of CRIPSAT's criteria for generating high quality assessment items
is to work alongside KS2 teachers. Despite the fact that both
core-team members are experienced primary science practitioners
(testifying to over twenty years of primary science teaching between
them), they are under no illusions about the necessity to ensure
that the KS2 test papers must not only have classroom validity
amongst teachers, but also some street cred' amongst pupils.
strong desire to mature a partnership with KS2 teachers manifests
itself in a number of ways:
The observation of good practice in schools
year 5 and 6 teachers are more than happy to share the contents
of an interesting and perhaps novel science lesson that they
have taught. The more robust will allow a member of the core-team
to observe or even participate in a practical science lesson.
When confronted with the question 'Have you done any exciting
science with your class recently?' teachers will often respond
by saying 'No just the usual stuff'. But when subjected to further
questioning, the 'usual' often turns into the 'unusual and very
interesting', which leads the astute test question writer to
respond with 'ah there must be a test question amongst all this'.
Discussions with pupils can also invigorate a flagging question
writer generating fresh contexts for questions.
If you have some exciting science work going on in your school,
why not contact the team at
to arrange a visit.
KS2 teachers with a proven track record of excellence in primary
science are invited to be part of the question writing process,
working along side members of the core team at CRIPSAT and the
ACCAC KS1-3 science officers. Such collaborations ensure that
teachers are given an opportunity not only to share their classroom
experiences, but also to gain an insight into the question writing
and development process. This is what two teachers has to say
about their experiences:
of test papers
questions, which have been approved by the Test Review Group,
are subjected to two pre-tests in a representative sample of year
6 classes in schools throughout Wales. The ACCAC Schools Database
Unit provides CRIPSAT with a representative sample of schools
that have agreed to participate in a pre-test of science test
team of between eight and ten administrators (all experienced
primary science practitioners) and two members of the core-team
take the pre-test papers to the schools in every Welsh authority.
Levels 2-3 and 3-5 papers, English and Welsh medium are administered
using methods which closely resemble those utilised to administer
the live tests in May each year, but at the pre-test stage the
pupils are told that 'it is a test of the assessment items and
not a test of their ability in science'.
6 pupils participating in one of the pre-tests.
that are interested in being part of the science pre-testing process
should contact the ACCAC Schools Database Unit on 02920 375400
marking of pre-test scripts
is responsible for the arranging of a two-day central marking
exercise to accommodate the coding and marking of pre-test scripts.
A team of experienced KS2 science markers (most of whom are part
of the WJEC's external marking team) are invited to a central
location in North Wales to mark approximately 2000 Levels 3-5
English and Welsh medium scripts. The Levels 2-3 scripts are marked
by members of the core-team at CRIPSAT.
marking, under the leadership of Dewi Roberts and Mark Thomas,
provides an opportunity for markers to air important mark-scheme
considerations, often leading to useful informative discussions
regarding which pupil responses should be allowed. Markers' comments
are subsequently incorporated into a pre-test report written by
CRIPSAT for ACCAC, which informs a developing mark scheme formulated
by the KS1-3 Science Professional Officer at ACCAC and the KS2
Science Chief Marker.
markers demonstrating extensive concentration during a pre-test
marking exercise at a hotel in St Asaph, Denbighshire (November
interested and suitably qualified to become a KS2 science markers
should get in touch with a member of the core-team at
University of Liverpool, 126 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L69 3GR - 0151