Junior School Academic Policy:

Pakistan International School Jeddah – English Section provides a detailed, planned and integrated academic scheme covering a child's whole school experience, from the ages of 3 to 18. The Academic Programme is the intellectual embodiment of the School’s core values and designed to engage students in the life of the mind through cultural and scientific exploration from around the world.
At PISJ-ES, students gain exposure to a broad spectrum of thought in humanities and sciences, develop their intellectual curiosity, and work to channel this curiosity by thinking and learning both independently and collaboratively. Students are also encouraged to reinforce theory through practice – in laboratories, model performances, and school representations.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at PISJ-ES is based upon the programmes of the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), starting with Early Years, Cambridge Primary and moving through Lower Secondary, IGCSE to AS & A-Level in the senior years. The integrated international programmes ensure a smooth transition through the years of schooling and provide the opportunity for students to succeed in a stimulating, externally validated and highly respected world-class educational programme. Ultimately, the universally recognised qualifications obtained by our senior students open the doors to universities all over the world.

PG – YN: Junior School is committed to ensuring that the children embark on their learning journey in an environment that provides stimulating experiences, and where a strong pastoral ethos helps the children feel safe and happy to learn. The School has well-established systems in place for welcoming and supporting children to settle into their new learning environment.

The Cambridge Early Years programme for age 3 – 6, gives young learners the best start in life, helping them to meet key early milestones and thrive in and outside of school. Cambridge Early Years is the first stage in the Cambridge Pathway, which gives students a clear path for educational success from age 3-19.

The curriculum focuses on six developmental areas:

  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Creative Expression
  • Mathematics
  • Personal, Social and EmotionalDevelopment
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding the World

In addition to this, special subjects i.e. Quran and Urdu are also taught in the Early Years. The School recognizes the characteristics of effective learning as playing, exploring, and active learning in early education. Each area of learning is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of student-initiated/teacher-led activities.

Y1 – Y4: As the children progress from Year 1 through Year 4, special emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills and understanding in literacy and numeracy. Cross-curricular links are made, where appropriate, to make the learning meaningful and relevant. Three focus areas:

  • Core Subjects: English, Mathematics, Science
  • Compulsory Subjects: Social Studies, Islamic Studies, Computing & Urdu
  • Special Subjects: Physical Education, Arts, Arabic, Quran & Library (Y4 onwards)

The Cambridge Primary Programme provides statements of content, knowledge, skills and understanding, and attainment target levels for all the subjects other than Urdu, Arabic and Quran. The School’s integrated curriculum is underpinned by a structured approach to teaching the core subjects with the aim of preparing students for secondary education. While standards are benchmarked against the very best, the curriculum reflects the School’s international setting and celebrates diversity

Urdu for Beginners (UFB)
PISJ-ES is a diverse learning community with students from various backgrounds and academic needs. All students are required to acquire Urdu language skills as part of the PISJ-ES academic programme. Understanding the international context of the School, newly admitted student(Pakistanis/Non-Pakistanis) are offered Urdu for Beginners (UFB) syllabus in place of Urdu CAIE syllabus, if they have not previously taken the language. The students sit for a ‘UFB Placement Test’ to determine their proficiency level, based on which they are registered at the following levels:

▪ UFB 1 – Foundation Level
▪ UFB 2 – Limited Working Proficiency Level
The performance of the applicants in the placement test will determine if they will take UFB for one year or two years.

Conditions:
▪ UFB will be offered to the students from Y2 onwards.
▪ After 2 years of UFB, students admitted to Y2 – Y5 will continue with regular Urdu.
▪ Students placed in UFB from Y6 – Y9 will have a choice to continue to stay in the UFB Programme after language proficiency evaluation.
▪ Non-Pakistani Nationals can choose to stay in the UFB Programme throughout their course of studies, based on the language proficiency evaluation.
Note: Exemptions from the Urdu language are not allowed under any circumstances.

Special Subjects
To ensure that the education provided at PISJ--ES is well-rounded and satisfies the local context, the School offers certain subjects in parallel with the structures of the Cambridge International Curriculum. These are referred to as ‘Special Subjects’.

▪ Physical Education (PG – A2) focuses on developing physical fitness, confidence, and healthy competitiveness, students engage in regular fitness exercises and coaching sessions necessary to participate in a wide range of sports activities such as football, basketball, cricket, badminton, squash, and taekwondo
▪ Arts (PG – Y7) fosters creativity, self-reflection, and confidence in self-expression. Students receive a mixture of both open & closed guidelines and practice on creating various forms of artwork ranging from sketching to multidimensional masterpieces.
▪ Library (Y1 – Y6) instills reading habits with the help of regular, facilitated visits to the School’s impressively stocked library. Students learn how to be actively involved with text, make connections, infer, question, and improve their vocabulary.
▪ Quran (PG – Y7) develops familiarity with the Holy Quran which is an essential component of the student’s religious upbringing. Students learn and practice the rules of Tajweed for recitation and life.
▪ Arabic (YN – Y7) builds working proficiency in the language given its necessity in the local and socio economic context of the Kingdom.

Approach to Assessment

The School follows a Continuous Assessment Model across all grade-levels, evaluating students’ progress throughout the prescribed duration using various assessment tools.Continuous Assessment has abundant purposes to serve including determining students learning achievement, identify their learning difficulties for special support, to improve teacher’s pedagogical practices and to enhance the quality of education in general.

The School has devised a precise, nuanced and comprehensive assessment system for appraising student’s academic progression and achievement of learning objectives using a wellthought-out mixture of formative and summative assessment techniques.
▪ Formative assessment is used to monitor student’s learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. This comprises of classwork and homework activities such quizzes, assignments, practice questions, group projects and presentations.
▪ Summative assessment is used to evaluate student’s learning and achievement of curriculum objectives at the end of an instructional unit, term or year by comparing it against Cambridge International standards. This is conducted in the form of scheduled tests,mid-year and final year examinations.

Grading Structure

PG – YR: Students are assessed continually on a formative basis through the day-to-day teaching and learning process. A Progress Report is provided twice a year. These Progress Reports are accompanied by a parent-teacher conference, where learning progress and ways to move forward are discussed. The final report is the End-of-Year report, a more formal, written report including grades and teacher comments.

Scholastic Areas:
PG YN YR
1. Social & Emotional Skills
2. Work Habits
3. Self-Reliance Skills
4. Number Skills
5. Fine Motor Skills
6. Speaking & Listening Skills
7. Gross Motor Skills
8. Sensorial Skills
1. Sensorial Skills
2. Numerical Concepts
3. Fine Motor Skills
4. Work Habits
5. Social and Emotional Habits
6. Speaking and Listening Skills
7. Self-Reliance Skills
8. Islamic Studies
9. Urdu
1. English Language/Phonics
2. Math Concepts
3. Science Concepts
4. Work Habits
5. Handwriting/Fine Motor Skills
6. Character Development
7. Islamic Studies
8. Urdu
Special Subjects:
PG YN YR
1. Arts
2. P.E.
3. Quran
1. Arts
2. P.E.
3. Quran
4. Arabic
1. Arts
2. P.E.
3. Quran
4. Arabic

Y1 – Y2: For all subjects, students are assessed continually on a formative basis throughout the academic session using graded classwork and homework.

Assessment Weightage
Classwork 20%
Homework 15%
End of Unit Test 60%
Student Conduct 05%

Considering the necessary personal development of the students, the following work habits are also assessed and reflected in the Final Report Card. However, they do not affect the overall final grade.

Work Habit Rating*
Completes work on time 1.0 - 5.0
Grasps Concepts 1.0 - 5.0
Applies Self Control 1.0 - 5.0
Works Independently 1.0 - 5.0
Respects Others and their Property 1.0 - 5.0


*1.0 being Unsatisfactory and 5.0 being Excellent

Y3 – Y4: For all subjects including Arabic and Quran, students are assessed continually on a formative basis throughout the academic session using graded classwork and homework. Summative assessment is introduced to allow for smooth progression to the exam-oriented Cambridge International Lower Secondary programme.

Assessment Weightage
Classwork 20%
Homework 05%
Scheduled Tests 20%
Mid-Year & Final-Year Exams 50%
Student Conduct 05%

Special Subjects
Physical Education (PG – AL)
Based on students’ performance across scheduled Sports activities, including Annual Sports Day and in-school tournaments, student skills are evaluated as classwork whereas overall fitness level is assessed as homework. Keeping in view the aforementioned attributes, the overall grade is determined by the respective P.E teachers.
Arts (PG – Y7)
Based on students’ performance during art lessons, other art-related activities, including the Annual Arts Exhibition and Arts Competition, levels of creativity, artistic skills and presentation are assessed. Keeping in view the aforementioned attributes, the overall grade is determined by the respective Arts teachers.

Term Distribution: The academic calendar comprises two terms, First Term and Final Term. For each term, the student's performance is evaluated as per the Grading Structure outlined for the respective schools and grade levels. The final grade on the Report Card is calculated using a term distribution in line with the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) report card format:

School First Term Final Term
Junior School (Y3 – Y4) 50% 50%
Middle School (Y5 – Y8) 50% 50%
Senior School (Y9 -A2) 50% 50%

Grading Scale
Ungraded (U) indicates a standard below the required percentage for grade D i.e. 50%.
Not Applicable (NA) indicates:
▪ The student is a late admission and has not taken the relevant assessment.
▪ A subject is not applicable or opted e.g. Islamic Studies for Non-Muslims

PG – YR:
Grading Scale

Excellent E
Very Good VG
Good G
Working on Skills WS
Improvement Needed I
Ungraded U
  NA (Not Applicable)

Y1 – Y4:

Percentage Grades
95% and above A*
85% - 94% A
75% - 84% B
65% - 74% C
50% - 64% D
Below 50% U (ungraded)
  NA (Not Applicable)

Student Conduct Rubric (Y1 – A Level):

The student conduct will be graded, using the following rubric on a 5-point scale (once per term) and will be reflected in the Midterm and Final Term Report Cards.


Behaviour Observation Points
Disruptive behaviour in class
Friendly & respectful behaviour towards adults and peers
Follows school rules
Attention span
Respects school property
Follows task submission deadlines

Verification, Standardisation and Moderation
Verification, standardisation and moderation are the key processes by which the School maintains academic standards by assuring the appropriateness of assessments, and the accuracy of marking and grading decisions. These procedures also ensure alignment with the learning objectives and marking guidelines set out by Cambridge International.
Verification ensures that the form and content of assessment tasks and briefs are appropriate, fair and valid in terms of standards, effectively assesses the achievement of learning objectives and presents an appropriate level of challenge to students.Marking involves the academic judgement of students' submitted assessments against predetermined marking schemes and the provision of raw marks.
Standardisation activities are employed to ensure the consistency of marking across a cohort where there are multiple teachers involved.
Moderation is employed by the respective Head of Department to ensure that academic standards and marking are regulated within agreed norms and against predetermined marking scheme for the assessment. Moderation is usually undertaken by reviewing a sample of students’ work.

Attendance

Student attendance is essential for learning as it ensures proper utilization of valuable instructional time. For this reason, the School equates attendance with academic achievement and establishes policies and procedures designed to encourage and require students to be in school.

Approved Leave
In case a student is unable to attend due to reasonable circumstances or commitments, they are required to submit a leave application for approval.
In case a student is on an approved leave:
▪ Any missed homework must be made-up for upon resumption by coordinating with the concerned teacher.
▪ Any missed classwork or test is automatically graded based on the average performance across all similar assessments taken by the student (denoted by AL).
▪ Any missed exam must be made-up for as per the concerned school’s ‘Retake Schedule’. In case multiple exams are missed, a student may need to sit for more than one exam on a single day. If a student fails to appear for the retake, they will not receive any additional make-up chances.

Unapproved Leave (Truancy)
A student is considered on unapproved leave when absent without valid cause for a school day or any portion of a school day. If a student’s leave is unapproved, they do not receive credit for any graded work or tests that are missed.
In case a student is truant for more than 30 days in an academic session, the School reserves the right to defer the student’s promotion to the next grade-level/ registration for CAIE Exams.

Academic Honesty

The School is a learning community in which students experience educational practices that honour and empower them. The School works with students to design the education and training needed for their academic and career success through programs which develop and enhance skills, competencies, attitudes, and values.
In order to take advantage of the educational opportunities at PISJ-ES, students must engage with and produce their own original papers, exams and other assignments. They may not reproduce the work of others and characterize it as their own. Not only is such a practice dishonest, but it does not lead to the development of new skills and intellectual capacity.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, any form of academic conduct that is deceptive, dishonest, or fraudulent such as cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication.

Base Consequences
In any actionable case of academic dishonesty, the following consequences occur:
▪ A “0” for the assessment in question
▪ Notification to the student’s parents

First Offense
The first offence in a student’s academic history incurs a base consequence as defined above.
If a first offence is deemed to be more serious, it may incur additional penalties

Additional, Multiple, or More Serious Offenses
Additional, multiple or more serious incidents of academic dishonesty (including serious first offences) are dealt with more severely. In addition to the base consequences defined above, consequences may also include any of the following:
▪ 1-10 days of suspension (in or out of school)
▪ Removal from any leadership positions in the school or extra-curricular activities, including, but not limited to, captaincy on sports teams and club/activity leadership positions
▪ An ‘Ungraded (U)’ letter grade for the subject in which the offence occurred

Variables for Determining Severity of Offense
Penalties and consequences are determined by the Disciplinary Committee based on the severity of the offence. In determining severity, the Disciplinary Committee considers factors such as:
▪ Recurrence (prior incidents)
▪ Collusion with other students
▪ Type of violation
▪ Seriousness of offence
▪ Contrition of student
▪ Premeditation of offence
▪ Degree of effect on the school community

Promotion & Retention

Promotion Board
The following members constitute the Promotion Board which is solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to the promotion and retention of any student.
▪ Principal
▪ Deputy Head
▪ Homeroom/Subject Teacher
▪ Relevant HOD

YN – YR: As per the grading criteria, promotion is based mainly on the continuous assessment of the student. A student’s general awareness, comprehension,communicative ability, age, and mental and physical development are all taken into consideration.
If a student receives ‘I’ (Improvement needed) or below in the major scholastic areas, the School reserves the right to retain the student in the same grade level.

Y1 – Y4: A student must receive a passing grade across all subjects to be promoted to the next
grade-level.
Retention: The School reserves the right to retain a student based on attendance and failing to achieve a minimum of 50% in:
▪ One core subject
▪ Two compulsory subjects
▪ Three special subjects

A student failing to qualify the above conditions will be retained in the same grade level.

Conditional Promotion: Conditional Promotion is granted only in extra ordinary circumstances where the student is unable to perform due to extreme emergencies e.g., medical conditions, or close family tragedies. The Promotion Board will decide about the Conditional Promotion on the merits of each case.

Academic Probation
A student on academic probation is required to demonstrate academic improvement during the course of the session. If no such improvement is observed until the end of the first month of probation, the School reserves the right to withdraw or retain the student .

Academic Support Programme (ASP)

The PISJ-ES Academic Support Programme (ASP) provides support to all students identifie with additional educational needs. The programme strives to develop each student’s ability b establishing a solid foundation in key academic areas.

An objective and data-oriented student profiling process, Multi-Tiered Support System MTSS (see Annex F) is in place for the development of a swift and appropriate plan of action for eac student every month. The support program offers a variety of academic services for studen including targeted skills sessions, peer tutoring, one-on-one specialized tutoring, and sma group instruction.

To monitor the student’s academic progression, the school encourages positive feedback from the parents. Parents are not to wait for the Official/ Regular PTC conducted once a term to interact with the teacher and to share academic concerns.

To discuss academic queries, parents may secure an appointment anytime with the concerne teacher by reaching out to the Deputy Head Office of the relevant school via Query Portal.

Academic Enrichment Programme (AEP)

The PISJ-ES Academic Enrichment programme is aimed at high-performing students to further stretch their competencies through the use of thought-provoking and challenging hands-on activities, which extend upon what they are already learning in their classroom. The programme sets extended expectations of academic rigour and offers students to become mentors to their peers and gain vital leadership skills.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The wide selection of extra-curricular activities at PISJ-ES broadens the opportunities for students to enhance their natural abilities and to challenge themselves through the development of new interest areas. Extra-curricular activities include Science & Arts exhibition, Quran Competition, Model National Assembly (MNA), Model United Nations (MUN) and a variety of sports activities.

Awards and Recognition

PISJ-ES seeks every opportunity to recognize the students’ accomplishments and recognise their hard work and positive efforts. The PISJ-ES student awards aim to celebrate the students’ commitment to all aspects of school life.

Academic Awards are applicable for grade-levels YN and onwards in the following categories:

Category Criteria Grade-Levels
Outstanding Achievement YN-Y3: 95% and above
Y4: 90% and above
YN – Y4
Achievement Awards YN-Y3: 85% to 94%
Y4: 85% to 89%
YN – Y4
Good Progress Achieving two grade jumps in English, Urdu, Math & Science YN – Y4
Certificate of Merit 1st, 2nd & 3rd position holders in class Y1 – Y4
Certificate for Overall Position 1st, 2nd & 3rd position holders across the grade-level Y1 – Y4

The following Soft Skills Acknowledgment Awards are available for students from PG – Y4:

Category Criteria Grade-Levels
Perfect Attendance 100% attendance throughout the year PG – Y4
Best Behaviour Having supportive and cooperative behaviour towards peers and teachers PG – Y4
Certificate of Appreciation Grooming Based on the collective evaluation of the attribute PG – Y4
Certificate of Appreciation Avid Reader Based on the collective evaluation of the attribute PG – Y4
Certificate of Appreciation Good Handwriting Based on the collective evaluation of the attribute PG – Y4
Certificate of Appreciation Good Colouring Skills Based on the collective evaluation of the attribute PG – YR


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