Assessment - looking at children’s work in science

Teacher-designed tasks and tests 

Teachers will use a wide range of activities to introduce children to the units of the science curriculum, to allow them to work scientifically, to develop the skills required for designing and making and to reinforce knowledge and develop positive attitudes towards science and technology. The activities will involve observing both inside and outside the classroom, predicting outcomes, asking questions, designing and making models or structures, estimating, measuring and comparing, analysing objects and processes, hypothesising, recording and communicating in oral, pictorial, model, written and computer format. The active learning situations in which these will take place can be used to assess the progress of individuals and groups and can facilitate the evaluation of the development of children’s skills and attitudes.

Exploring and undertaking investigations in the environment will provide crucial information about children’s awareness of the diversity of living things, their appreciation of the interdependence of living and nonliving aspects of the environment and their awareness of the need to protect and conserve environments. Visiting sites of interest such as farms, factories, quarries will reveal much about the children’s understanding and appreciation of the applications of science and technology to society.

The way in which children undertake, carry out and complete investigations in science will provide important information about the pupils’ ability to work scientifically. The degree to which children observe accurately, annotate drawings, ask questions, predict outcomes, suggest hypotheses, identify variables and make assessments and judgements from the evidence available will be an important measure of the extent of their grasp of scientificknowledge and skills. Children’s willingness to suggest and test ideas about the events and the objects which they observe will be indicative of their attitudes of open mindedness, confidence and flexibility to work in open-ended situations. Children’s pictorial and written work, their models and representations and their communication in other forms should provide opportunities for them to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the physical world and their abilities to work scientifically.