will be posted on the schools website; any changes to the AHP will be formally communicated in writing to the students and parents (including other stakeholders), and if need be their signatures re-obtained. Records of all communications around the AHP including incidents therein will be maintained by the DPC office.

 

19.   Monitoring and review of the Academic Honesty Policy

This policy will be reviewed regularly as part of the school’s and the IB’s self-assessment procedure, usually once every academic year.

 

20.   Bibliography

IB Academic Honesty 2007

IB Academic Honesty 2011

Academic Honesty Policy (Charlotte Town Rural High School: 2009/10)

Academic Honesty Policy (Beaconhouse School System)

Admission Policy

Version 1.4, November 2019
Discovery Centre International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – Admission Policy

CONTENTS

  1. ADMISSION POLICY
  2. PROCEDURE
  3. DOCUMENTATION
  4. ADMISSION ASSESSMENT
  5. CONDITIONAL OFFERS
  6. SPECIAL EDUCATION
  7. ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP
  8. LANGUAGE POLICY: (EXCERPT)
  9. MISCELLANEOUS
  10. BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

1.       ADMISSION POLICY

Discovery Centre IB Diploma Programme admission policy is designed not only to encourage and promote diversity amongst our students but also to ensure that they benefit from our educational provisions and be successful in relation to our structured objectives for learning.

Nonetheless, we do understand that some students are less likely to benefit from our model of education. In light of this very fact, our admissions policy is designed so as to help us identify such students and allow them to make the best choices in line with their individual needs.

Admission to the school will be determined on the sole discretion of the admission committee. The following considerations are most likely to be taken into account:

  • The likelihood of the applicant successfully completing the diploma program.
  • The applicants understanding of what the IB Diploma program encapsulates and what is required of him for successful completion of the program.
  • The capacity of the school to meet the educational needs of the applicant.
  • The result of the admission test (where applicable) and the performance of the applicant in the interview with the admissions committee.
  • BSS will operate a policy of rolling admissions allowing enrolment at any time during the academic year and on the availability of seat. (provided that it does not affect the completion of the course)

Discovery Centre does not guarantee admission to every applicant and reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant if, it appears to the admissions committee, that doing so is in the best interest of the school and/or the student. In doing so the following considerations are most likely to be taken into account:

  • A student who does not have the required documentation to reside and study in Pakistan.
  • A student who has been expelled from the previous educational institution on grounds of violent or aggressive behavior and gross misconduct.
  • A student who is not living with his immediate family or guardian.
  • A student with criminal record.

2.       PROCEDURE:

  • Collection of the admissions package from the admission office or the school website.
  • Completion of all the online forms or in hard copy. In case of hard copy the form should be submitted to the school admission office.
  • Payment of the non-refundable registration fee in PKR.
  • Submission of documents to the admissions office.
  • School notification to the candidate of the admissions test (where appropriate) and/or the interview schedule.
  • Candidate’s interview conducted by a panel comprising of DPC, CAS coordinator, CA and at least two other faculty members.
  • Communication of the school’s decision to the parents.
  • Issuance of the fee invoice to the parents.
  • Accreditation of the payment to the School’s account one week prior to the commencement of classes.

3.       DOCUMENTATION:

The following documents must be provided to the admissions office:

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of NIC of parents/guardians
  • 5 x passport size picture of the applicant to be attached to the application form for admission.
  • Official school transcripts from the previous educational institution/s for the past two years. Transcripts must be submitted in sealed envelope
  • Results of any special academic or psychological assessments

4.       ADMISSION ASSESSMENT:

The goal of assessments will be to determine language proficiency and the skills necessary to be a successful DP candidate. This test is mandatory for the students applying from other than O Levels stream.

  • English Proficiency Test o There will be a reading and listening comprehension assessment.
  • Essay (This task intends to assess the candidate’s English language and essay writing skills (structure, language and complexity) as well as their capacity for critical and analytical thinking).
  • Interview (Oral Language Skills) o Interviews will be taken to analyze that the candidate is able to effectively communicate using English.

5.       CONDITIONAL OFFERS:

Students who are awaiting results may be offered conditional acceptance into the diploma program. In such cases the conditions for acceptance will be clearly communicated to the concerned students.

6.       SPECIAL EDUCATION:

Keeping in view the schools limited resources it may not be possible to cater children with severe psychological learning disabilities. In light of this, all students who are offered a place at BSS with special needs must present a recent psycho-educational assessment which has been conducted by a licensed psychologist within the last two years (a list of the school’s approved psychologists can be obtained from the admissions office).The appropriateness of the child’s enrolment will be determined by the results of the evaluation.

Special education needs must be declared at the time of admission. Failure to do so may result in the family being asked to withdraw the student from school on the recommendation of the DPC.

7.       ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP:

O-Level Students:

No. of A/A* Percentage of Scholarship
8 A/A* 100 %
7 A/A* 75%
6 A/A* 50%
5 A/A* 25%

8.       LANGUAGE POLICY: (EXCERPT FROM THE DISCOVERY CENTRE IB DP LANGUAGE POLICY)

  • At IB DP level, students must meet a level of fluency that enables them to think in English. A candidate must therefore be successful in spontaneously decoding (mentally in English) what they hear and read at a level of complexity, appropriate to the diploma programme courses.
  • In light of this all applicants must obtain a minimum of 70% marks in English in their previous examination (Matric or GCSE Cambridge International Examination).
  • The capacity to speak more than one language is an integral part of this programme and all students at DP school will be provided with opportunities for acquisition of additional languages.

Level of competence for IB DP students is required in the following areas: a. Capacity to think in English

  1. Capacity to analyze thought process with clarity
  2. Ability to organize perspectives, ideas and research in a structured written essay
  3. Students past record of academic effort, motivation and discipline

Intensive language is central to this goal. Through language study, students learn about the cultures and perspectives and become more knowledgeable and caring. (Discovery Centre College of International Baccalaureate Programme, 2019)

9.       MISCELLANEOUS:

Parents and students who join the Discovery Centre community are expected to adhere to the following:

  • Discovery Centre IB DP Mission Statement
  • Discovery Centre IB DP Academic Honesty Policy
  • Discovery Centre IB DP Assessment Policy
  • Discovery Centre IB DP Language Policy
  • IB DP General Guidelines for Diploma Students and Guardians from IBO
  • Their contractual obligations indicated in the registration form

 

Bibliography:

Discovery Centre College of International Baccalaureate Programme. (2019). Language Policy: Version 1.3.

International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2016). Programme-standards and practices. International Baccalaureate Organization. (Original work published 2014)

Assessment Policy

Version 1.3, January 2020
Discovery Centre International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – Assessment Policy

CONTENTS

  1. Philosophy behind Assessment Policy
  2. Purpose of Assessment and Evaluation
  3. Types of Assessment
  4. Homework
  5. Summative Assessment
  6. Assessment Practices
    1. Grading/Marking
    2. Recording/Reporting
    3. Grading Criterion
  7. IB Diploma Assessment Procedure
  8. Formal Assessment in IB Diploma
  9. TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and EE (Extended Essay). Assessment Matrix
  10. Key Components and Practices for DP Academic Year 1 & 2
  11. Integration of the Assessment Policy
  12. Communicating the Assessment Policy
  13. BiblioGraphy

 

1.       Philosophy behind Assessment Policy:

Assessment is the process of obtaining, analyzing and interpreting evidence for the use of student’s progress and enabling teachers to review, plan and improve student learning.

The Discovery Center believes in gauging the cognitive development of students by assessment of their knowledge, skills and understanding based on application, concepts and theories studied through a range of subjects with strategies supporting comprehension of courses.

Metacognition underlies Discovery Center`s philosophy of teaching and learning and assessment is an integral part of that development. The idea is to develop the thought process of the student through a series of reflective practices in the form of assessments conducted throughout the year as an ongoing process and is fully integrated within the curriculum and planning of lessons. Assessments form a proportion of the final grades of students.

 

2.       Purpose of Assessment and Evaluation

IBDP Discovery Centre assesses students for a variety of reasons:

  1. To develop reflective practices through feedback from the teachers to students on their learning.
  2. To provide an opportunity to the student to reflect on their own learning and development.
  3. To provide feedback to students on how they are performing against the criteria outlined by the school/IB.
  4. To enhance the teachers understanding of the level of academic development along with an idea of how the concepts are mapped in the student’s mind and the process of learning.
  5. To translate student`s progress to various stakeholders, a formal grading system is in place.
  6. To provide student with a basis for further improvement.
  7. To ensure a quality assurance mechanism is in place.
  8. To prepare students mentally for the external examination by IB, colleges/universities and other organizations.
  9. To provide the school with important information regarding the efficiency of its programme that will help in designing the school’s strategic plan.
  10. Internal Assessment (IA) taken under IB rules and regulations contributes to students’ final grade in all the subjects.

 

3.       Types of Assessment

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is done frequently during the course of a unit, while students are still gaining knowledge and practicing skills. It provides teachers and students with information about how learning is progressing. It helps the teachers to plan the next stage of learning.

Examples are:

  • Tests
  • Quizzes
  • Portfolios
  • Open ended tasks
  • Self, peer and group assessment
  • Short response questions
  • Group work and collaboration
  • Reflection on real life examples.

 

4.       Homework:

The homework may vary depending on particular course loads and the nature of the assignment.

Homework tasks at the Discovery Centre IBDP will be designed to provide optimal practice of a range of cognitive skills identified in course outlines.

Regular review of homework will be aimed at promoting:

  • The development of critical thinking and reflective skills.
  • The development of research skills.
  • The development of independent learning skills and intercultural understanding.
  • The Development of peer and self-assessment.

 

5.       Summative Assessment:

Summative assessment takes place at the end of a teaching and learning cycle when students are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned by applying their knowledge in new and authentic contexts. Summative assessments are a means to gauge, at a particular point in time, student learning relative to the pre-defined criteria communicated to students prior to and during formative assessments. Although the information gleaned from this type of assessment is important, it can only help in evaluating certain aspects of learning process. Summative assessments are given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. It is used as a part of the grading process.

Examples are:

  • Mid-Term Exams
  • Mock Exams
  • Extended Essays
  • Internal Assessments

 

6.       Assessment Practices:

Equity in assessment is afforded through fair, meaningful and consistent opportunities for students to demonstrate their mastery of concepts, theories and skills. Assessments are checked for validity, reliability and comprehensiveness.

The following methods are practiced to affirm the value of assessment in holistic education.

1.       Grading/Marking:

The grading scale at Discovery Centre IBDP is used along with IB Assessment rubrics as specified in each of the subject guides. Both formative and summative components must be completed in order for students to graduate to the next academic level.

2.       Recording/Reporting:

Teachers at the Discovery Centre IBDP will record grades on Managebac. Both written and oral feedbacks affirm progress, diagnose needs, evaluate achievement and assist in accountability.

3.       Grading Criterion:

The grading criterion is in accordance with the prescribed IB grade description as stated in each programme. This can be summarized as below:

Grade Descriptor
7.       Consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. The student consistently demonstrates originality, insight, and analytical thinking. The student produces work of high quality.
6.       Consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. The student consistently demonstrates originality, insight, and analytical thinking.
5.       Thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student occasionally demonstrates originality, insight, and analytical thinking.
4.       General understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of analytical thinking.
3.       Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully to normal situations with support.
2.       Very limited achievement in terms of the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills and is unable to apply them fully to normal situations, even with support.
1.       Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.
             N/A Not Yet Assessed.

7.       IB Diploma Assessment Procedure:

  1. Assessment within the IB Diploma programme is aligned with the assessment objectives for each subject provided by IB.
  2. The assessment objectives are articulated through a range of both formative and summative assessment tasks
  3. Progress reports at the Discovery Centre IBDP are issued after six months.
  4. Report cards are issued at the completion of each term.
  5. Parent/Teacher meetings are scheduled twice a year.
  6. As and when needed, teachers consult with parents on an individual basis.

 

8.       Formal Assessment in IB Diploma:

Formal assessment or Internal Assessment (IA) in each subject will contribute to subject’s final qualifications awarded by the IB. External examiners formally assess all IAs except CAS, all of which include significant components that are completed by students under the supervision of their teachers. For each subject, students are judged both internally and externally. An internal assessment makes approximately 20 % – 30% of their final IB grade depending on the subject.

 

9.       TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and EE (Extended Essay).  Assessment Matrix

Theory of Knowledge
Excellent

A

Good

B

Satisfactory

C

Mediocre

D

Elementary

E

Not Submitted
Extended Essay Excellent

A

3 3 2 2 1 + Failing condition* N
Good

B

3 2 1 1 Failing condition* N
Satisfactory

C

2 1 1 0 Failing condition* N
Mediocre

D

2 1 0 0 Failing condition* N
Elementary

E

1+Failing condition* Failing condition* Failing condition* Failing condition* Failing condition* N
Not Submitted N N N N N N

 

If a student gains an “E” in either component 28 points overall will be required to pass the IB Diploma (not 24 points as is usual). A grade “A” in one of the components earns an extra point even if the other is a grade “E”. An “E” grade in both the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge means an automatic failure of the IB Diploma.

 

10.   Key Components and Practices for DP Academic Year 1 & 2

 DP Year 1:

  1. Formal reporting system i.e. assessment report is issued for all assessments (six weekly).
  2. Parent Teacher Meetings is organized throughout the year to apprise parents of the curriculum and assessment expectations.
  3. Teachers use their knowledge of IB summative assessment expectations and practices to help students improve performance in a formative way.
  4. Some internal assessments are done in year 1 where advised/allowed by IB.
  5. Mid-term exam is conducted in December and parent teacher meeting is held right after to discuss students’ progress with parents.
  6. Final exams are conducted in May. If a student is unable to perform in the final exam, administration will advise the student or parents of proper measures.

DP Year 2:

  1. To encourage the students to analyze, apply and evaluate key concepts in a self-directed manner, various tools are employed like written tests, practical work, projects, port folios, class discussions and oral work.
  2. During the first summative examination of year 2, each student is assessed on the TOK essay and presentation (approx: 10 minutes per student) that he/she has worked upon during the preceding months and the final grade will be sent to IB.
  3. Students are expected to write a 4,000 words Essay on subject of their interest taught in DP. They are assessed on this by school and will be moderated by IB mainly in the year 2.
  4. Group 4 project is an intra-disciplinary activity that attempts to cultivate critical thinking and risk taking in students and is compulsory. It is not graded as per IB but formal recording of the activity and students’ reflections is compulsory.
  5. Students in DP year 2, who have external examination in May receive their second semester report in March.

 

11.   Integration of the Assessment Policy:

Each of the areas of assessment, admission and language instruction are integral to providing Discovery Centre IBDP students with a comprehensive education.

  1. IB formative and summative assessments are conducted in English (other than Urdu, French and German) as this is the working language of the school.
  2. At the time of admission, as stated in the admission policy, (Discovery Centre College of International Diploma Programme, 2019) all applicants must obtain a minimum of 70% marks in English and Mathematics in their previous examinations (Matriculation, GCSE or IGCSE).
  3. In the beginning of the Academic Year, Assessment calendar is shared with teachers, students and parents. Assessment timeline reflects a culture of collaboration among DP teachers, and is a useful instrument to help students plan their work in realistically manageable loads, as final assessment requirements cannot be completed at the same time.
  4. Assessment policy is revised annually in order to facilitate the complex dynamics between teaching and learning in the Diploma Praogramme.

 

12.   Communicating the Assessment Policy:

In the beginning of each academic year, the assessment policy is communicated to every student and parent of the Diploma Programme. The management ensures that each student gets a soft copy of the assessment policy.

 

13.   BiblioGraphy:

Discovery Centre College of International Diploma Programme. (2019). Admission Policy: Version 1.2.

Internattional Baccalaureate Organisation. (2016). Programme-standardsand practices. International Baccalaureate Organization . (Original work published 2014)

Language Policy

Version 1.3, November 2019
Discovery Centre College of International Diploma Programme – Language Policy

CONTENTS

  1. LANGUAGE PHILOSOPHY AT THE DISCOVERY CENTRE
  2. PURPOSE
  3. LINGUISTIC PROFILE OF STUDENTS
  4. AIMS OF THE LANGUAGE POLICY
  5. POLICY STATEMENT
  6. CURRENT LANGUAGE TEACHING/LEARNING PRACTICES
  7. NATIONAL LANGUAGE/MOTHER TONGUE PROTOCOL FOR LOCAL STUDENTS
  8. NATONAL LANGUAGE/ MOTHER TONGUE PROTOCOL FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS
  9. LANGUAGE STEERING COMMITTEE
  10. LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
  11. LANGUAGE SPECIFICATIONS FOR IBDP SUBJECT GROUPS
  12. GROUP 1: LANGUAGE
  13. GROUP 2: LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
  14. GROUP 3 – 6 SUBJECTS
  15. ADMISSIONS AND ASSESSMENT
  16. LANGUAGE SUPPORT FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  17. COMMUNICATING THE LANGUAGE POLICY
  18. LANGUAGE POLICY REVIEW
  19. BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

1.      Language Philosophy at Discovery Centre

Discovery Centre-IBDP seeks to enable students to function as International Citizens, developing pluralistic and global awareness of Language and Culture.

 

2.      Purpose

Discovery Centre recognizes that an effective language policy is fundamental to all learning because it permeates the entire curriculum. Therefore, throughout our curriculum, we foster the development of the language of Instruction, World Languages and the Mother Tongue.

In the IB DP, the role of language is valued as central to developing critical thinking, which is essential for the cultivation of Intercultural Awareness, International Mindedness and Global Citizenship.

 

3.      Linguistic Profile Of The Students

At Discovery Centre, the medium of instruction is English and students have been learning this as their first language since its inception, as this is the stipulated language of communication for all purposes. A statistical analysis of the demographic profile of our students would reveal that almost 99% of them come from families where, the language spoken at home is Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi or some other native language.

However, English being a commonly accepted language in the country, is also used as a means of communication in most homes and is not really considered a foreign language by students, teachers, parents or other stakeholders. English is the school’s internal working language, in which all operational and developmental activities take place. It is also the language of its governance, management and academic committees.

 

4.      Aims of The Language Policy

At Discovery Centre, our IBDP language programme aims to:

  • Recognize that all teachers and staff, regardless of content area, are language teachers.
  • Enable students to learn and use language effectively, appropriately, accurately and confidently.
  • Encourage students to pursue competency in multiple languages.
  • Foster an environment where all languages and cultures are appreciated and valued
  • Assist students in maintaining and developing their national language whenever possible

 

5.      Policy Statement

Like IBO, Discovery Centre recognizes that by integrating language into every aspect of the curriculum, students will learn the importance of cultural diversity and respect for everyone, which in turn will enhance personal growth, cognitive development and facilitate international mindedness.

At Discovery Centre – IBDP:

  1. Urdu being the country’s national language and all students comprehend this language, we treat Urdu as mother tongue at Discovery Centre.
    1. Urdu is offered in Group 1 – Language A
    2. Since IBDP offers Urdu Literature only, we focus on Literature but language teaching is also stressed upon.
    3. Library is equipped with Urdu literature and language resources
  2. English is the official language of the country, thus for the school as well.
  3. Students are offered English as a cross-curricular language.
  4. School Head, DPC and Teachers communicate in English with each other and the students.
  5. Students are provided with maximum opportunities to use English for various communicative purposes
  6. Students use English:
  7. In socially and culturally appropriate ways.
  8. To communicate effectively in social settings.
  9. To achieve academically in all content areas (excluding Urdu)
  10. French and German are taught as foreign languages to help students develop intercultural understanding.
    1. French and German are offered in Group 2 – Language B at ab initio
    2. Library is equipped with basic French and German literature and language resources

 

6.      Current Language Teaching/Learning Practices

  1. Teachers will emphasize more on the usage rather than the structure of language.
  2. Teachers will use a multi-pronged approach to language teaching. The methods chosen would promote skill development in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  3. Technologies such as AV aids, internet and computer are effective teaching tools for language lessons when interwoven with the curriculum as they offer innovative learning experience. These will be incorporated in teaching to enhance learning.
  4. All teachers are language teachers. Therefore, they will create a language rich classroom and provide access to a wealth of information beneficial in building content knowledge and clarifying concepts.
  5. Teaching and learning addresses the diversity of student language needs,

including those for students learning a language(s) other than their mother tongue (IB Standard C3, Practice 7).

  • Oral written and visual communication will be modelled and emaphasised towards helping students become self-learners able to construct meaning recognize similarities and diversities across language and culture.
  • Students will be exposed to a variety of literary genre’s in English, host language and mother tongue so as to make them cognizant and appreciative of different societies and cultures
  • Independent reading will be encouraged though Book Clubs exposure to literary events and talks.

Since most of the students’ mother tongue is Urdu and medium of instruction and exam is English, teachers take special measures to support the students.

Differentiation in language lessons is based on best practice according to the standards and practices of the IB. All teachers respond to students’ needs and may therefore provide individualised instruction guided in some cases by specific learning goals and Individual Learning Plans (ILPs).

Teaching strategies may include working in small groups, using different resources with different levels of language complexity, as well as changing the level of questioning and tasks for individual students.

Students may also have choices so they can follow their own interests or use a preferred learning style. The School also follows the IB recommendations on student placement.  In addition to this, the School provides a range of individual support

7.    National Language / Mother Tongue Protocol for local students

Development of the Mother tongue is necessary for cultural identity. The Mother Tongue programme supports the mother tongue of students whose first language is not English. This support exists to address the significant cultural and linguistic differences among our students and staff.

Resources to Support Mother Tongue

To ensure a sense of pride and respect for mother tongue, events such as:

  1. Urdu declamation and poetry competitions are organized.
  2. Our school’s library is well equipped with resources to support the mother tongue.
  3. Urdu is being offered as a 1st and 2nd

8.  National Language / Mother Tongue Protocol for foreign students

At Discovery Centre – IBDP, we believe that every student has an individual and a cultural set of experiences, skills and interests, which must be taken into consideration during the teaching and learning process. IBDP may have students from other countries who should be facilitated.

We promote inquiry-based authentic learning through an investigative approach of different genres. Although Discovery Centre is English medium school, our students speak many different mother languages. Obviously, it is not possible to offer classes in all these languages. However, because educational research makes clear that those students who maintain their mother tongue will have better access to learning when working in second or third language, it is important that we provide the opportunity for students to access their first, or mother-tongue, languages.

  1. The school places importance on language learning, including mother tongue/ national language, host country language and other languages (IB Standard A, Practice 7).
  2. Teaching and learning addresses the diversity of student language needs, including those for students who have various language for their mother tongue other than their mother tongue/ national language (IB Standard C3, Practice 7)
  3. Assessment at the school aligns with the requirements of the programme(s). (IB Standard C4, Practice 1).
  4. The school utilizes the resources and expertise of the community to enhance learning within the programmes (IB Standard B2, Practice 11)

In the Diploma Program, language is divided into studies in language and literature (Language A) and language acquisition courses (Language B). IBDP students have the opportunity to study up to two languages, English and Urdu from Group 1 and French or German (ab initio) from Group 2. A student is required to take two languages which can be in any of the following combinations:

  1. Two languages from Group A
  2. One language from Group A and the other from Group B

If due to any reason, Discovery Centre is unable to provide the student’s mother tongue or strongest language (Language A) in its regular program, then to have this language taught as an IB DP Group A course, assistance of the Diploma Program Coordinator is advised.

When the School receives a request for a mother tongue course, the Diploma Program Coordinator will manage the following process:

  1. The School will commit to identifying a tutor, and will provide that tutor with the materials and training to deliver a suitable course. Lessons will be scheduled during the regular school day.
  2. The parent(s) will commit to paying the tutor for his/her services. The Diploma Program Coordinator will place families with common language goals in contact with each other, so that costs can be shared. This will be a private arrangement between the tutor and the families for which the School bears no responsibility.
  3. If mother tongue instructor is not available in person, the DPC will look for the instructor teaching in other IB schools and try to get him/her available for the students over the internet (Skype sessions)
  4. The parents will be taken in the loop and decision will be made based on their agreement to pay the extra amount to the mother tongue instructor
  5. The DPC will closely monitor the progress of such students and ensure that they are meeting the requirements of the programme, submitting their assignments timely and getting constructive feedback from the instructor to excel.
  6. Students’ internal assessments will be monitored by DPC herself.
  7. IB will be informed of such cases well in time to meet any further requirements in this regard.
  8. DPC will ensure that the required support material is made available to the students in the library. For this, a separate contingency budget will be allocated to the library every year. This contingency budget will be used to purchase resources to facilitate these students.
  9. The school may also involve the parents of such students provided they have the required background in teaching for teaching that specific language. In such cases, the senior language teacher will work closely with him/her to ensure that standard has been maintained and for internal assessment, a third party intervention will be required.
  10. Each year, there might be mother-tongue languages that are sufficiently popular that the school may consider contracting a tutor for the academic year. The School will consider a maximum of two additional school-supported mother-tongue language classes each academic year. The decision to meet the costs of a mother-tongue class is always at the discretion of the Head of School and is based on the following criteria:
  11. The class needs to be sustainable, by which we mean it is of sufficient size and that the families are committed to IBDP Discovery Centre for the Diploma Programme two years.
  12. The School must be able to source a tutor with appropriate teaching credentials and professional references, and who has successfully passed a background check.

9.      Language Steering Committee

The Language Steering Committee democratically compiles a language policy that is accepted by the school community as meaningful and workable. The process is collaborative and involves all the stakeholders of the school.

The DP Language Steering Committee at Beaconhouse Discovery Centre has been established. It comprises of representatives from the school community who have a range of expertise. The committee includes the following members:

DP Coordinator Nazia Adeel
CAS Coordinator Hina Khan
Teacher (ENGLISH) Madiha Saad
Teacher (FRENCH) Abdul Nazeem
Teacher (URDU) Mumtaz Askari
Teacher (GERMAN) Nadeem Riaz
Teacher Librarian Hasina Kabir

This committee ensures the following:

  1. Oversee the procedures needed to develop the language philosophy and policy, and communicating with those they represent.
  2. Reviews the policy and criteria regularly.
  3. Keeps an eye on the effective working and practicality of certain procedures.
  4. Considers the role of language profile in entry assessments and unit planners.
  5. Meets regularly to discuss progress of language development.

10        Language Proficiency

  1. At IB DP level, students must meet a certain level of fluency that enables them to understand and express in English. A candidate must therefore be successful in spontaneously decoding (mentally in English) what they hear and read text of a certain level of complexity, appropriate to the diploma programme courses. They should have capacity to analyze with clarity and the ability to organize perspectives, ideas and research in a structured way.
  2. The capacity to speak more than one language is an integral part of this programme and all students at DP school are provided with opportunities to learn an additional language and their mother tongue/national language.
  3. Intensive learning of language is central to this goal. Through language study, students learn about the cultures and perspectives, and as a result become more knowledgeable and caring.

11.   Language Specifications for IBDP Subject Groups

To ensure a positive learning experience, following standards and recommendations are set for IBDP English language study.

12.   Group 1: Language

We offer the following languages in group 1

  1. Language A: English language and literature.
  2. Language A: Urdu literature.

Students in Pakistan are exposed to the English language at an early age, both at home and school. English is one of the best known languages for most Pakistanis alongside Urdu.

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 cultures on language, and the multi-cultural society they live in. It will also enable the students to appreciate the art of fine writing.

Language A is offered at both SL and HL (Standard and High Level).

  1. This will normally be the language of the culture to which the student has been exposed to from an early age.
  2. Only students who intend to continue postsecondary study in literature are encouraged to opt for this course at HL.
  3. Student who intend to select 3 other HL subjects for their career, or are not very confident in their literature skills will be advised to take the SL option.
  4. IB recognizes the right of all students to study their mother tongue at the same level as other DP subjects. Students will be eligible for a bilingual diploma that will broaden the horizon of the students, as they will be exposed to a whole new culture.

The teacher at the Discovery Centre will not only advise the candidate on choosing a course of study that is in accordance with IB regulations, s/he will also be responsible to train the student in writing the essays and commentaries.

S/he will make sure that the candidate is working regularly; studying the works approved by the examiner, is familiar with the assessment criteria and is fully aware of the papers along with their respective formats.

13.   Group 2: Language Acquisition

Ab-initio (SL) is for a beginner who:

  1. have no previous experience of the language
  2. are taught outside the country where the language is spoken

[For now, we offer only French and German as foreign languages at Ab-Initio SL]

French is one of the most widely spoken International Languages: French speaking individuals receive preferential treatment during hiring in international organizations such as, The United Nations, the European UnionUNESCO, and NATO; the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and International courts.

German is gaining more and more popularity amongst the students aspiring to go abroad to Study Engineering and like sciences.

Group 3 – 6 Subjects

Language of instruction for subjects offered in group 3 to 6 is English. Students are familiarized with subject specific language, technical terminology and computer language. They must understand that every subject has its own unique mode of communication. To facilitate students’ understanding of specific or technical terms, they will be allowed to use a dictionary/glossary for all purposes, as approved by IB. Students more comfortable with the host or other language will have tools available to help them translate their thought in English like bilingual dictionaries.

14.   Admissions and Assessment

The goal of assessments will be to determine language proficiency and the pre-requisite skills to be a successful DP candidate.

  • English Proficiency Test

There will be a reading comprehension assessment. For students coming from other than O Levels stream.

  • Interview (Oral Language Skills)

Interviews will be taken to analyse candidate’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English

  • Essay

The task intends to assess the candidate’s English language and Essay writing skills-structure, language and complexity as well as their capacity for critical and analytical thinking. (Discovery Centre College of International Diploma Programme, 2019)

15.   Language Support In Professional Development

  1. Teachers will follow the forums of OCC.
  2. Apart from online workshops, in-house trainings will be conducted by IB specialist as per the need.

16.   Communicating The Language Policy

Support for different categories and levels of languages will be reviewed by the language policy steering committee at the beginning of every academic year. The level of support for any particular language could be enhanced or diminished, depending on the proficiency level of the students. The review procedure will also include roles and responsibilities for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the language policy as a working document.

The language policy will be communicated to the students, teachers and parents. The administration will welcome suggestions and changes to the policy by the school community.

17.   Language Policy Review

At the beginning of every academic year, the language policy steering committee will review the different categories and levels of languages. IB at the Discovery Centre intends to keep the whole school community informed of the review process. 

 

Bibliography:

Discovery Centre College of International Diploma Programme. (2019). Admission Policy: Version 1.2.

International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2016). Programme-standards and practices. International Baccalaureate Organization

(Original work published 2014)

Special Education Need Policy

Version 1.1, November 2019
Discovery Centre International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – Special education Need Policy

CONTENTS

    1. WHAT ARE SPECIALEDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN)
    2. BROAD AREAS OF NEEDS
      1. COMMUNICATION AND INTERACTION
      2. COGNITION AND LEARNING
      3. SOCIAL,EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH DIFFICULTIES
      4. SENSORY AND/OR PHYSICAL NEEDS
    3. SCHOOL’S VALUES ABOUT SEN
    4. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND INCLUSION
    5. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY
    6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
    7.  SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS COORDINATOR
    8. CLASS TEACHER
    9. PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
    10. IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT
    11. THE SEN REGISTER
    12. PLAN
    13. INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN
    14. MONITORING STUDENTS PROGRESS
    15. IMPLEMENTATION
    16. STORAGE AND MANAGING INFORMATION
    17. REVIEW

 

 

1.       WHAT ARE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN)?

A student is commonly recognised as having special educational needs (SEN) if he or she is not able to benefit from the school education made generally available for students of the same age without additional support or adaptations in the content of studies. Therefore, SEN can cover a range of needs including physical or mental disabilities, and cognition or educational impairments.

 

2.       BROAD AREAS OF NEEDS

2.1 Communication and Interaction

Students with speech, language and communication needs have difficulty in communicating with others. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives. Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism are likely to have difficulties with social interaction, language and communication.

  • Cognition and Learning

Support for learning difficulties may be required when students learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a range of needs including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and specific learning difficulties (SpLD).

 

2.3 Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Students may experience a range of social and emotional difficulties that may manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behavior. These behaviors may reflect underlying mental health difficulties that are medically unexplained. Other students may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

 

2.4 Sensory and/or Physical Needs

Some students require special educational provision because they have a disability, which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. Many students with vision impairment, hearing impairment or multisensory impairment will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning. Some students with a physical disability will also require additional ongoing support/equipment to access the opportunities available to their peers.

A student must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of the home is different from the language in which he or she will be taught in school.

 

3.       SCHOOL’S VALUES ABOUT SEN

Here at Discovery Centre, it is the belief that all students have an equal right to a full and rounded education, which will enable them to achieve their full potential. We use our best endeavors to secure special educational provision for students for whom this is required.

Because the general level of ability within our school is high, we recognize that some students may feel disadvantaged working alongside high achieving students. They may be offered additional support, through small group or 1:1 activities, in order to boost their skills level and confidence.

The school recognizes that the needs of high achieving students should also be catered for and recognized as a ‘special educational need’.

We will ensure that teachers are able to identify and provide for those pupils with special educational needs, allowing them to join in all school activities together with pupils who do not have special educational needs.

This SEN policy details how, at Discovery Centre, we will do our best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs and that those needs are known to all who are likely to work with them.

 

4.       EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND INCLUSION

Through all subjects we ensure that the school meets the needs of all, taking account of gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, age, ability, disability and social circumstances. It is important that in this school we meet the diverse needs of students to ensure inclusion for all and that all students are prepared for full participation in diverse society. We also measure and assess the impact regularly through meetings with our SEN coordinator and individual teachers to ensure all students have equal access to succeeding in this subject.

Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that students:

  • Have different educational and behavioral needs and aspirations
  • Require different strategies for learning
  • Acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates
  • Need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences

Teachers respond to students’ needs by:

  • Providing support for students who need help with communication, language and literacy
  • Planning to develop students’ understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences
  • Planning for students’ full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities
  • Helping students to manage and own their behavior and to take part in learning effectively and safely
  • Helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning

5.       AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THIS POLICY

The aims of our SEN policy and practice in this school are:

  • To raise the aspirations of and expectations for all pupils with SEN.
  • To ensure all students are “safe, happy and learning”, giving them the experience of a caring, supportive school where learning is enjoyable.
  • To help each student develop a positive self-image, promoting self-discipline, self-awareness and self-confidence.
  • To adapt the curriculum to meet a diversity of interests and needs associated with differing abilities, gender and backgrounds, both cultural and socio-economic.
  • To give all pupils a curriculum entitlement that is broad, balanced and relevant.

The Principal and the Diploma Programme Co-ordinator have delegated the responsibility for the on-going implementation of this Special Educational Needs policy.

The SENCO is responsible for reporting regularly to the Principal and the Diploma Programme Co-ordinator on the on-going effectiveness of this policy.

All staff in school have a responsibility for maximising achievement and opportunity of vulnerable learners – specifically, all teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs. Staff should be aware of their responsibilities towards all vulnerable learners and a positive and sensitive attitude is shown towards all pupils at all times.

 

6.       ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Principal

  • The Principal is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the progress of all pupils and for making strategic decisions which will maximise their opportunity to learn
  • The Principal and the governing body will delegate the day-to-day implementation of this policy to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
  • The Principal will be informed of the progress of all vulnerable learners and any issues with regard to the school’s provision in this regard through:
    • Analysis of the whole-school pupil progress tracking system
    • Pupil progress meetings with individual teachers
    • Regular meetings with the SENCO
    • Discussions and consultations with pupils and parents

 

7.       Special Educational Needs Coordinator

The SENCO will oversee the day- to-day operation of this policy in the following ways:

  • Maintenance and analysis of whole-school provision for vulnerable learners
  • Identifying list of pupils with special educational needs on the SEN register
  • Co-ordinating provision for students with special educational needs
  • Liaising with and advising teachers
  • Managing other classroom staff involved in supporting vulnerable learners
  • Overseeing the records on all students with Special Educational Needs
  • Overseeing the smooth running of transition arrangements and transfer of information for pupils with special educational needs from other schools. School will need to customise this depending upon phase.
  • Monitoring the school’s system for ensuring that Individual Education Plans, where it is agreed they will be useful for a pupil with special educational needs (see section below on Individual Education Plans).
  • Evaluating regularly the impact and effectiveness of all additional interventions for all vulnerable learners (including those with special educational needs)
  • Meeting at least termly with each teacher to review and revise learning objectives for all vulnerable learners in their class who are being tracked on the school’s provision map (school managers will guarantee planning and preparation time for teachers and SENCO to ensure that these meetings occur).
  • Liaising and consulting sensitively with parents and families of pupils on the SEN list, keeping them informed of progress and listening to their views of progress, in conjunction with class teachers
  • Attending area SENCO network meetings and training as appropriate.
  • Liaising closely with a range of outside agencies to support vulnerable learners, if needed.

 

8.       Class teacher

  • Liaising with the SENCO to agree:
    • Which pupils in the class are vulnerable learners
    • Which pupils are underachieving and need to have their additional interventions monitored on IEPs
    • Which pupils (also on the provision map) require additional support because of a special educational need and need to go on the school’s SEN list. Some of these pupils may require advice/support from an outside professional.
  • Securing good provision and good outcomes for all groups of vulnerable learners by:
    • Providing differentiated teaching and learning opportunities, including differentiated work for pupils with hearing and lingual difficulties whilst maintaining cognitive challenge
    • Ensuring there is adequate opportunity for pupils with special educational needs to working on agreed targets which are genuinely “additional to” or “different from” those normally provided as part of the curriculum.
  • Ensuring effective deployment of resources – including teaching assistant support – to maximise outcomes for all groups of vulnerable learners.

 

9.       PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS

Partnership plays a key role in enabling students and young people with SEN to achieve their potential. Parents hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a student’s needs. All parents of students with special educational needs will be treated as partners given support to play an active and valued role in their student’s education.

Students and young people with special educational needs often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and their views about what sort of help they would like. They will be encouraged to contribute to the assessment of their needs, the review and transition process.

At all stages of the special needs process, the school keeps parents fully informed and involved. We take account of the wishes, feelings and knowledge of parents at all stages. Parents always have access to the SENCO through the school email address and phone.

We encourage parents to make an active contribution to their student’s education and have regular meetings each half term to share the progress of special needs students with their parents. We inform the parents of any outside intervention, and share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of their student.

 

10. IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT

 A clear understanding of a student’s needs is a critical precondition to planning effective strategies, creating appropriate provision and influencing the adjustments to teaching that will lead to good progress and improved outcomes. Following on from formative assessments, teachers identify which pupils are not making progress to reach their individual targets. Further assessment is then carried out to establish a clear analysis of a pupil’s need. These may include teacher assessments and experiences of the pupil in class, behavior, attendance, pupil’s own voice, the views and experiences of parents/carers and the individual’s development in comparison with their peers.

The identification and assessment of the special educational needs of students whose English is not as strong, particular care is needed. Where there is uncertainty about a particular student, a teacher will look carefully at all aspects of the student’s performance in different subjects to establish whether the problems are due to limitations in their command of English or arises from special educational needs.

The Special Assessments Needs Policy is followed for further details regarding assessments of students with SEN. Application is to be made for special arrangements to IBO. Some arrangements can be made on discretion of the Principal and the co-ordinator but IBO must be informed, whereas permission/approval is required before making majority of the special arrangements.

Special arrangements may include:

  • Additional Time
  • Rest Periods
  • Use of ICT for internal and external assessments
  • Scribes
  • Readers
  • Communicators
  • Prompters
  • Alternative venues
  • Extension for deadlines
  • Additional assistance for practical work
  • Exemption from assessments

For further details the document “Candidates with special assessment needs”, published by IBO, can be accessed.

11. The SEN register

This is a list of names of all the students in the school identified as having a special educational need. It is developed by the SENCO and kept with the Diploma Programme Co-ordinator.

The SEN register is regularly updated and pupils are either added to it or removed from it. If a pupil has made accelerated progress and/ or is achieving age related expectations in all areas of the curriculum for 2 terms, it will be discussed at pupil review meetings to remove them from the register.

 

12. PLAN

The first step in responding to a pupil’s identified need is to ensure that high- quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is in place. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of quality first teaching. Following assessments the teacher needs to identify what changes or adaptations to quality first teaching, this new understanding means they need to make. Once the specific areas of need and gaps in learning and development have been identified, additional or different intervention targeted at these key areas can be planned and delivered. All interventions are added to the IEPs and reviewed during termly pupil review meetings.

13. INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN

Strategies employed to enable the student to progress and meeting their individual needs are recorded within an Individual education plan, which include information about:

  • Short-term targets set for the student
  • Teaching strategies to be used
  • Provisions to be put in place.
  • How the targets will help the student in their learning
  • What they are responsible for
  • How the student can be successful
  • The review date.
  • Student information and meetings details are recorded and stored.

The student’s views are sought and taken into account, as will those of the parents, whose support is vital if progress is to be achieved and maintained. Views of parents are recorded in the Meeting Individual Needs (MIN) forms.

Person Centered Plans

IEPs will be used for students who are not necessarily on the SEN register. For students with SEN will have a more detailed and personalized plan which will include:

  • Areas of Need
  • Student’s strength
  • Minutes of meetings with students
  • Suggested strategies
  • Support provided by external agencies

The student and SENCo will work together and agree upon everything on the PCP and it will be a detailed record of the progress of the student.

 

14. MONITORING STUDENTS’S PROGRESS

The school’s system for observing and assessing the progress of individual students will provide information about areas where a student is not progressing satisfactorily. Under these circumstances, teachers may need to consult the SENCO to consider what else might be done. This review might lead to the conclusion that the pupil requires help over and above that which is normally available within the particular class or subject.

The key test of the need for action is that current rates of progress are inadequate.

Adequate progress can be identified as that which:

  • Prevents the attainment gap between the student and his peers from widening
  • Closes the attainment gap between the student and his peers
  • Betters the student’s previous rate of progress
  • Ensures access to the full curriculum
  • Demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills
  • Demonstrates improvements in the student’s behavior

In order to help students with special educational needs, Discovery Centre will record the steps taken to meet the needs of individual students through the use of an IEP. The SENCO will have the responsibility for ensuring that records are kept and available when needed.

When any concern is initially noticed it is the responsibility of the class teacher to take steps to address the issue. Parents may be consulted and specific intervention put in place and monitored for a period of up to 6 weeks. If no progress is noted after this time the student may be added to the school SEN register with parental permission.

The class teacher after discussion with the SENCO will then provide additional interventions that are additional to those provided as part of the school’s differentiated curriculum and the student will be given individual learning targets, which will be applied within the classroom. These targets will be monitored by the class teacher and within the class and reviewed formally with the SENCO, parents and student.

 

15. IMPLEMENTATION

The class teacher is at the center of the day-to-day responsibility for working with all pupils, including where interventions and targeted provision involves group work or one to one teaching away from the class. Teachers work closely with other faculty and specialist staff involved to plan and assess the impact of targeted interventions.

 

16. STORAGE AND MANAGING INFORMATION

Information collected about a student’s SEN will be treated as confidential and stored by the SENCO. Information will only be communicated to appropriate people with the knowledge and agreement of the student’s parents, the Principal or the SENCO.

Confidential information regarding a student’s SEN is kept in the SENCO’s file in a locked drawer or a confidential file on the SENCO’s laptop. The file and confidential information from it should not be removed without permission. If information on a student is required from the file, the information on that student only should be removed and returned promptly.

 

17. REVIEW

At the end of any interventions or targeted provisions the outcomes are fully evaluated. This may be through comparing baseline data with data collected at the initial assessment point, reviewing pupils’ progress in relation to the targets set and/or reviewing other factors that may have affected progress. Evaluations include the overall effectiveness of the intervention, identify where more evidence is located and detail what the next steps need to be.

Where pupils have a statement of SEN the impact of any interventions and progress towards targets in the plan are formally reviewed through a person-centered review on an annual basis by everyone involved with the student.

At Discovery Centre we believe that parents should be kept fully informed about their student’s progress. Parents with pupils are encouraged to attend meetings to discuss the progress made and share individual targets to further improve learning. Parents may request additional information at any time regarding the progress of their student. School offers a termly meeting with parents to speak to their student’s class teacher.

As part of our approach to learning and teaching for all pupils the student is encouraged to discuss their progress with their teacher through one to one mentoring meetings. Each pupil is fully involved, at their level of understanding, in setting their own targets for improvement in reading, writing, mathematics and attitude to learning, helping to identify how they can achieve these targets and evaluating their progress toward the previous targets.

In addition to one to one targets set, students with SEN have a pupil profile. This is a way for a pupil with SEN to have a voice, to have their strengths and what is important to them as an individual acknowledged and identify how they can be best supported to achieve their outcomes. These are shared with parents so parental views can also be recorded.

 

References

Candidates with Special Assessment Needs. (2009). 1st ed. [PDF] Cardiff: IBO. Available at: https://www.haef.gr%2F~%2Fmedia%2FFiles%2FHAEF%2FIB%2Fpdf%2FInfo_for_parents%2FCandidates_with_SpecialAssessmentNeeds_2011 [Accessed 3 Jan. 2016].

http://oakridge.staffs.sch.uk/download/oakridge-special-educational-needs-policy.pdf [Accessed 3 Feb. 2016].

http://www.pikeslaneprimaryschool.co.uk/information/sen/sen-policy [Accessed 3 Feb. 2016].

Beaconhouse special education need policy. (Retrieved from Beaconhouse manuals)

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