Academic Collaborator: bath spa university

bath spa university: teacher assessment in primary science (taps)


Bath Spa University has been working with PSTT since 2000. It develops primary science initiatives through long term collaborations with local schools, clusters, PSQM, PSTT Fellows, and the Association for Science Education. PSTT projects include: Improving Science Together (assessing scientific enquiry, floor-books), Ecomonitoring (dataloggers), See the Science (Early Years) and more recently, the TAPS project.


  • Creation and development of the TAPS pyramid – a model of valid, reliable and manageable assessment, and a self-evaluation tool for teachers
  • Teachers report using the TAPS pyramid to support assessment in practice, with formative assessment being used to inform summative reporting
  • Creation and development of the focused assessment database, containing highly popular downloadable teacher plans and pupil examples
  • The TAPS approach has been recommended by the Cambridge Primary Review Trust and the Association for Science Education


Key areas:

  • Assessment in primary science
  • Science education in the early years, primary and transition to secondary
  • Design-Based Research approach to long term collaboration and partnership with teachers and schools for research-informed practice


All TAPS resources available freely here.

Videos explaining TAPS and its impact can be found in the TAPS playlist:

Earle, S., K. McMahon, C. Collier, A. Howe and D. Davies (2017) The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) school self-evaluation tool. Bristol: Primary Science Teaching Trust.

Earle, S. (2017) The challenge of balancing key principles in teacher assessment. Journal of Emergent Science, 12: 41-47.

Davies, D., Howe, A., Collier, C., Digby, R., Earle, S. and McMahon, K. (2014) Teaching Science and Technology in the Early Years (3-7): second edition. London: Routledge.


Contact details:

TAPS team: Sarah Earle (project lead), Dr Kendra McMahon, Alan Howe, Chris Collier and Isabel Hopwood-Stephens (doctoral researcher).