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Disclaimer - New National Curriculum

The current national curriculum programmes of study for science at key stages 3 have been disapplied with effect from 1 September 2013 and are no longer statutory in relation to those year groups. This means that schools are free to develop their own curriculums for science that best meet the needs of their pupils, in preparation for the introduction of the new national curriculum from September 2014.

Science remains a compulsory national curriculum subject at all 4 key stages, and the existing programmes of study and attainment targets remain statutory for pupils in years 1, 2, 5 and 6 in 2013 to 2014, because they will underpin the statutory key stage 1 and 2 tests in 2014 and 2015. New statutory programmes of study and attainment targets will be introduced from September 2014 for all year groups except years 2 and 6: for those year groups, the new curriculum will take effect from September 2015.

For more information visit the DfE website:

Please note: The information on this page was originally put together to support the old QCA schemes of work for Science. Teachers may find some of the links to resources still useful but the units of work no longer apply and you should independently verify the accuracy of the information yourself before placing any reliance upon it.



This area will focus on the three elements of assessment: day to day; periodic and transitional.


Day to day

Resources that appear here will be those broadly categorised as 'formative' in that they are related to assessment that can be used by the teacher and/or student to inform what to do next. This might otherwise be described as 'Assessment for Learning' (AfL).

Key Features of National Curriculum levels
National Curriculum Levels in 'Pupil-Speak'
Walt Poster, click to download...Sharing Objectives

Periodic (APP)

What is APP?

APP is a structured approach to pupil assessment in Key Stage 3 to support teachers with:

  • making judgements about their pupils’ attainment, (keyed into)against national standards
  • developing  and refining their understanding of progression in science, especially in the 'how science works' skills
  • gathering diagnostic information about the strengths and areas of development of individual pupils and groups of pupils
  • tracking pupils’ progress over time to inform the planning of teaching
  • planning teaching that is matched to pupils’ needs
  • supporting the transfer of meaningful information at key transitional points, eg from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3
  • facilitating the setting of meaningful curricular targets that can be shared with pupils and parents.

Based on the assessment focuses (AFs) that underpin National Curriculum assessment, APP improves the validity and reliability of teachers' assessment and provides a more holistic view of student progress than other summative assessments. In pilot studies it has proved to be robust, manageable and effective in improving current practice.


Downloads & Links

Further information and the APP materials for Science can be found here:

The KS3 Assessment criteria:
Assessment Focus 1 - 5

This is the APP Threads document as used in the 23 June 2009 SLDM and in the APP Moderation meetings of 1st and 6th July 2009. It is a different way of looking at the Assessment Guidelines, shows porgression really clearly and may be useful if you are writing levelled tasks for your schemes of learning.

The Herts Science Team has also produced the following documents which might be of interest:
The Standards Files Levels AF1-5

This document is an attempt to split all the work in the Standards Files into Assessment Foci and attribute levels to provide an easy index for reference.


Standards Files to AF levels

This document shows the approximate integer levels (not individual criteria) of each piece of work against each of the Assessment Foci.

APP Ideas from Herts Science Teachers

This document was created by Herts Science teachers at various meetings this calendar year and contains possible ideas for APP activities at various levels. We do not vouch for the suitability of the activities or the associated levels but there are some interesting ideas included.

The Herts Science Team held four APP moderation meetings across the County in July 2009 where teachers levelled case studies and their own work and swapped ideas about good APP tasks. More meetings to follow in 2009-10 as APP rolls out.


Resources that appear here will relate to 'Assessment of Learning'. These forms of assessment provide a 'snapshot' of the knowledge and understanding of a student at a particular time (often the end of a module/term/year/key stage) and make a judgement on this against, for instance, national standards.

Prompts for reviewing tests

Question by Question Analysis

2006 KS3 Tests Analysis Tool

This spreadsheet analyses the 2006 KS3 tests papers question by question allowing you to identify students strengths and weaknesses.


Tracking Tools



Setting up Tracking Systems in Excel (Primary & Secondary)

Tracking Spreadsheet Exemplar

This document should be reviewed before the course for Subject Leaders on Use of Data