PLAN – good practice in assessment
Robust assessement needn't be difficult when you use the PLAN resources
Our article How can Explorify help with assessment recommended the PLAN resources as a good next step to help develop robust summative assessment practices in schools. Linked to the English national curriculum and expectations of pupils, PLAN was designed to help teachers make summative judgements in science by making sure planned teaching and learning activities will enable children to reach the standard, and to reassure teachers that they are able to make accurate judgements.
The PLAN resources take the principle of planning for assessment and consider what should go into teachers’ planning and what you might look for to provide evidence of learning and progress. Collections of children’s work demonstrating what working at the expected standard might look like in practice are included to show how PLAN might work in your school.
Each collection is the real work of one child across a unit of work showing how their understanding progresses to secure learning at the expected standard that has been moderated by the PLAN team so you can have confidence in the resource. The work is annotated to show what learning is being demonstrated for content knowledge and working scientifically. You’ll be able to find at least one free, open-access collection for each content area in each year group, with additional ones available as a members-only benefit on the PLAN website.
Underpinning the downloadable resources are the planning matrices that highlight the key learning and possible evidence of that learning. These matrices, and the first few slides in each collection, show what the expectations for the topic are. There is also guidance on what children should already have learned and what the teacher doesn’t need to worry about because it will be a focus in a later year group. Note that PLAN is not a scheme of work but can help you with ideas to develop your planning and teaching for science.
The collections are not designed to create any expectations about what evidence you might have to support your own assessment judgements. To make the judgements explicit to others the PLAN team asked teachers to write down what the selected children said and occasionally asked children to record more than they might otherwise have done so there was tangible evidence of learning to share with others. Children will need to carry out focused recording which demonstrates learning but don’t worry if your books don’t look like the ones photographed so long as you are confident that children have demonstrated the same standard of learning in what they have written, drawn, said or done.
PLAN is a resource for teachers to support teacher assessment not a model portfolio of evidence or an exemplar of what a child needs to produce. The resources are also useful for carrying out year group, whole school or cluster moderation activities.