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On-going assessment of learning in inclusive settings - Portugal

The learning process types of assessment of all the pupils in a class relating to the characteristics of that group of pupils are described in the class Curricular Project. If there are any pupils with SEN in the group their assessment may assume a different type clearly explained in their own IEPs. Those pupils with SEN assessment adjustments relate to the way pupils express themselves, the provisions available, time spared and the places chosen for the tasks. 

In the first four years of school (1st cycle of basic education) SEN pupil’s IEP may suffer either slight curricular adjustments or very serious ones with very different objectives from those foreseen in the class Curricular Project (see Annex – Educational Programme). 

The on-going formative assessment is very important during these four years. Summative assessment is expressed in a rather qualitative and descriptive form. As for pupils with SEN, assessment social competences, personal autonomy and behaviour are highlighted.

At present, when assessing pupils with SEN it is common practice in schools to use differentiated tests, shifting from tests to research work, projects done in pairs, the use of computer technology and real life situations. 

In the 5th and 6th forms (2nd cycle of basic education) summative assessment is expressed in quantitative terms on a scale from 1 to 5 (qualitative or descriptive impressions may also occur). At this level SEN pupils’ IEP may be established either as an adjustment to the general curriculum or it may take into account the pupil’s profile in a functional learning perspective. The latter situation is called alternative curriculum but a different document (with serious changes). 

In the 2nd cycle of basic education the assessment adjustments may consist of:

  • Tests adjusted to the pupil’s competences;
  • Tests or working papers written and monitorised by a teacher or a support teacher;
  • Extended time to write the tests or do the working papers (in situations of motor impairment, slow process of information, behavioural problems);
  • Different places where to write the tests;
  • Group work (previously defined and afterwards value by the partners in the group and by the teachers);
  • Use of an adjusted type of communication according to the pupil’s impairment (oral, written, signal language, Braille…)
  • Tasks and behaviour records. 

The assessment of pupils that follow alternative curricular is very different from the one of their classmates. The results are generally qualitative and directly related to the functional competences described in the IEP.

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