Estyn: Standards in science are high, but assessment needs to improve

Standards in the majority of science lessons in primary and secondary schools in Wales are good or better, inspectors have found.

However, teachers’ assessment of science is not good enough in half of secondaries, according to Wales’s education inspectorate Estyn.

Its report on science in key stages 2 and 3 highlights shortcomings in the reliability and validity of teacher assessment. It concludes that a lack of clear assessment criteria and weak arrangements for external verification make it difficult to judge whether the outcomes of teacher assessment give a true account of standards.

Chief inspector Ann Keane said: “Inspectors found that pupils are generally well-motivated in science lessons. Science clubs and field trips offer interesting experiences that help pupils to achieve better standards. Young people who are involved in clubs or field trips are more likely to develop an interest in pursuing a career in science. The quality of teaching is a vital factor in raising standards further. The best teachers possess very good subject knowledge and understand how to capture and sustain pupils’ interest.”

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