Assessing Pupils Progress in Secondary Science at Key Stage Three

Assessing Pupils Progress (APP) was produced by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), and Capita (under contract to the Department for Children, Schools and Families) and is a structured approach to periodic assessment, written to enable teachers to: *use diagnostic information about students’ strengths and weaknesses to improve teaching, learning and rates of students’ progress *track students’ progress over a key stage or longer. [b]Context[/b] According to the guidance, APP is a structured approach to student assessment in Key Stage Three (students aged 11-14) to support teachers with: *making judgements about their students’ attainment, keyed into national standards *developing and refining their understanding of progression in science *gathering diagnostic information about the strengths and areas of development of individual students and groups of students *tracking students’ progress over time to inform the planning of teaching *planning teaching that is matched to students’ needs *supporting the transfer of meaningful information at key transitional points, for example from Key Stage Two to Key Stage Three *facilitating the setting of meaningful curricular targets that can be shared with students and parents. APP was developed by QCA as part of a suite of assessment materials to cover English, mathematics, science and ICT at Key Stage Three. It was produced to help teachers in their assessments of student progress for the 2008 National Curriculum – not just summatively at the end of the keystage, but also to inform teaching formatively throughout the keystage. Aimed at Key Stage Three, it focuses on the levels expected for this age group – that is, levels three to eight. While being developed, the Key Stage Three SATs (Standard Assessment Tests) for science were still in use, but were discontinued when APP was being launched. [b]Development[/b] APP Science was originally based on 'Assessing Progress in Science', developed by QCA and published in 2003. These materials suggested tasks to complete in lessons and provided assessment guidance at different levels. When QCA started to work on APP English and mathematics, APP Science then took the same basic approach to development and format, so that there are common features of the assessment system across all three subjects. In the development of APP Science, during 2007-2008 draft criteria were drawn up by QCA and used with up to 40 pilot schools across the country to explore their use, as well as to help compile Standards Files to exemplify student work at different levels. The pilot was evaluated and the final version of the criteria and Standards Files produced in late 2008. In 2009, it was launched with schools via the National Strategies using Local Authority consultants to run cross-school meetings and supporting individual schools directly. It was also made available on the internet.


Assessing Pupils' Progress: Guidelines and Criteria

Part of the Assessing Pupils' Progress (APP) collection, these resources present the criteria for assessing progress in students’ understanding of science at Key Stage Three.

These guidelines/criteria are to help teachers assess progress in students’ work across five strands of...

Assessing Pupils' Progress: Teachers’ Handbook

Guidance for teachers on the thinking behind the use of Assessing Pupils Progress (APP) in secondary science at Key Stage Three. This handbook stresses the 'periodic' nature of the assessment possible using APP, as opposed to day-to-day and transitional assessments.

This booklet...

Assessing Pupils' Progress: Standards Files

APP Standards Files exemplify student work at different levels. Each Standards File includes:

*examples of evidence generated from students’ work in science, which have been assessed to exemplify the APP approach and show national standards

*commentary on the evidence for each AF, which leads to a...

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