Academic Policies
Academic Policies
Assessment Policy

Overseas Family School sees assessment as a tool to support and promote student learning and to accurately report student achievement. We believe that students and parents are entitled to consistent, valid and reliable assessment information across all grades, subjects and classes.

Overseas Family School therefore:

  • Ensures that teachers, students and parents are well informed as to how student work is to be assessed.
  • Maintains detailed assessment records and uses these to provide valid student achievement information to students and parents, both ongoing and at times of formal reporting.
  • Uses a range of tools for assessment, selecting practices that best promote student learning.
  • Structures assessments to allow all students to demonstrate their personal level of achievement and progress.
  • Implements procedures at all levels and in all subjects, to standardise assessment grading.
  • Uses independent assessment to ensure validity of data for student tracking and reporting and also for further curriculum planning and delivery.
  • Values individual student assessment data and adapts classroom teaching and planning processes in response to the data.
Language Policy

Overseas Family School strives to provide an optimal language learning environment so that students can develop their full potential in English, a foreign language and their mother tongue.

Overseas Family School therefore:

  • Implements effective English language programs and foreign language programs based on current research and best practice.
  • Provides motivating and engaging language learning experiences where students can enhance their self-esteem and confidence through language learning.
  • Provides additional intensive language support for students from Grades 1-12 who need to rapidly improve their English through the Study Preparation Program.
    Learn more about our Study Preparation Program
  • Requires all mainstream students, from a very young age through to Grade 12, to learn a foreign language, as early foreign language learning is important for language acquisition skills throughout life.
  • Develops a sense of intercultural awareness and understanding in students, whilst enabling them to become proficient in speaking, listening, reading and writing in a foreign language.
  • Uses effective and valid assessment tools on a regular basis to identify the range of proficiency levels in students' English and foreign languages. This information is used to tailor language programs to specific student needs, thus enabling students to progress at their optimal rate.
  • Provides mother tongue maintenance and development programs where feasible.
    Learn more about our Mother Tongue Program
School-wide Reading Policy

Overseas Family School continually enhances its reading environment because reading is a core, generic skill. The skill of reading is one of the most important areas of learning for a student's future success.

Overseas Family School therefore implements research-led best practice reading programs from Kindergarten through Grade 12 by:

  • Ensuring that the eleven factors that consistently predict reading achievement for early learners outlined in the US National Early Literacy Panel Report (2008) form the basis of all early years reading programs.
  • Incorporating the five essential elements of effective reading practice outlined in the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Report (2000) into all reading programs.
  • Ensuring that all programs adopt a systematic, sequential and incremental approach, where appropriate.
  • Striking a research-based balance between phonics-based instruction and literature-based instruction, where appropriate.
  • Enabling students to comprehend a wide-range of genres, with specific focus on non-fiction and reading within a variety of disciplines, where appropriate.
  • Ensuring that reading assessment benefits all students. Valid and reliable assessment data are therefore utilised to:
    • provide baseline data for each student.
    • track student progress over time.
    • tailor reading programs to a diverse range of student needs.
    • guide intervention programs and action research projects.
    • establish ongoing accountability.
  • Ensuring that relevant and challenging library/ reading resources are coherently linked to all formal reading programs.

Early Literacy Skills

US National Institute of Family Literacy. (2008). "Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel: A Scientific Synthesis of Early Literacy Development and its Implications for Intervention".

Strongly Correlated
Moderately Correlated

Alphabetic knowledge

Phonological awareness

Phonemic awareness

Rapid Automatic Naming of letters and digits

Rapid Automatic Naming of objects and colours

Writing, or writing one's own name

Concepts about print: knowledge about print. For example, from left to right, front- back and concepts (book, cover, author, text).

Print knowledge: a combination of elements of alphabetic knowledge, concepts about print and early decoding.

Reading readiness: usually a combination of alphabetic knowledge, concepts of print, vocabulary, memory, and phonological awareness.

Oral language: the ability to produce or comprehend spoken language, including vocabulary or grammar.

Visual processing: the ability to match or discriminate visually presented symbols.

Essential Elements of an Effective School-wide Reading Program

US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). "Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read: An evidence -based assessment of the scientific research literature and its implications for reading instruction". (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington DC: US Government Printing House.

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Phonics
  • Reading fluency1
  • Vocabulary development2
  • Reading comprehension3: (Core reading strategies identified through research)
Finding the Main Idea
Recalling Facts and Details
Understanding Sequence
Recognising Cause and Effect
Comparing and Contrasting
Making Predictions
Finding Word Meaning in Context
Drawing Conclusions and Making Inferences
Identifying Author's Purpose
Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion4
Interpreting Figurative Language
Summarising
  1. Key focus for MS and HS. To comprehend well, all students must achieve adequate oral reading fluency.
  2. Key focus for MS and HS. Reading comprehension depends heavily on the knowledge of individual word's meaning in text. This can be learned implicitly (through contextual clues), or by explicit teaching of vocabulary.
  3. Key focus for MS and HS. Requires comprehension skills and strategies, background knowledge and verbal reasoning. All are employed by good readers.
  4. A key focus for HS students. HS students must be able to assess the validity, reliability and dependability of multiple sources.
Inclusion Policy

Research shows that labeling students has a pernicious effect, changing expectations in the eyes of teachers, parents and especially, the student.

Overseas Family School sees inclusion as an ongoing process and strives to provide effective and quality education for every student enrolled in our school. We believe in recognising and celebrating diversity and providing equity in teaching and learning opportunities to ensure access to lifelong learning for all.

Overseas Family School therefore:

  • Promotes a happy school atmosphere which emphasises self-respect and respect for others.
  • Avoids labeling students, which can change expectations of student performance.
  • Promotes self-management and self-discipline in all active learning in the school through identification of the most effective strategies.
  • Provides an educational framework that meets the needs of all students in accordance with IB philosophy and practice.
  • Meets the specific needs of students with special abilities or learning difficulties, as far as resourcing is possible.
  • Aims to minimise any barriers to learning and participation by responding positively to each individual's unique needs.
  • Works in partnership with every student, teacher and parent to maintain high expectations and ensure that each student is a fully participating member of the school.
  • Advises parents of external professional advice available, when requested, to meet the needs of all students.
  • Implements professional development for teachers to ensure awareness of factors that impact student learning and how to maximise effective learning for all.
  • Uses effective differentiation and collaborative teaching approaches to meet individual student needs.
  • Evaluates success of provision through ongoing review of levels of student attainment and evaluation of teaching and learning programs.
  • Ensures confidentiality for all students and members of the Overseas Family School community.
  • Works in accordance with IB, local and international guidance on Inclusive Education.