Science attainment target 1

10th February 1995 at 00:00
* The post-Dearing Science AT1 is designed to allow teachers greater freedom in their choice of experiments and investigations - teachers will be able to fit AT1 to their work rather than the other way round. The change of title from "Scientific Investigation" to "Experimental and Investigative Science" reflects this to some extent.

For example, while the previous AT1 strongly emphasised the control and measurement of variables, the new AT1 makes much less mention of this and at key stage 3 specifically mentions "contexts, eg fieldwork, where variables cannot readily be controlled". This will make it easier to carry out investigations other than in the more precisely predictable areas of physical science.

The new AT1 also makes more explicit the idea that scientific evidence can be collected and handled in a range of ways - at each key stage, AT1 now has separate, sub-divided sections on the gathering and organisation of evidence.

And in the very high levels, it is clear that pupils can now demonstrate attainment in ways other than through long projects. (Some teachers found that under the old Order, very able pupils would fall short of the highest levels because they lacked the lab time to do complicated investigations.)

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