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Assessing level 1 and 2 students in science

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Teacherindisguise, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Teacherindisguise

    Teacherindisguise New commenter

    Hi Guys,
    I am looking for some advice. I work in a secondary school and this year our intake has included a large number of students who are working at a level 1 or 2 in science.
    I believe these levels should have been achieved in keystage 1 (please correct me if I am wrong) and am really struggling with how to teach them, what to teach them and more importantly how to assess them. We are currently teaching an adapted version of a KS2 science scheme but I am now wondering if this is still too complex for these levels. I think that I need to assess these students but do not know how as there are no past papers or anything I can find.
    If anyone could give some advice it would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. Teacherindisguise

    Teacherindisguise New commenter

    Hi Guys,
    I am looking for some advice. I work in a secondary school and this year our intake has included a large number of students who are working at a level 1 or 2 in science.
    I believe these levels should have been achieved in keystage 1 (please correct me if I am wrong) and am really struggling with how to teach them, what to teach them and more importantly how to assess them. We are currently teaching an adapted version of a KS2 science scheme but I am now wondering if this is still too complex for these levels. I think that I need to assess these students but do not know how as there are no past papers or anything I can find.
    If anyone could give some advice it would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  3. Levels 1 & 2 Science are the "average" child in Key Stage 1 (5 - 7 year olds) so assessment is almost all by observation and discussion with child. You will not find test papers as it is all teacher assessement (although the very first Year 2 SATs decades ago had a test). I assume you have seen the Science APP Guidelines? That may provide a good starting point for planning. Our staff meeting debates have centred around the AT1 aspects of assessment on APP and the knowledge aspects of the curriculum for other ATs with no nationally set assessment and records.
     
  4. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I'm going to give you the wrong answer I'm sure. Well I used to teach GCSE science and A level physics many moons ago. Children came in at 13. It was a truly comprehensive comprehensive. We treated them all the same whether they had done science at middle school or not. We did not know their past science grades. We taught them good secondary school science from scratch, in mixed ability classes, and it worked well. Many went on to do single sciences at A level.
    My children going through primary KS1 science now and one has level 2; well I wouldn't say they know anything that's worth going back through in a primary kind of way at secondary school. And anything they have learned is probably dangerously "wrong". So watch out those level 5s may not be what you think.
    If these children are really low ability, or poor at reading and writing, then you may have to address this if you are teaching a mixed ability class. But otherwise give them some really fun science lessons that are practical and tackle concepts correctly, and that will get them closer to average by the end of the year than if you deliberately try to teach KS1 stuff again to them.
     
  5. Hi,
    You'll find suitable assessment material and supporting books to help you develop their Science education (Sc1 and K&U) on the website www.minisats.co.uk . I fully understand your situation because I was a secondary HoS for many years.
    regards
    memjt
     
  6. I am a Year 1 teacher and was given these https://schools.educationbradford.com/Schools/CMSPage.aspx?mid=1589 by our science consultant. I have found them useful for assessment and tracking progress.
    Agree completely with the OP, my assessment is done through observation. I have found any level 1 and 2 tests completely useless as they assess basic knowledge not skills.
    I would think that very practical skills based lessons would be the best way to move the children on.

    Hope you get it sorted
    B
     
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Teacherindisguise, what did you decide to do? In my view it's not worth spending the time assessing them is it? They could actually learn something new and enjoyable and you could spend you time on better things?
    If a child is level 1a,1b,1c, 2c,2b,2a at science in year 7 seems neither here nor there to me. They don't know much science, that just about sums it up.
    Are their Engish and Maths poor too, or have they just been taught science badly or misassessed? If their English and Maths is too poor they're not going to progress that well in your science lessons long-term no matter how great a science teacher you are. They need some extra support in English and Maths ........ even if it happens by them being withdrawn from some of your science lessons. What does the SENCO say?
    If you do some open-ended and fun science investigations this will give you a chance to assess each piece of work to all the different level criteria you will then be able to cater for a wide ability range in the class, without taking up valuable planning and lesson time on something specifically tailored to level 1/2 children. You'll soon get a chance in class through practical work and discussion and write-ups to see what they can / can't do, and can / can't understand both verbally and written. Is your school asking you for something more bureaucratic than this?
    Secondary science is exciting; a fresh start in a real lab doing stuff in a way that you just couldn't do at primary in a primary classroom with non-scientist teachers . Give them a chance instead of trying to return them to primary assessment and levels.
     

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