In response to demands from teaching staff, a series of “Assessing Progress in Science” toolkits have been produced in order to aid teachers in their understanding of student assessment.
The kits have been issued by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), a non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). They are aimed at enabling teachers to assess student progress at their own pace, whilst offering them guidance on learning principles.
Tailored to key stages 1,2 and 3, each kit contains a range of literature and multimedia, such as a CD-ROM with video footage, hand-outs and presentation slides. It is hoped that, by providing teachers with clear, easy-to-use instructions, there will be no need to employ external trainers for professional development training. Each school will only need one toolkit for each key stage, as the materials can be used flexibly, either for full-day programmes or shorter sessions.
The materials in the kit are arranged into four modules, which means that each contains a set of presentation slides with notes and commentary. The participants” materials can be reprinted from the CD-ROM, ensuring that each kit can be used many times. The materials help teachers to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and provide guidelines for offering feedback on their development.
QCA’s Adviser for Science, Rebecca Edwards, said that the toolkits have already proved popular. “In the short time they have been available, a third of all schools have placed an order for them, and many are already being used in schools.” Their creation, she said, “has provided a professional development aid that supports teachers in ensuring that science assessment at key stages 1,2 and 3 remains at a consistently high standard.”
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