Marks and assessment
“At fourteen or sixteen years pupils are subjected to the petty threat of poor marks with which their teachers judge their work; it is a method which is analogous to that of a mechanical scale weighing lifeless objects. Work is “measured” as inanimate matter, and not “valued” as a product of life. And it is upon these marks that the future of the student depends. In these conditions, studies become a crushing burden that weighs the young life down instead of being felt as a privilege.”
Maria Montessori: From Childhood to Adolescence (Ed. Desclée de Brouwer, Paris 1958)
This quote shows how Maria Montessori was opposed to “unhealthy” evaluations. She was not opposed to all forms of evaluation.
In our view, evaluating does not aim to sanction, but to offer a clear perception of the level of a pupil’s achievement.
The final objective is that the pupil understands and retains the notions with which he or she wishes to work and to improve.
We consider self-esteem as essential for the healthy development of then child: it can be thought of as vital psychological energy that permits children to act, to persevere, to be confident in themselves and others and thus to construct their lives.
We do everything possible to ensure that or pupils feel secure at school, both physically and morally.
A particular emphasis is placed on an ability to collaborate, a sense of responsibility, an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, initiative, engagement, personal talents and respect of differences.
We give marks from 9 years onwards so as not to marginalise pupils who need a school report. We grade out of 10: the average is 6.
From 6 to 9 years,
The tests are evaluated according to the following scale:
- needs working on.
From 10 to 12 years,
We don’t give grades below 3 out of 10.
Below this threshold, the work is marked as “needs working on”.
The work is then returned to the pupil and the teacher so that together they can improve the level of competence so that a minimum of 60% of the points can be attained.
From 13 to 16 years,
We give grades from 1 to 10.
In november, february and june a report card informs parents about the evolution of learning.