Learning

In 2013, students in Grades 4 through 10 at Stratford Hall began to receive not only an academic mark, but a P.A.W.E.R. score to inform families about what the term has been like for the student.

The acronym stands for Preparation, Attitude, Work Habits, Effort and Self-Regulation. This score has been developed through our work with Executive Functioning and Approaches to Learning (a feature that was part of the MYP)

We like the allusion to ‘power’ and consider this score to underpin all learning. We also like that it refers to one of the basic needs: for mastery. The rubric has been set up so that 7s are attainable by every student. In turn, if 7s are achieved in the P.A.W.E.R. score, the maximum summative mark will be realized. 

In most cases the P.A.W.E.R. rating and the Current Course Grade are the same or nearly so. This would be expected: in most cases performance is directly influenced by the elements that we have identified as important to the process of learning. Extra attention needs to be given when a P.A.W.E.R. score of 3 or 4 is matched by a summative score of 3 or 4. What the student needs to work on should be clear and an increase in the P.A.W.E.R. score will very likely result in a similar increase in the Current Course Grade.

In some cases, there may be a gap in the two scores. Some students score 6 or 7 on the P.A.W.E.R. rating, but only 3 or 4 on the summative assessment. This would tell you that your child is a very good student who has particular difficulty with that subject or the concepts covered. We all have areas that no matter how hard we work are just difficult. Our advice in this case certainly cannot be “work harder”.

On the other hand, you may see a P.A.W.E.R. rating of 3 or 4, but a Current Course Grade that is somewhat higher. This would tell you that your child found the concepts covered to be quite easy. But even though the Current Course Grade is high, it is evident that there are many aspects of the process of learning that need work. Although the work may seem easy now, concepts do become far more complex and without the P.A.W.E.R. skills IB Diploma work becomes very difficult if not impossible.

We hope that families can use the P.A.W.E.R. rubrics when discussing school life. Some parents select an element to emphasize, a week at a time. As a community, we celebrate successes in the P.A.W.E.R. rubrics every bit as much as high Current Course Grade assessment scores. It is our view that a strong P.A.W.E.R. rating in Grade 10 is the best predictor of success in the IB Diploma.


In our Diploma Programme, students will receive formative and summative feedback—assessment for learning and assessment of learning, respectively. In each DP course, students earn a mark out of 7, their Current Course Grade. This represents what might be called their productive performance. Students will also receive formative and summative feedback using the Approaches to Learning rubric, which is marked out of 7. This represents their learning performance: given the 21st century’s rapidly changing opportunities, students need to become experts at how to learn.

This holistic view of education takes place in all IB Diploma Programme schools; Stratford Hall’s rubric is a natural continuation of our PAWER rubric, but with naturally higher expectations of maturity and engagement. 
 
At Stratford Hall, your child’s attention to the MYP PAWER score and to the DP Approaches to Learning score will foster their confidence, excellence, and integrity; attributes for which IB Diploma Programme graduates are internationally renowned.