Assessment in The PYP: Student-Led Conferences

We have three conferences during the school year here at ISM, after term one we meet for our Goal Setting Conference and at the end of each semester, you will have an opportunity to participate in a conference led by your child.

Throughout the year, the students have developed a Student Portfolio that comprises work that they have selected as having significance in their learning and take pride in. Sharing this with your child is an essential part of the conference. It provides the students with an opportunity to explain their learning to you and share their accomplishments. Other activities will be available for you to share, providing you with a glimpse of your child’s life at school.

At ISM, we understand that learning is a lifelong, ongoing process.

Learners develop understanding by acquiring knowledge and skills, constructing meaning and making connections through inquiry, action and reflection.


The conferences all can be seen as an action of our year-long Who We Are unit: Choices, that embodies the central idea of ISM Common Understanding Learning: “Learners develop understanding by acquiring knowledge and skills, constructing meaning, and making connections through inquiry, action, and reflection” As our students develop their understandings of themselves as learners they’ll use the Learner Profiles attributes and Approaches to Learning Skills as tools make sense where they are on their learning journey and what should they do next.

Assessment Capable Students

Students develop assessment capability when teachers provide them with multiple supported experiences in reflecting on their learning and how to make improvements. Using specific language to describe, discuss and evaluate learning, students demonstrate their assessment capability by:

  • partnering with teachers to design their learning goals and success criteria
  • being able to self-assess and discuss their progress towards achieving learning goals
  • selecting evidence, such as samples of their learning, that best demonstrate the intended learning goals
  • developing the metacognitive skills to reflect on their learning and to plan next steps
  • drawing on feedback and multiple strategies to adjust their learning and identify where and when to make improvements.

Source: From Principles Into Practiceibo.orgPYP Resources

ISM Principles of Learning

We invest our time and effort into these conferences as we understand that they align with our and the International Baccalaureate’s values as the Student-Led Conferences can be seen as Assessment as Learning.
We, at the Primary School, understand that effective assessments are built on:


  • promote a deep understanding of subject content by encouraging inquiry in real-world contexts; 
  • inform and enhance planning and teaching; 
  • are authentic to the task undertaken; 
  • are honest, accurate, fair and reliable; 


  • are age appropriate and reflect the development of the students within the subject;
  • modified or accommodated to suit different learning needs and styles; 
  • are clear, concise and as culturally neutral as possible; 


  • use a wide range of strategies and tools; 
  • are able to cover a broad spectrum of understanding, knowledge and skills; 
  • promote the development of critical- and creative-thinking skills;


  • assess student understanding, knowledge and skills; 
  • provide opportunity for students to exhibit transfer of skills across disciplines;
  • are significant, engaging, relevant and challenging; 

Independence and Interaction: 

  • have clear criteria related to learning outcomes that are known and understood in advance through task specific rubrics; 
  • promote positive student attitudes towards learning;
  • are a continuous, ongoing process; 


  • support and encourage student learning by providing effective feedback on the learning process and outcomes; 
  • engage the learner in the reflection of their learning. 
  • are regularly and accurately shared with all stakeholders.

Why – Learning has taken place both on-site and online during our remote learning period over the course of the past year and the end-of-year Student-Led Conference is an opportunity for students to showcase their accomplishments and reflect on the past semester through a portfolio of their documentation and recording of learning. Student-Led Conferences are purposeful interactions that empower students to be active participants in their learning and demonstrate ownership and a sense of pride in their work. 

How – In accordance with the mandated regulations from the Bavarian government as detailed in the ISM Health and Safety Regulations for Covid-19, we are going to organize a virtual Student-Led Conference on the Seesaw platform. during the second week of July.

What – As the primary focus of a Student-Led Conference is the celebration of learning and the reflection on individual achievement, students will be guided by teachers to prepare their portfolio with samples of learning from their units of inquiry. The conference will be held at home with the students delivering to their parents in a similar manner as if they were at school. Grade 5 virtual exhibition on July 8 is considered as their Student-Led Confrence. 

Academic Year 2020-21 – This academic year has been an unprecedented one due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At ISM we recognized that the situation called for fairness and empathy. 

Links between report cards and portfolio components – Teaching, tasks, and assessment may have looked slightly different when being delivered virtually, however, students were still asked to be agents in their learning much the same as they would have been on site. The preparation for the Student-Led Conference will include conversations between students and teachers about their engagement and achievement whilst learning remotely and on-site. The conference will review student goals created for the Three-Way Conference and then reviewed during the end of semester one Student-Led Conference, pieces of work the student would like to share.

This year our final Student-Led Conferences will take place during the week of July 5 – 9, 2021. I wish you all a wonderful time to celebrate learning and sharing of understandings.

At ISM, we understand that learning is a lifelong, ongoing process.

Learners develop understanding by acquiring knowledge and skills, constructing meaning and making connections through inquiry, action and reflection.

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