Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS)

Developing guidance and resources to support teachers and schools

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The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project has developed the TAPS pyramid tool to provide schools with a supportive structure to evaluate and develop their assessment processes. This section also contains a growing database of updated Focused Assessment plans and work samples.

Please help us to further develop the TAPS resources by giving feedback via one of these short survey links: trainee, first impressions or user.


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TAPS Overview

TAPs Overview

The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project is based at Bath Spa University and funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT). TAPS aims to develop support for a valid, reliable and manageable system of primary school science assessment which will have a positive impact on children’s learning.

The TAPS pyramid tool provides a structure to help schools evaluate and develop their assessment processes. The rich formative assessment information collected by teachers in the course of ongoing classroom work is also utilised for summative purposes – the orange arrow represents information flowing up the pyramid. Schools should begin with a focus on the ‘Pupil layer’ and the ‘Teacher layer’ at the base of the pyramid. These foundations encapsulate the principles of Assessment for Learning and this is where changes will have the most impact on pupil progress in Primary Science.

The pyramid PDF is designed to be a supportive source of examples – by clicking on each box you will be taken to examples from a range of schools. It can also provide a structure to support school self-evaluation since the interactive functions allow you to traffic light your assessment systems (on your own saved copy) and make notes on the approaches in your school.

Under the ‘TAPS Files' tab you will find a range of reports explaining more about the project, together with the TAPS pyramid PDF. The downloadable pyramid PDF is designed to be a supportive source of examples – by clicking on each box you will be taken to examples from a range of schools. The pyramid also provides a structure to support school self-evaluation, since the interactive functions allow you to traffic light your assessment systems and identify priorities (on your own saved copy of the pdf, or on a black & white paper copy).

The TAPS team are currently working on a web version of the pyramid school self-evaluation tool which will include new examples. The aim is also to continue to expand the focused assessment database.

If you would like to offer further examples, or provide the TAPS team with feedback, please email: primary.science@bathspa.ac.uk.

Keep up-to-date with TAPS developments on Twitter by following @PriSciEarle.


Further videos are available on the TAPS playlist

TAPS Playlist

TAPS Files

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TAPs Files

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ALL “Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS)” FILES [8.38MB]

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interactive pyramid [4.56MB]

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booklet explaining the TAPS self evaluation pyramid [1.08MB]

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black and white pyramid for photocopying [82.93kB]

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teacher summary of approaches in English primary schools [1.08MB]

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full report of approaches in English primary schools [2.60MB]

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Focused Assessment Overview

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Focused Assessment

WHAT IS FOCUSED ASSESSMENT?

The TAPS focused assessment approach embeds assessment within classroom primary science activities. There are two kinds of resource in this database. There are plans that have a particular focus on the assessment of working scientifically, such as close observation within a topic context. There are also focused assessment examples of children’s learning for particular science concepts e.g. how the earth orbits the sun. It is a tool for both assessment for learning (formative assessment) and summative assessment.

The elements of working scientifically were chosen according to the natural emphasis of the topic and activity. During the lesson children may well be involved in other aspects of scientific enquiry that are not the focus. For example: if the focus is on interpreting data, the children may also have discussed how to carry out the enquiry and used their measuring skills to collect data. Any recording of children’s learning is around the focused element.

Why use focused assessment?

A focused assessment increases the validity of teacher judgments. Assessment indicators provide suggestions about what the children might do or say to demonstrate their understanding or knowledge in the context of real classroom activities. This clear focus on an element of science reduces the possible impact of preconceptions about individual children or their skills in other areas, such as writing. Over time, the full range of children’s science enquiry skills and understanding of science can be considered in depth.

Taking one focus at a time means that assessing science, including practical work, becomes more manageable with a whole class. Many teachers find that annotating plans or just noting those who have 'not yet met the objective' is sufficient for record-keeping.

They have been developed and trialled by schools so teachers can feel secure that their judgements are consistent with those of other teachers. In other words, they are reliable.

Specific areas for children’s development can be identified and subsequent teaching can take this into account; the assessment is formative. These focused assessments can also contribute to an ongoing summative record of children's attainment in scientific enquiry instead of relying on end of term testing.

When to use the focused assessments

Ideally, focused assessment should occur about two thirds of the way through a topic - far enough that the children have had the opportunity to develop their understanding and skills, but allowing sufficient time to act on the assessment information.

How to use the focused assessments

Using this approach to assessment will allow teachers to focus on learning across the full range of working scientifically elements; plan, do, review. This helps to ensure that all aspects are considered - not just fair testing! There is an overview grid to support whole school planning that can be downloaded.

We strongly recommend that you amend any plan to suit your own class and circumstances (you can download it as a Word document).

Blank proformas have also been provided should you wish to create your own focused assessment plans or examples. Please feel free to use the ideas in new ways to suit your school.

We are continuing to build the database so if you do create a new focused assessment or example, please do share it by sending it to primary.science@bathspa.ac.uk.

Further videos are available on the TAPS playlist

TAPS Playlist

 

Focused Assessment Database

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Focused Assessment Database

Y1 PLANS & WORK SAMPLES

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Y1 Plan Animals Body Parts WS Review [288.99kB]

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Y1 Plan Animals Classn WS Review [283.36kB]

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Y1 Plan Materials Float sink WS Do [121.72kB]

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Y1 Plan Materials Reflectiveness WS Plan [347.32kB]

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Y1 Plan Plant Structure WS Do [813.29kB]

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Y1 Plan Seasonal change WS Do [124.13kB]

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Y1 Animals Body model WS Review example [88.66kB]

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Y1 Animals Group discussion example [220.46kB]

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Y1 Animals Sorting WS Review example [162.67kB]

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Y1 Materials Describing properties WS Do example [221.04kB]

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Y1 Materials For a boat WS Review example [112.78kB]

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Y1 Materials Magnetic sorting WS Review example [171.46kB]

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Y1 Materials Reflectiveness testing WS Do example [245.71kB]

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Y1 Materials Sorting WS Review example [83.63kB]

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Y1 Materials Umbrella results WS Do example [135.55kB]

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Y1 Materials Umbrella WS Plan example [145.15kB]

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Y1 Plants Class book WS Do example [210.98kB]

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Y1 Plants Drawing leaves WS Do example [93.20kB]

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Y1 Plants Flower model example [142.03kB]

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Y1 Seasonal change tree WS Review [57.13kB]

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ALL Y1 PLANS AND WORK SAMPLES [3.84MB]

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Y2 PLANS & WORK SAMPLES

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Y2 Plan Animals Handspans WS Review [260.02kB]

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Y2 Plan Living Nature spotters WS Review [121.43kB]

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Y2 Plan Living Woodlice habitat WS Do [121.32kB]

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Y2 Plan Materials Rocket mice WS Do [290.53kB]

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Y2 Plan Materials Waterproof WS Plan [283.84kB]

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Y2 Plan Plants Growth WS Do [122.31kB]

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Y2 Animals Exercise ideas WS Review example [56.27kB]

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Y2 Animals Match offspring example [55.19kB]

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Y2 Animals Order life cycles example [313.98kB]

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Y2 Living Habitat survey WS Do example [81.56kB]

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Y2 Living Sorting liv and nonliv example [345.42kB]

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Y2 Materials Building soundcloud WS Do example [238.71kB]

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Y2 Materials Material hunters WS Review example [185.80kB]

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Y2 Materials Rocket mice expl WS Review example [246.36kB]

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Y2 Materials Waterproof paper Plan example [86.95kB]

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Y2 Plants Growth comic strip example [180.72kB]

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Y2 Plants Observing seeds grow WS Do example [110.57kB]

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ALL Y2 PLANS AND WORK SAMPLES [2.90MB]

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Y3 PLANS & WORK SAMPLES

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Y3 Plan Animals Skeletons WS Plan [120.83kB]

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Y3 Plan Forces Balloon rocket WS Review [913.50kB]

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Y3 Plan Forces Car Ramps WS Do [122.62kB]

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Y3 Plan Forces Shoe grip WS Plan [396.70kB]

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Y3 Plan Forces Strongest magnet WS Plan [121.58kB]

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Y3 Plan Light Make Shadows WS Do [121.52kB]

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Y3 Plan Plants Measuring WS Do [120.77kB]

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Y3 Plan Plants Stem WS Review [258.44kB]

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Y3 Plan Rocks Reporting WS Review [119.89kB]

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Y3 Animals Draw inside fish WS Do example [80.98kB]

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Y3 Animals Skeleton explanations example [154.38kB]

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Y3 Animals Skeleton research WS Plan example [86.04kB]

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Y3 Forces Car graph WS Do example [105.67kB]

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Y3 Forces Car track conc WS Review example [177.53kB]

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Y3 Forces Magnet results table WS Do example [97.93kB]

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Y3 Forces Set up ramp investn WS Plan example [207.78kB]

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Y3 Forces Shoe pull concln WS Review example [57.26kB]

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Y3 Light Explanation example [95.59kB]

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Y3 Light Shadow investn WS Review example [76.55kB]

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Y3 Plants Draw flowering plant example [71.11kB]

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Y3 Plants Labelling and Q raising WS Plan example [159.65kB]

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Y3 Plants Seed dispersal example [138.22kB]

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Y3 Plants Slow reveal WS Do example [156.68kB]

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Y3 Rocks Expl fossil formation WS Review example [108.56kB]

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Y3 Rocks Rock scratching WS Do example [140.87kB]

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Y3 Rocks water test WS Review example [114.18kB]

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ALL Y3 PLANS AND WORK SAMPLES [4.03MB]

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Y4 PLANS & WORK SAMPLES

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Y4 Plan Animals Teeth in liq WS Review [306.81kB]

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Y4 Plan Electricity Conductors WS Review [121.86kB]

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Y4 Plan Living Local survey WS Do [120.78kB]

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Y4 Plan Materials Drying WS Plan [320.08kB]

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Y4 Plan Materials Measuring temp WS Do [120.90kB]

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Y4 Plan Sound Pitch WS Plan [123.13kB]

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Y4 Plan Sound String phones WS Review [120.31kB]

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Y4 Animals Digestion diagrams [200.83kB]

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Y4 Animals Teeth concln WS Review example [200.71kB]

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Y4 Animals Teeth news rep WS Review example [165.33kB]

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Y4 Electricity Conductors WS Review example [81.90kB]

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Y4 Electricity Purposeful switches WS Review example [64.40kB]

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Y4 Living Animal Keys WS Do example [192.08kB]

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Y4 Living Animal top trumps example [282.73kB]

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Y4 Living Leaf key WS Do example [100.45kB]

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Y4 Materials Drying WS Plan example [183.69kB]

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Y4 Materials Ice cubes WS Plan example [69.58kB]

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Y4 Materials Melting concln WS Review example [153.25kB]

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Y4 Sound String telephone WS Review example [52.15kB]

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ALL Y4 PLANS AND WORK SAMPLES [2.79MB]

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Y5 PLANS & WORK SAMPLES

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Y5 Plan Animals Growth survey WS Do [121.44kB]

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Y5 Plan Forces Aquadynamics WS Review [86.93kB]

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Y5 Plan Forces Spinners WS Do [80.77kB]

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Y5 Plan Living Life cycles WS Review [120.89kB]

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Y5 Plan Materials Champions WS Review [120.38kB]

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Y5 Plan Materials Dissolving WS Plan [1.20MB]

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Y5 Plan Materials Insulation layers WS Do [1.11MB]

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Y5 Plan Materials Nappies WS Plan [1.23MB]

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Y5 Plan Materials Sugar cubes WS Do [388.03kB]

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Y5 Plan Space Craters WS Do [1.30MB]

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Y5 Animals Human dev Qs example [238.11kB]

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Y5 Forces Aquadynamics designs WS Plan example [89.05kB]

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Y5 Forces Parachute car WS Plan example [98.95kB]

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Y5 Forces Spinners table WS Do example [143.28kB]

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Y5 Living Different life cycles example [258.05kB]

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Y5 Living Life cycle acting example [52.38kB]

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Y5 Materials Change of state cartoon example [127.82kB]

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Y5 Materials Exit cards for separating example [268.48kB]

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Y5 Materials Nappies investn WS Review example [114.18kB]

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Y5 Materials Paper absorbency meast WS Do example [73.40kB]

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Y5 Materials Qs after dissolving WS Plan example [143.68kB]

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Y5 Space Orbit expln example [200.41kB]

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ALL Y5 PLANS AND WORK SAMPLES [7.37MB]

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Y6 PLANS & WORK SAMPLES

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Y6 Plan Animals Heartrate headstands WS Do [213.75kB]

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Y6 Plan Electricity Bulb brightness WS Plan [915.54kB]

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Y6 Plan Evolution Egg strength WS Review [915.50kB]

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Y6 Plan Evolution Fossil habitats WS Review [120.53kB]

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Y6 Plan Light Investigating shadows WS Do [307.04kB]

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Y6 Plan Living Invertebrate research WS Review [121.51kB]

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Y6 Plan Living Outdoor Keys WS Do [121.71kB]

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Y6 Animals Heartrate headstands WS Review example [162.02kB]

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Y6 Animals Reaction catches WS Do example [214.29kB]

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Y6 Electricity changing circuits WS Do example [132.58kB]

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Y6 Electricity Own circuit investns WS Plan example [323.10kB]

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Y6 Evolution Adaptation labelling example [169.40kB]

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Y6 Evolution g strength WS Review example [117.52kB]

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Y6 Evolution Own adapted animal example [80.05kB]

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Y6 Light shadow investn diagram WS Plan example [87.33kB]

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Y6 Light Shadow investn table WS Do example [95.82kB]

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Y6 Light thought showers example [115.23kB]

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Y6 Living Making keys WS Do example [195.06kB]

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ALL Y6 PLANS AND WORK SAMPLES [4.21MB]

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REVIEWS

Reviews

Did you find this resource useful? Please let us know what you think by contacting the TAPS team at primary.science@bathspa.ac.uk.

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