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Celebrating ten years of Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS)

This June marks 10 years since the Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project, based at Bath Spa University, was set up to provide support, resources and learning materials to aid the nation’s teaching and assessment of science in primary and early years settings.

TAPS was initially developed in response to a lack of guidance following the removal of the statutory levelling system in England, which resulted in uncertainty regarding how to assess primary science. The Bath Spa team initially started working with 12 schools in the South West of England and the project has gone from strength to strength, positively impacting children and teachers across all four countries in the UK.

Since its launch in 2013, TAPS has worked with 93 project schools and delivered face-to-face training to approximately 9,700 teachers. The scheme’s informative videos have been viewed more than 20,200 times and TAPS resources, which are available free online, have been downloaded 232,000 times in 123 countries around the world. TAPS is now an accepted model of best practice in teacher assessment and has aided thousands of children’s learning.

A 10-year anniversary event was held at Bath Spa’s Newton Park campus on Tuesday 20 June 2023 to mark the milestone. Sixty attendees including university colleagues, primary school teachers, and those from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) organisations enjoyed an afternoon of celebrations.

Dr Sarah Earle, Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) Project Lead at Bath Spa University, said:

“I am delighted to be able to join with colleagues from schools and universities to celebrate 10 years of the TAPS project. The sustained funding from the Primary Science Teaching Trust and Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has meant that we have been able to develop long-standing relationships with partners and schools across the UK, to develop resources that are now so widely used.

“Bath Spa is seen as the place to come for primary science assessment and the TAPS approach is embedded into our own and others’ PGCE programmes. We were really pleased that the EEF found that the Focus4TAPS professional learning programme made a positive impact for pupils, together with increased confidence for teachers, so they taught more science.”

Building on its success to date, TAPS will be rolled out further on a national level. Dr Sarah Earle added:

“I will be continuing to work on TAPS development and capacity building, with the next phase all about a national roll out of training, so there’s plenty more TAPS to come. 

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the teachers, schools and partners who have worked with us over the last 10 years. It is this collaboration that has meant that the resources are relevant to the needs of teachers in each of the UK nations.”

To find out more about the project, you can download the June 2023 TAPS Impact Booklet or visit the TAPS web page

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