Introduction to PLAN
On this website, you will find the PLAN assessment resources that support schools to plan and assess effectively the science National Curriculum for England.
How do the PLAN assessment resources support the planning and assessment of science?
Assessment is an ongoing activity that starts with teachers' lesson planning. The diagram below illustrates the process of planning for assessment and how the PLAN assessment resources support it.
To plan successfully, it is important to understand what the children have been taught previously that links to the topics and related statements from the science National Curriculum that will be taught in the coming year. The PLAN Knowledge progression indicates where content that is linked to those topics and statements for each year has been taught in previous years.
Having identified the linked content from previous years, this information can be used to plan initial activities to engage that prior learning. You may find it useful to look at the PLAN Examples of work for previous years to identify suitable activities that could be used to remind children of their prior learning.
It is also good practice to check tracking data to identify children that were not secure when the linked learning was taught. Specific attention can be given to these children during the initial activity to ensure they are now secure.
It is important to be clear about the key learning, vocabulary and working scientifically skills that the children need to acquire. The PLAN Knowledge matrices and Working scientifically matrices provide this information. Activities can then be selected that will best support the children to become secure in the knowledge and skills.
When children have engaged in sufficient activities to have become secure in the required knowledge, it is time to reflect on their learning. The PLAN Examples of work show the learning of one child that is secure in the required knowledge that can be used as a benchmark against which to assess children's work.
Children that are not secure can then be given additional activities to provide them with further opportunities to show that they are secure, possibly gathering evidence in a different way for example verbally in a small group context. Children that are secure can be given enrichment activities to broaden their thinking, while being careful not to stray into the content taught in later years (check this on the PLAN Knowledge progression).
To assess the working scientifically skills of children, observe their execution of skills that have been previously modeled and take note of those children who are not secure in using them.
If children are still not secure in the knowledge and skills, further opportunities should be provided, later in the year, for them to revisit them.