Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS)

Developing guidance and resources to support teachers and schools

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.

A wide range of new resources and TAPS pyramid examples are in development. Please sign up here to request access to the new draft resources. Feedback and comments are also welcome at primary.science@bathspa.ac.uk .

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

Focused Assessment Overview

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 Plans

these lesson plans provide support for selecting one skills focus within the context of a whole enquiry.

EY (P1)

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R Plan Sci-DT - Incy Shelter [246.41kB]

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R Plan Materials - Frozen Balloons [389.71kB]

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P1-2 Brown apples [206.83kB]

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P1-2 Taste test [213.86kB]

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P1-2 Butter [356.46kB]

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P1-2 Scavenger sort [622.91kB]

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All Reception (P1) TAPS plans [1.70MB]

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R WELSHplan - Prawf lloches [248.66kB]

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R WELSHplan - Balwnau wedi rhewi [392.10kB]

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Y1 (P2)

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Y1 Seasonal change [2.46MB]

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Y1 Plan Sci-DT - Bridge Testers [240.99kB]

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Y1 Plan Materials - Transparency [135.06kB]

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Y1 Body parts [238.11kB]

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Y1 Animal classification [238.74kB]

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Y1 Float and sink [2.07MB]

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Y1 Reflectiveness [341.09kB]

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Y1 Plan Plants - Leaf Look [220.56kB]

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Y1 Plant structure [766.85kB]

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P1-2 Shades of colour [655.62kB]

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P1-2 Teddy zipline [263.50kB]

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All Y1 (P2) TAPS plans [7.39MB]

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Y1 WELSHplan - Profi pontydd [242.77kB]

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Y1 WELSHplan - Deall dail [222.17kB]

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Y2 (P3)

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Y2 Handspans [209.37kB]

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Materials hunt [196.09kB]

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Y2 Plan Living and nonliving [485.96kB]

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Y2 Nature spotters [290.87kB]

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Y2 Woodlice habitat [492.89kB]

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Y2 Rocket mice [274.01kB]

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Y2 Waterproof [240.13kB]

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Y2 Plan Sci-DT - Boat Materials [516.49kB]

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Y2 Plant Growth [167.76kB]

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P3-4 Ice Escape [162.50kB]

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P3-4 Daisy footprints [319.94kB]

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P3-4 Separating colours [724.11kB]

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All Y2 (P3) TAPS plans [3.88MB]

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Y2 WELSHplan - Llygod roced [299.27kB]

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Y2 WELSHplan - Creu cwch [517.11kB]

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Y3 (P4)

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Y3 Skeleton Qs [226.52kB]

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Y3 Car ramps [366.83kB]

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Y3 Shoe grip [351.95kB]

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Y3 Plan Sci-DT - Egg Packaging [251.82kB]

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Y3 Magnet tests [270.07kB]

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Y3 Make shadows [319.25kB]

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Y3 Measuring plants [131.28kB]

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Y3 Function of stem [214.30kB]

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Y3 Balloon rocket [108.55kB]

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Y3 Rock Reports [354.61kB]

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P3-4 Eco action [416.46kB]

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P3-4 Cupcake parachutes [182.44kB]

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P3-4 Ice cream [212.81kB]

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All Y3 (P4) TAPS plans [3.20MB]

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Y3 WELSHplan - Pecyn gollwng wy [254.49kB]

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Y4 (P5)

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Y4 Teeth in liquid [260.58kB]

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Y4 Electrical conductors [116.21kB]

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Y4 Local survey [426.43kB]

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Y4 Drying [277.91kB]

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Y4 Plan Materials - Dunking Biscuits [241.93kB]

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Y4 Measuring temp [187.51kB]

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Y4 Pitch [1.25MB]

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Y4 String phones [98.48kB]

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Y4 Plan Sci-DT - Circuit Products [1.75MB]

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P5-6 Cornflour slime [503.14kB]

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All Y4 (P5) TAPS plans [3.93MB]

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Y4 WELSHplan - Dowcio bisgedi [242.26kB]

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Y4 WELSHplan - Ffonau llinyn [240.63kB]

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Y4 WELSHplan - Cynhyrchion cylched [1.44MB]

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Y5 (P6)

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Y5 Growth survey [212.54kB]

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Y5 Aquadynamics [159.57kB]

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Y5 Spinners [86.88kB]

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Y5 Life cycles [149.44kB]

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Y5 Champion tapes [86.68kB]

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Y5 Dissolving [348.41kB]

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Y5 Insulation layers [169.89kB]

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Y5 Plan Solar system [829.71kB]

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Y5 Plan SCi-DT - Paper Planes [196.21kB]

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Y5 Nappies [344.27kB]

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Y5 Plan Sci-DT - Marble Run [768.40kB]

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Y5 Sugar cubes [344.27kB]

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Y5 Space craters [171.35kB]

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P5-6 Zipline testing [315.04kB]

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P5-6 Bottle flip [298.28kB]

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All Y5 (P6) TAPS plans [4.22MB]

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Y5 WELSHplan - Awyrennau papur [196.12kB]

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Y5 WELSHplan - Ciwbiau siwgr [398.06kB]

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Y5 WELSHplan - Rhedfa farblis [771.54kB]

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Y6 (P7)

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Y6 Plan Light Questions [178.86kB]

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Y6 Heartrate pose [175.28kB]

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Y6 Bulb brightness [880.87kB]

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Y6 Egg strength [909.18kB]

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Y6 Fossil habitats [214.10kB]

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Y6 Plan Sci-DT - Bridge Engineers [468.23kB]

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Y6 Investigating shadows [255.37kB]

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Y6 Invertebrate research [1.27MB]

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Y6 Plan Electricity - Conductive Dough [1.73MB]

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Y6 Outdoor keys [229.57kB]

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P6-7 Titanic Pulleys [321.49kB]

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P6-7 Terrific tasters [135.17kB]

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All Y6 (P7) TAPS plans [5.34MB]

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Y6 Welsh plan - Toes trydan [1.73MB]

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Y6 WELSHplan - Peirianwyr pontydd [471.00kB]

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Y6-7 Blood splatter [92.16kB]

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Y6-7 Lolly stick catapults [492.73kB]

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Y6-7 Cleaning Coins [163.55kB]

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Y6-7 Reaction catches [105.54kB]

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Y6-7 Yeast [265.57kB]

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Y6-7 Formula 1 tubs [338.17kB]

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TAPS TRANSITION BOOKLET [744.96kB]

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All Y6-7 (P7-8) TAPS plans [1.40MB]

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Focused Assessment Examples

These work samples provide examples of different ways schools could record science.

EY (P1)

Y1 (P2)

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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 Materials For a boat WS Review example [112.78kB]

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Y1 Animals Sorting WS Review example [162.67kB]

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Y1 Materials Magnetic sorting WS Review example [171.46kB]

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Y1 Materials Describing properties WS Do example [221.04kB]

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Y1 Animals Group discussion example [220.46kB]

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Y1 Materials Sorting WS Review example [83.63kB]

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Y1 Animals Body model WS Review example [88.66kB]

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Y1 Materials Reflectiveness testing WS Do example [245.71kB]

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Y1 Materials Umbrella results WS Do example [135.55kB]

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P1-2 Scavenger sort eg [407.52kB]

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P1-2 Shades of colour eg [280.54kB]

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P1-2 Taste test eg [190.38kB]

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Y2 (P3)

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Y2 Living Sorting liv and nonliv example [345.42kB]

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Y2 Plants Growth comic strip example [180.72kB]

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Y2 Animals Order life cycles example [313.98kB]

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Y2 Materials Building soundcloud WS Do example [238.71kB]

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Y2 Materials Waterproof paper Plan example [86.95kB]

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Y2 Materials Material hunters WS Review example [185.80kB]

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Y2 Living Habitat survey WS Do example [81.56kB]

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

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Y2 Animals Match offspring example [55.19kB]

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Y2 Animals Exercise ideas WS Review example [56.27kB]

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

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P3 Cupcake parachutes eg [218.52kB]

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P3 Ice observations eg [239.25kB]

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P3-4 Waterproof eg [84.38kB]

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Y3 (P4)

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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 water test WS Review example [114.18kB]

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Y3 Rocks Rock scratching WS Do example [140.87kB]

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

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

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Y3 Animals Skeleton research WS Plan example [86.04kB]

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

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Y3 Plants Draw flowering plant example [71.11kB]

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

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Y3 Light Shadow investn WS Review example [76.55kB]

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Y3 Light Explanation example [95.59kB]

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

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Y3 Animals Skeleton explanations example [154.38kB]

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

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Y3 Forces Car graph WS Do example [105.67kB]

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P4 Exploring sound eg [163.02kB]

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P4 Light sorting eg [125.09kB]

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P4 Materials hunt eg [155.38kB]

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Y4 (P5)

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Y4 Materials Drying WS Plan example [183.69kB]

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Y4 Sound String telephone WS Review example [52.15kB]

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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 Animals Teeth news rep WS Review example [165.33kB]

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Y4 Animals Digestion diagrams [200.83kB]

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Y4 Electricity Purposeful switches WS Review example [64.40kB]

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Y4 Living Leaf key WS Do example [100.45kB]

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Y4 Living Animal top trumps example [282.73kB]

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Y4 Animals Teeth concln WS Review example [200.71kB]

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Y4 Living Animal Keys WS Do example [192.08kB]

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Y4 Electricity Conductors WS Review example [81.90kB]

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P5 Handspan conclusion eg [131.23kB]

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Y5 (P6)

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Y5 Animals Human dev Qs example [238.11kB]

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Y5 Living Different life cycles example [258.05kB]

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

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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 Space Orbit expln example [200.41kB]

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Y5 Forces Parachute car WS Plan example [98.95kB]

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Y5 Materials Change of state cartoon example [127.82kB]

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Y5 Living Life cycle acting example [52.38kB]

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Y5 Forces Spinners table WS Do example [143.28kB]

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Y5 Forces Aquadynamics designs WS Plan example [89.05kB]

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P6 Bottle flip eg [242.38kB]

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Y6 (P7)

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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 Living Making keys WS Do example [195.06kB]

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Y6 Light thought showers example [115.23kB]

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Y6 Animals Heartrate headstands WS Review example [162.02kB]

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Y6 Evolution g strength WS Review example [117.52kB]

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Y6 Evolution Adaptation labelling example [169.40kB]

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

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Y6 Evolution Own adapted animal example [80.05kB]

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Y6 Electricity changing circuits WS Do example [132.58kB]

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Y6 Animals Reaction catches WS Do example [214.29kB]

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Transition

TAPS Files

TAPS England

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TEACHER SUMMARY OF APPROACHES IN ENGLISH PRIMARY SCHOOLS [1.08MB]

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Pyramid Tool [4.56MB]

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Black and White Pyramid for Photocopying [82.93kB]

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TAPS TRANSITION BOOKLET [744.96kB]

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TAPS Cymru

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TAPS Cymru bklet in Welsh [534.40kB]

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TAPS Cymru bklet in English [922.60kB]

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Cymru pyramid pdf in English [4.63MB]

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Cymru pyramid pdf in Welsh [4.64MB]

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TAPS Cymru video links [839.76kB]

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TAPS Cymru plans for progression in sci skills [584.49kB]

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TAPS Northern Ireland

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TAPS Northern Ireland Booklet [1.14MB]

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TAPS NI Skills Flower [70.83kB]

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TAPS NI plans for sci skills in the WAU [704.86kB]

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TAPS Publications

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FULL REPORT OF APPROACHES IN ENGLISH PRIMARY SCHOOLS [2.60MB]

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TAPS NI article in Journal of Emergent Science [292.30kB]

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Primary Science TAPS special issue [2.94MB]

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Moderation for professional learning article [1.35MB]

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TEACHER SUMMARY OF APPROACHES IN ENGLISH PRIMARY SCHOOLS [1.08MB]

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TAPS Primary Science Enquiry Outdoors

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Safety Notice and Disclaimer


PSTT advises teachers to refer to either the CLEAPSS website or SSERC website for up to date health and safety information when planning practical activities for children.

PSTT is not liable for the actions or activities of any reader or anyone else who uses the information in these resource pages or the associated classroom materials. PSTT assumes no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information contained in these resources. PSTT recommends that a full risk assessment is carried out before undertaking in the classroom any of the practical investigations contained in the resources.

All materials are ©Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and are freely available to download and share for educational purposes. Whilst educators are free to adapt the resources to suit their own needs, acknowledgement of copyright on all original materials must be included. Rights to images included in the resource have been purchased for PSTT use only – as such, these images may only be used as part of this resource and may not copied into or used in other materials.

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