Science in the National Curriculum 1991

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This revision of the National Curriculum was an attempt to simplify the 1989 version, and to make assessment more manageable.

*The 17 Attainment Targets (AT) were reduced to four – with these divided into ‘strands’.

*Fewer Statements of Attainment: the number was approximately halved by broadening the statements and expanding detail in the Programme of Study (PoS). There was re-wording of some level descriptors to improve progression between levels.

*It was intended that the PoS content was largely unchanged since the 1989 version. The PoS is provided alongside the ATs; and there are content examples against each AT level provided as guidance.

*The ideas behind the 1989 AT17 (The nature of science) were included as part of the 1991 PoS for each of the new ATs.

*Each Key Stage has an introduction that includes reference to communication skills, applications of science and (at Key Stage Three and Four) the nature of scientific ideas.

*At Key Stage Four, the notion of content for ‘Double’ science (the 1989 Model A) and ‘Single’ science (the 1989 Model B) is indicated. In the list below, content which is only included in the Double science PoS is marked (D).

AT1 Scientific investigation – links with 1989 AT1 and 17
*Ask questions, predict and hypothesise
*Observe measure and manipulate variables
*Interpret results and evaluate scientific evidence

AT2 Life and living processes – links with 1989 AT2 (part), 3, 4 and 5 (part)
*Life processes and the organisation of living things
*Variation and the mechanisms of inheritance and selection
*Populations and human influences within ecosystems (D)
*Energy flows and cycle of matter within ecosystems (D)

AT3 Materials and their properties – links with 1989 AT6, 7, 8 (part) and 9
*The properties, classification and structure of matter
*Explanations of the properties of materials
*Chemical changes (D)
*The Earth and it's atmosphere (D)

AT4 Physical processes – links with 1989 AT10, 11,12 (part) 13 (part), 14, 15, 16
*Electricity and magnetism
*Energy resources and energy transfer
*Forces and their effects
*Light and sound (D)
*The Earth’s place in the Universe (D)

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