Assessment in secondary science
Assessment in secondary science

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Assessment in secondary science

1.1 What should be assessed in science?

The science curriculum is not simply a fixed collection of facts, but is a complex discipline that includes various skills as well as understanding concepts and scientific processes. Consequently, assessment in science should not be concerned only with what ‘facts’ students can memorise and recall without understanding.

Activity 1 What is assessed in science?

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Read the curriculum document relevant to your location and identify the science skills, processes and understanding that students are expected to acquire at Key Stage 3.

Select ten statements that represent the range of skills, processes and understanding of science as an activity (not scientific content knowledge). For each statement, consider how it could be assessed.

Teachers need to use a range of assessment techniques to match different aspects of science learning. If the concern is to assess skills and processes, what kinds of assessments are required? Clearly timed, written, externally set tests may not be appropriate for assessing such processes. Some aspects have to be observed, for example, to confirm the accuracy of student observation. Measurement and oral questioning are also useful for corroborating evidence, as students do not always write down everything they know.

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