Science Assessment and Tracking

C1a. Science Criteria System

AIM: To ensure consistent recording, reporting and tracking of pupil progress in science across the whole school.

The science assessment criteria are taken straight from the Programme of Study (PoS) for the National Curriculum. Each year group has its own assessment criteria sheet taken from the relevant PoS.

There are 18 criteria in all for each year group in KS1 and 24 for each year group in KS2.

The Stage 3 criteria (C1:1) corresponds to the science PoS for year 3, Stage 4 to Y4 etc.

Each Stage is broken down into 4 sub stages (similar to old sub levels): Emerging; Developing; Securing and Next Stage Ready (or Mastering/Greater Depth).

It provides a ‘one sheet to view’ overview of a child’s performance across all areas.

This one sheet allows for an assessment to be made across the PoS every term so that pupil progress is visual, targets are obvious and teaching and support are fully informed.

The expectation is that the vast majority of pupils become ‘Secure’ against their age-related criteria by the end of each school year. To do that, they will need to achieve around 70% of the assessment criteria over each year (approximately 13 criteria for KS1 or 17 criteria for KS2).

What makes our approach unique is that ALL criteria are assessed EVERY term, whether or not they have been taught. This may seem counter intuitive, time consuming for teachers and even stressful for the children. The opposite is true in practice.

Our results are so much better than ever before. HMI are impressed with the impact of Assertive Mentoring and the kids absolutely love it!

West Melton Junior: Rotherham

With an assertive mentoring approach the children actually look forward to the next assessment. That is, these are not tests, as such, they are assessments. They are to identify strengths, show progress, and inform teaching and support in order to ensure success.

C1:2 Science Assessments

AM has had a massive impact on our standards. Teachers find the assessments manageable and use the results to inform future planning, target teaching and fill gaps through interventions.

M. Majevadia: Anderton Park School, Birmingham

Aim: To ensure that ALL criteria from ALL stages are regularly, consistently, accurately and efficiently assessed.

Every year group/science stage has 3 assessments (C1:2) (one for each term throughout the year).

Each question tests a specific criteria from the relevant PoS. All criteria are assessed each, apart from ‘Working Scientifically’ which must be teacher assessed. Children should be given 1 hour to answer as many questions as possible in test conditions.

If a pupil gets the question completely right, put a cross (X) in the corresponding cell on the Criteria Tracking Sheet (C1:1). If a pupil gets the question partially right, put a diagonal line (/) in the corresponding cell and a dot if wrong.

Count the number of crosses (and only crosses) awarded on the test. Then put that number in the column at the bottom of the tracking sheet and that shows where they are within the stage: i.e. Emerging, Developing, Securing, or Mastering/Ready for next Stage.

The teacher AND pupil can now SEE what progress has been made since the last assessment and how many more ‘crosses’ are needed on next terms test to stay on trajectory to meet the end of year target.

The teacher discusses the diagonal lines (/) on the tracking sheet to identify 3 - 5 targets that the pupil can work on over the next half term, knowing that if these can be converted into crosses by the time of the next half term assessment, the pupil will be on trajectory to achieve the year-end target.

Targets are explained and cut and pasted onto the Pupil Target Sheet (C1:3). They become their science targets for the next term.

The teacher and/or Teaching Assistant refers to the targets whenever possible and appropriate during teaching, support and marking.

Completing the Criteria Class Record (C1:4) allows the teacher to maintain an overview of class performance, to help identify gaps in T&L, which in turn informs planning. They also give an indication of ability groups to inform class organisation and differentiation and show the children requiring intervention and extension work. We teach the pupils not the scheme!

There is also an Excel IT Tracker (C1:6) available which can make the tracking, recording and reporting of pupil progress a paperless exercise.


Peter Boddy

Phone number
07810 125 494

Eamonn Farrar

Phone number
07951 391 388

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