Methods and procedures for assessing pupils’ educational achievements in primary schools, as well as the elements of the assessment, are based on national and subject curricula, the teaching plan and program, the school curriculum and the Rulebook on Assessment Methods, Procedures and Elements in Primary and Secondary Schools (Official Gazette No. 112/2010), as well as on codes of conduct passed by schools.
Elements of assessing pupils’ progress in a certain subject, as well as the modes and procedures for the assessment, are designed by the teacher of a certain subject with other teachers of the same subject or of the same field.
The assessment focuses on the application of the pupils’ knowledge. Pupils with disabilities are assessed on the basis of their efforts towards the achievement of the set objectives and educational values.
During the school year, teacher can assess the achieved level of pupils’ competences using oral and written examinations, while at the beginning of the school year teachers can administer introductory or initial assessment.
Oral assessment covers all types of oral examinations of the achieved level of pupils’ competences that result in a certain mark. Oral assessment is used continuously during the school year, usually after a particular unit has been taught to the pupils and practiced by the pupils. Oral assessment and evaluation can be employed at any class period, it does not have to be announced, and it should normally not take more than 10 minutes per pupil.
Written assessment covers all types of written examinations that result in a mark awarded to a pupil’s written assignment and it is used continuously during the school year after a particular unit has been taught and practiced. There are written exams taking more than 15 minutes, and short written exams, taking up to 15 minutes. These two types of exams differ not only in duration but also in the range of the material they cover.
In each school year, the school is obliged to publish a preliminary timetable for written exams, showing the list of class departments and the planned teaching calendar, as well as the planned dates for written exams. The timetable is based on the teaching plan and program and the timetable for each class department. The timetable is proposed by the teacher of a certain subject and adjusted and passed by the teachers’ council. At the beginning of each teaching year, at the specialist teacher meetings, the teachers of a certain subject define the elements, modes and procedures for the final assessment. The teachers must inform pupils, class masters and the expert staff (pedagogue, psychologist and special education experts) on the elements of assessment and on the modes and procedures for evaluation. The board of school experts is obliged to synchronize modes, procedures and elements of assessment on the local, regional and national levels for all subjects and educational fields.
Teachers monitor pupils’ progress. In the notes section of the mark book they only write the observations which will be understandable to the pupil and pupil’s parents and which can be helpful to the teacher in the final assessment of a pupil in a certain subject or educational field.
Assessment in a certain subject is carried out by the teacher that teaches the given subject. The teacher is obliged to make each given mark known, to explain the reason for giving a certain mark to the pupil and to enter the mark in the mark book. The teacher must show the graded paper and any other type of pupil’s written assignment to the pupil and to keep the paper archived in school by the end of the school year.
The pupil has the right to be informed of the elements of the assessment and of the assessment modes and procedures employed by each teacher. The pupil must comply with all of the rules of the assessment modes and procedures, as well as the pupils’ code of conduct. If a pupil does not comply with the rules, the teacher can propose a disciplinary measure.
The parent has the right to be informed of the assessment elements, modes and procedures for each subject. Parents are informed on the assessment modes and procedures by the class master at parent-teacher meetings and in individual meetings. The parent must regularly attend parent-teacher meetings and individual meetings with the class master. The parent has the right to inspect written and other assignments and marks at the arranged individual meeting with the class master. The parent has the right to ask the class master to schedule an individual meeting with a subject teacher. The parent has the right to inform the school principal if the class master or the subject teacher refuses to provide important information on the results of the child in a timely manner. The parent has the right to make written and oral petitions (objections, comments and suggestions) on the assessment of the pupil, which are submitted to the school principal or the parents’ council. In the last week of the school year, parents’ meetings and consultations cannot be scheduled.
The class master must inform the parents and the pupils of the assessment elements, modes and procedures. The class master must schedule at least three parents’ meetings during a school year and present the achievements of the class department in the previous period, inform the parents of the activities carried out in the class department and ensure that there is an adequate exchange of information between the parents, the teachers, the expert staff and the school principal. The class master must schedule office hours for individual meetings with the parents once a week, in which the parents can be informed of the achieved levels of competences in each subject, as well as of the pupil’s absence from classes and the pupil’s conduct. The class master informs the pupils, the parents, the school principal and the expert staff on the planned office hours for meetings at the beginning of the school year. Also, the class master must arrange meetings with any subject teacher at a parent’s request.
At the beginning of the school year, the school principal is obliged to inform all of the teachers and the expert staff of the modes, procedures and elements of the assessment of pupils’ achievements.
Pupils’ progress is monitored and assessed during the classes. Progress in each subject as well as pupils’ conduct is assessed. Subject knowledge is assessed in numerical marks, whereas the assessment of the conduct is descriptive.
Numerical marks used in the assessment of pupils’ progress in different subjects are: excellent (5), very good (4), good (3), sufficient (2), and insufficient (1). All of the marks, except for the mark insufficient (1), are considered to be passing marks. Pupils that are at the end of the school year assessed with a passing mark in all of the subjects advance to the next grade. In the first semester of the first grade, the teacher monitors pupil’s achievements but does not use numerical marks. Instead, using pedagogical methods and measures, the teacher encourages pupils and prepares them for the evaluation and assessment of their achievements and results that will ensue. Descriptive assessment of the conduct is carried out using the words exemplary, good and poor.
The final mark in each subject is an accumulated mark for all the assessed elements and it is a result of a comprehensive assessment process implemented throughout the teaching year. The final mark reflects the achieved level of pupil’s competences in each subject/educational field. The final mark in a certain subject at the end of the school year does not have to be a mean value of all the marks a pupil received, especially if a pupil demonstrates progress in the second semester.
In schools implementing alternative or international programs, pupils are assessed in accordance with the rules of the program in question, while in schools that provide classes in accordance with the teaching plan and program for teaching the language and culture of ethnic minorities, pupils are assessed separately and the mark is recorded in the class certificate. The marks given to pupils with disabilities can be both descriptive and numerical, depending on the program.
Pupils who achieve exceptional results may receive oral recognition or written honors and a reward. Oral recognition is delivered by the class master, written honors by the class council, and the reward by the teachers’ council.
Misconduct, neglect of duties and violent behavior can result in the following disciplinary measures: warning, reprimand, severe reprimand, pedagogical treatment in an extended professional therapy and transfer to another school. Schools are obliged to take adequate disciplinary measures, taking into consideration the mental and social maturity of the pupil, their general well-being, sensitivity and other factors affecting their development. When passing a decision on a disciplinary measure, all of the facts that led to the event that constitutes the basis for passing a certain measure, and all of the other factors that have affected pupil’s development are taken into account, as well as the family situation and other living circumstances, and all of the other relevant circumstances.
Progression of Pupils
Pupils’ overall success is gauged in terms of the following categories: excellent, very good, good, sufficient and insufficient. The overall success of a pupil who has all the passing marks is determined by defining arithmetic mean value of all of the subject marks, using the marks:
- excellent – if the mean mark is at least 4.50
- very good – if the mean mark is 3.50 to 4.49
- good – if the mean mark is 2.50 to 3.49
- sufficient – if the mean mark is 2 do 2.49
If the pupils’ final mark in at least three subjects is insufficient (1), and if they did not pass the remedial exam at prescribed times, their overall success is graded as insufficient (1).
The word sufficient accompanies the mark 2. This means that it was concluded that the pupil should do more and that the pupil is capable of achieving more or that an additional effort and better results are expected from the pupil.
If the teacher is satisfied with the pupil’s progress, the teacher will use the word good. This means that the teacher is satisfied with the pupil’s achievement and that the pupil did what was expected.
Pupil’s progress or a result in the exam that is above the expectations is described by the word very good. This means that the teacher’s expectations have been surpasses and that the quality of the work and the effort of the pupil should be stressed out.
The word extraordinary or excellent is used if a pupil stands out with originality, the quality of the work, effort and anything else that is distinguishing the pupil from others.
The pupils with passing marks in all subjects can advance to the next grade, while the pupils with the overall achievement assessed as insufficient (1) are retained in the same grade for another year. In exceptional cases, pupils in the grades 1 - 3 of the primary school can advance to the next grade if the mark in one subject is insufficient (1) at the end of the school year, but this cannot be repeated if the mark in the same subject remains insufficient. The decision on advancement is passed by the teachers’ council at the proposal of the class master. If a pupil advances to the next grade, the previous grade is considered to be completed.
The school is obliged to organize support in learning and compensation of knowledge for the pupils who earned insufficient (1) mark in two subjects at the end of the school year. This is done through supplemental classes, which the pupil must attend. The duration of supplemental classes is determined by the teachers’ council for each subject separately. In case a pupil achieves expected positive results during these classes, a passing mark is concluded by the responsible teacher. During the final supplemental class the teacher must notify the pupil of the final mark or of his/her necessity to take the remedial exam. If a pupil does not make the final passing mark at the end of supplemental classes, he/she is sent to take the remedial exam, which takes place at the end of the school year, or by 25th August at the latest.
If the pupil or the parent is not satisfied with the final mark in a certain subject, they have the right to submit a request for reviewing the mark to the teachers’ council. This must be done no later than two days after the mark was given. After the review, if the pupil is still not satisfied with the mark, he or she has the right to take another exam before a panel. The pupil or the parent can submit a request for the organization of an exam before a panel within two days of the decision passed by the teachers’ council. The panel is comprised of three members appointed by the teachers’ council and the mark given by the committee is final. The statute of the school prescribes the procedure for the administration of an exam before a panel.
A pupil that was unable to attend classes for valid reasons and therefore was not assessed in one or more subjects is instructed to take a subject or a class exam. If the pupil does not take the remedial exam or the subject or class exam due to illness or another justified reason at the scheduled time, the school is obliged to provide another opportunity for the pupil to take the exam once the reasons preventing the pupil from taking the exam have ceased to exist. The definition of justified reasons and the exam procedures for class and subject exams are provided in the school statute.
If the health condition prevents a pupil from participation in certain school activities or if the participation would be detrimental to the health of the pupil, the pupil can be temporarily or permanently exempted from certain classes or from participation in a certain teaching activity, if the given activity is not an element of the basic vocational education. The decision on the exemption is passed by the teachers’ council based on the physician’s opinion. The pupil who was exempt from a class for an entire school year is not given a mark in the final certificate, instead, it is noted that the pupil was exempt from the class.
Pupils who were granted the status of a categorized athlete pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Sport, pupils who are exceptionally gifted in the field of art and pupils preparing for international competitions can complete education by attending classes and taking exams over a time period that is up to 50 % longer than the prescribed duration of the enrolled program.
Primary schools keep records and files on pupils, class observation notes and other forms of educational records, records of enrolment and withdrawal (removing a pupil from the roll), pupil assessment and achievement records, records of disciplinary measures, exams (mid-term reports issued at the end of first semester, final certificate, transcript of records in case of school transfer, school register book, class and attendance register books, mark book and the school chronicle.
The school register book and the final certificate are public documents. At the end of each grade of primary school pupils receive the final certificate. The eighth grade final certificate is also the certificate on the completion of basic education. Primary schools are obliged to keep the school register book and the school chronicle permanently, while mark books and examination documents are kept for ten years.
The certificate and other documents on grades, achievements, acquired knowledge and skills issued to pupils by schools include the final certificates issued to the pupils of primary schools at the end of the grades 1 - 8, and to pupils with disabilities that attend primary school. The eighth grade final certificate is also a document certifying the completion of primary school.
The content and the format of the certificates and the format of other documentation and registers, including the register of the institutions implementing special programs for pupils with disabilities, are prescribed by the minister responsible for the education.
The final certificate is issued to the pupils of primary schools upon the completion of the grades 5 - 8 and to the pupils with disabilities who attend primary school. The final certificate on the completion of the grades 5 - 8 of primary school includes the information on: the school year in which the pupil was enrolled in the grade which the certificate is being issued for and whether the pupil was enrolled in the same grade for the first time or if the pupil was retained in the grade, with a note on the details of retention; the compulsory subject titles or the spaces where the titles can be filled in; the spaces for listing the elective subjects; the spaces for listing the extracurricular and out-of-school activities, the space for filling in the mark in conduct; the space for filling in the overall non-attendance and a note on truancy; the space for filling in the overall mark for the pupil’s achievements throughout the year; the information on the type of educational support required; the information on the adjusted program pupil attended and the list of subjects it included; the text: “Marks for the achievements in subjects: excellent (5), very good (4), good (3), sufficient (2), insufficient (1)”, the text: “Mark in conduct: exemplary, good, poor.”