Sandnes International School was founded in 2017 in Norway, with a vision to inspire growth, empower excellence and enrich lives. It is a growing, diverse community of educators, students, and teachers representing over 20 nationalities.
To realize their school’s mission of creating a better world by providing students with a rigorous curriculum and giving opportunities to take meaningful action, Sandnes International School applied for IB PYP candidacy. Mary Kay Polly, PYP Coordinator at Sandnes, was focused on simplifying the PYP and ensuring that everyone in the school community understood how teaching and learning happened in this new programme. She explains “As a candidate school, PYP and inquiry were new to all our teachers, students, and families. My role was to make sure that everyone had a common understanding of how learning happens and how student progress is measured”. This is when Mary Kay introduced Toddle as the All-in-One platform for their PYP community. The teaching team uses Toddle for curriculum planning, student portfolios, assessment, reporting, and family communication.
Using Continuous Evidencing to Generate Authentic Reports
To make sure learning was captured on an ongoing basis, teachers at Sandnes began capturing key learning moments using Toddle’s Student Portfolios. Mary Kay says, “This had a two-fold benefit for us – our new to PYP parents knew what was happening in the classroom and our teachers were effortlessly able to write narrative comments with this data for our Progress Reports”.
Instead of starting the Report Card writing process from scratch, teachers were able to use information collected through the course of the year to create rich narrative Progress Reports. “The highlight for us was definitely being able to create authentic Progress Reports that captured a student’s journey overtime, instead of just mentioning a letter or number to share progress”.
Tailored Templates to Create Narrative Progress Reports
As any new PYP school can testify, the initial years are a time of taking it all in and contextualizing practices. “We wanted to find ways to adopt the PYP without overwhelming our school community. Progress Reports were a way for us to bring everyone – teachers, parents, and students – on the same page about how learning unfolds. This meant we needed flexibility in our Progress Reports”.
Sandnes International School wanted their Progress Reports to effectively reflect the learning journey of a child and to do this, they did not want to use grades, scope and sequence, or approaches to learning. Rather, “we wanted our teachers to write narrative comments that told the story of learning across different transdisciplinary units of inquiry and single subjects. We asked the Toddle team to customize our Progress Reports templates in a way that would give teachers the space to write detailed comments for each unit of inquiry and for single-subjects including Language, Math, Norwegian, Art, and Physical Education”.
The Toddle team was able to build out tailored templates to their specifications in 2 days. Mary Kay says, “I think the most valuable asset is Toddle’s highly responsive team – from coaching our teachers to use the platform to creating tailored templates; it has been a wonderful experience”. With the newly customized templates, teachers were able to write in-depth narratives explaining the focus of the learning and skills developed by students during the course of the units.
Creating Reports on Toddle Saved Teachers’ Time
“The biggest benefit in my opinion was the time that the Report Card creation process saved my teachers – it was so much faster with no real hassles”. With Toddle, teachers were able to make efficient use of their time to create authentic Progress Reports that reflected a student’s learning journey. They used information already collected in Student Portfolios and Unit Plans to write narrative comments about children. “The process was really simple and provided teachers with the confidence to share their students’ work with families”. By following simple self-explanatory steps, teachers were able to create visual and engaging Progress Reports!
Facilitating Meaningful Conversations with Parents
“ It is important to develop assessment capability among all members of the learning community. In an assessment-capable learning community, everyone has a clear understanding of the reasons for assessment, what is being assessed, the criteria for success, and the methods by which the assessment is made”
From IB Principles to Practice
As a candidate PYP school, Sandnes’s families were new to the PYP and it was important to make sure the Reports helped them understand student progress. Mary Kay says, “Our parents were really excited to see the quality of our Progress Reports. Teachers were able to have long, meaningful conversations with them about their child as they engaged with our detailed Progress Reports”. Toddle’s Student Portfolios had already given teachers and families a shared structure of communication but Progress Reports truly captured the process of learning in a snapshot.
“The progress report reflects a rich learning environment. The narration shows my child’s overall journey and his development in different units. It also helped me to have a meaningful and fun conversation with my child. The best part is that it does not have any grades or marks, which will not allow anyone to judge or compare his /her child with others but rather can acknowledge them through their abilities. ”
Gopa Kumar, Grade 3 Parent
Creating Report Cards on Toddle
Mary Kay says, “There are a whole host of other features that we have not yet used but intend to use to make sure our Progress Reports are constantly evolving”.
- With Toddle’s integrated platform, teachers can seamlessly link evidence collected in Student Portfolios to create media-rich Report Cards. They can use photos, videos, anecdotes and more in their Report Cards.
- Additionally, teachers can also pull learning outcomes from their unit plans to their Report Cards – one place to evaluate Scope and Sequence, Approaches to Learning and more!
- Finally, evaluations from prior assessments can be linked to Report Cards to share a more comprehensive view of a child’s learning journey.
Integrate portfolios, assessments and planners to create highly visual, authentic report cards on Toddle. Share a holistic view of student progress by adding assessments from throughout the year and automatically populate learning outcomes from selected units. And yes, save a lot of time on the way!!
Toddle is the preferred teaching partner of 20,000+ PYP educators and 1,000+ PYP schools around the world. Developed by experienced IB educators, Toddle streamlines planning, portfolios, assessments, reports, and online learning – all from one intuitive interface. Through Toddle Community, educators from around the world can collaborate with each other for sharing best practices and teaching-learning resources.
Request a demo today to understand how you can empower student voice and choice to demonstrate and share learning, engage in authentic assessment, and get deep insights on student progress across PYP elements and curriculum goals