At Castelli we see exams, not as a hurdle to be overcome at the end of the year, but as a moment for the school to celebrate the learning and achievements of our students. Because we offer an integrated, bi-lingual programme, students can opt to take both English and Italian exams. Preparation towards the exams, guides, rather than dictates our programme and teaching methods, and our high success rate, means our students are above average achievers in both Italian state exams and IGCSEs.
Programme and Teaching
Our bilingual programme integrates our international curriculum with the Italian national one. Following comprehensive exams given in English students from grades 3 to 8 are examined by an external commission made up of a team of highly professional teachers. Grades 3 to 5 take a written exam in Italian and maths and give an oral presentation during which students demonstrates their general knowledge by discussing a topic of their choice and showing how it links with key subject areas studied (history, geography, science, literature, music and the arts). The exams are designed to help the students demonstrate what they have learned.
Middle School Exams
Grades 6, 7 and 8 take their exams at an Italian Public school. The first three days are written exams in Italian, English, Mathematics and French. The fourth day the student delivers his oral presentation dealing with a subject of his choice and showing how it connects to other subjects studied throughout the year. The fifth day (8th grade only) a Standard Italian Achievement Test (Invalsi) is given. The exams are designed to help students demonstrate what they have understood and how they reason and make connections with other subjects studied.
The commissioners help students perform to their best ability.
Collaborative Learning Key Feature in Exam Preparation
Preparation for the exams involves plenty of practice through collaborative learning both in Italian and English. Native Italian speakers in the class readily help their friends and the excitement of exam time really is something quite positive at Castelli. In the weeks leading up to the exams, it is not uncommon to see the students having fun, practising their presentations together during break time – not because they have been asked to – but because they enjoy doing it.