I have worked as an AST for 6 years now. As part of my outreach work has been to work with other Science Faculties to help them to embed APP and formative assessment into SoW. Whilst I know that not everyone is a fan of APP, I have found that in my experience it can, and has had positive impacts on progress. Using APP has also lead to a dramatic improvement in the written and verbal feedback that our students recieved. It helped to focus targets and also made them more specific and varied rather than “include more scientific words in your answers”.
In my faculty we have managed to successfully weave formative assessments into our bespoke curriculum that was adapted based on WIKID Update Science. I believe for marking and assessment to be useful rather than “bolt on”, it is vital that we teach the skills we are assessing before we assess them. Too often I have worked with schools where the assessment is there but the time taken to teach the skills that it is assessing is not.
As you may be aware, in terms APP criteria, there are five foci and each foci has 4 threads.
This means that there is essentially 20 areas students can be assessed on. If all these areas are assessed then it will be impossible for students to revisit them. Therefore as a Faculty we made a decision on the APP foci and threads that we felt were most useful to the students in terms of the progression from KS3 to GCSE and Controlled assessment. We narrowed the 20 threads down to 10and reassessed these in every year. The foci we chose were:
Af1.1 – Models
Af2.3 Applications of Science
Af3.1 and 2 Commuicating and Collaborating (graph plotting)
AF4-Planning (All the threads)
This meant that with in each scheme of work we were able to pick out key assessment foci and teach the skills as well as the content. We were then able to give quality feedback on these skills before the students did the summative APP task.
We are in our third year of APP and have found that our GCSE students who have been through KS3 and this system have a much better understanding of the HSW skills.
The materials below are materials that I have made and also found for APP in Science. It includes display materials, level ladders, success criteria cards and examples of APP/formative assessments that can be used.
Also I have also developed APP style peer and self assessment grids to support with providing quality written feedback on students’ work. Here is an example of one for a Unit called “Grand designs” that was build around the concepts of Energy (conduction, convection and radiation) as well as Energy resources. Students had focused on AF1.1 Models throughout the course and this enable them and us to assess their progress. We built the assessment sheets based on Badger style assessment templates.
Here is also another example for a unit called “Fireworks” here the focus throughout the unit was AF4 and teaching skills relating to planning.