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Science Assessment FAQs

Key changes

Q: What's happening to levels?

A: The old National Curriculum levels have been removed and declared 'not fit for purpose', with no replacement being specified. Schools must devise their own systems and methods of assessment, and be able to demonstrate these to Ofsted.


Q: Will there be any guidance on attainment targets and assessment?

A: Schools will be expected to have in place approaches to formative assessment that support pupil attainment and progression. By the end of KS3, students are expected to have "secure" knowledge and understanding of the blocks of content and concepts set out in the Programme of Study. However, it is up to the individual school to decide on the best way of doing this for their pupils. The DfE says: "We will give schools the freedom to develop a curriculum which is relevant to their pupils and enables them to meet these expectations".


Q: How can Oxford's KS3 science resources support me with assessment?

A: Activate for KS3 Science is based on a new assessment model, developed specifically for the 2014 curriculum by assessment expert Dr Andrew Chandler-Grevatt. The Activate assessment model is based on bands matched to national curriculum statements: Developing, Secure and Extending. The middle band indicates that students have a secure grasp of the content or skills specified in the Programme of Study.

Going forward

Q: Can I still use levels if I wish?

A: It's expected that some schools may continue to use levels for the time being, while they are developing a new approach. Activate's 'Secure, Developing and Extending' bands have been matched to the old curriculum levels to provide guidance and reassurance for schools.

Types of assessment

Q: What types of assessment does Activate offer?

A: Assessment in Activate is designed to be flexible, formative, and summative, allowing you to choose what best suits your students and school. Activate provides both paper-based and online auto-marked assessments on next generation Kerboodle. All paper assessments are fully editable for you to adapt to your chosen approach. All auto-marked assessments have the option of providing either formative feedback (where students receive feedback on each question and additional attempts) or summative feedback (with one attempt at each question and feedback at the end).

There are Checkpoint assessments at the end of each chapter, progress and skills tasks and interactives for use throughout each chapter, as well as end-of-unit revision quizzes and tests, and practical projects for use after each unit.