The purpose of assessment is to support the development of the individual child and of his/her educational performance. It strengthens self-confidence and the child’s trust in his/her knowledge and abilities and enables it to become its own judge to an increasing extent. Assessment contributes to shaping the learning processes in the lessons in such a way that each child can achieve his/her learning goals. It provides knowledge of the level of performance of each child and of the whole class so that the effect of the teaching can be checked. Assessment is also an important source of information for the parents and an important basis for decisions on further educational pathways within the school system (Ordinance on the assessment of children and their advancement in the primary school).
Educational performance is determined through regular learning checks and standardised tests, such as the former standard examinations (see Internal evaluation) in level 3 and 5. In evaluating the performance, a distinction is made between formative (= promotion of self-assessment, support through teacher feedback in the lesson), summative (= checks on learning to determine the performance standard), and prognostic forms of assessment (= statements about the probable further educational development of the child). No numerical grades are given in the primary school.
Considerable emphasis is placed on verbal contact with the parents. In place of a school report there is a parent-teacher interview, during which the teacher hands over a detailed written assessment of the child’s level of achievement in relation to the learning goals. The written supplement to the interview with the parents informs them about the extent to which the learning goals have been achieved in the various subjects (meets high expectations, meets raised expectations, meets basic expectations, does not meet basic expectations) and also about the child’s attitude to learning and work and its social behaviour.
Progression of pupils within the primary school
At the primary level pupils automatically move up into the next higher class. No conditions for this promotion have to be fulfilled.
Transfer to secondary schools
After completing primary school, pupils are assigned to the appropriate type of secondary school based on their performance in German and Maths as well as on their attitude to work and learning (for more detailed information cf. Chapter 6). The following percentages are rough guidelines (Ordinance on Admission to Secondary Level I and Progression and Transfer):
28% Oberschule (lower performance group
22% Gymnasium (higher performance group)
The class teacher recommends the child for a particular type of school based on the child’s assessment, with special reference to the subject-specific criteria for German and Maths and to the child’s attitude to work and learning. The parents convey their own preference(s) to the teacher. If both parents and teacher are of one mind, they submit their joint position - arrived at in the promotion/transfer interview - to the Office of Education.
If the parents and teacher do not reach agreement on the promotion or transfer, the child can sit a transfer exam. The Office of Education has the final say on all allocations.
At the end of each semester pupils get semester grade report. Pupils do not receive a leaving certificate at the end of the primary stage. All pupils continue their education at Secondary level I.