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Formative and summative assessment of science in English primary schools: evidence from the Primary Science Quality Mark

Earle, S (2014) 'Formative and summative assessment of science in English primary schools: evidence from the Primary Science Quality Mark.' Research in Science & Technological Education, 32 (2). pp. 216-228. ISSN 0263-5143

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Abstract

Since the discontinuation of Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) in science at age 11 in England, pupil performance data in science reported to the UK government by each primary school, has relied largely on teacher assessment undertaken in the classroom. The process by which teachers are making these judgements has been unclear, so this study made use of the extensive Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) database to obtain a ‘snapshot’ (as of March 2013) of the approaches taken by 91 English primary schools to the formative and summative assessment of pupils’ learning in science. The dataset consists of the electronic text in the assessment section of all 91 PSQM primary schools which worked towards the Quality Mark in the year April 2012 to March 2013. A wide range of formative and summative approaches were reported, which tended to be described separately, with few links between them. Talk-based strategies are widely used for formative assessment, with some evidence of feedback to pupils. Whilst the use of tests or tracking grids for summative assessment is widespread, few schools rely on one system alone. Enquiry skills and conceptual knowledge were often assessed separately. There is little consistency in the approaches being used by teachers to assess science in English primary schools. Nevertheless, there is great potential for collecting evidence that can be used for both formative and summative purposes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Free access to article available at URL above during 2015 due to article's inclusion in Taylor & Francis's 'Class of 2015'. It was the highest read article in 'Research in Science & Technological Education' in 2014.

Keywords: Assessment, primary, science, formative, summative
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 11:40
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 13:49
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/5311
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