Skills are the key;Reviews;General;Primary

27th February 1998 at 00:00
Science Assessment Key Stage 1 (Scottish Levels A-B). Science Assessment Key Stage 2 (Scottish Levels C-E). Peter Riley. Scholastic Assessment Portfolio. pound;16.99 each.

These books provide graded, photocopiable activity sheets to assess skills and knowledge in science. One test for key stage 1 pupils assesses their ability to recognise a fair investigation. There are pairs of pictures of seeds in different conditions. The pair that represents a fair test is identified and the choice justified in terms of the number of variables controlled.

In the section on physical processes, children's knowledge of how sound changes as it travels is put to the test. Children are asked to identify where a band will sound the loudest in a variety of situations.

At key stage 2, in an activity on Life and Living Processes, a table of pulse rates following a range of activities has to be interpreted and related to the circulatory system.

There are tests for each of the four attainment targets, teacher's notes, and a concluding section describing how the tests meet the various curriculum requirements for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Primary teachers will find this a time-saving resource. You might want to add more "why?" questions at key stage 1. Some of the questions may need to be rephrased at that level, too.

These books could provide some of the information for a portfolio, but remember: assessment can only be as good as the questions asked.

Douglas Newton is a reader in education at Newcastle University

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