Assessment for, as, and of learning should underpin all assessment practices in Stages 4 and 5 science. Science teaching and learning programs should incorporate a range of assessment strategies such as:
- diagnostic, formative and summative assessments
- first hand investigations
- gathering secondary information from sources
- written, oral, and design based presentations
- closed and open-ended tasks
- individual and group tasks.
In Stages 4 and 5, the Validation of Assessment 4 Learning and Individual Development (VALID) tests in Year 8 (mandatory) and Year 10 (optional) provide external assessment of student learning in science.
Examples of innovative assessment tasks which can be used in Stage 4 science
Examples of innovative assessment tasks which can be used in Stage 5 science
Assessment task critiquing tool
When creating an assessment task for Stages 4 or 5 science, consider the following reflection questions:
- Are there a manageable number of outcomes being assessed?
- Are outcomes the focus for the activities in the assessment task?
- Does the task assess what the students have had the opportunity to learn in class?
- Will the task produce what you want the students to demonstrate?
- Is the task the most appropriate way of assessing the outcomes?
- Do the demands of the task reflect the task weighting?
- Is the task efficient and manageable, for the teacher and the student?
- Will the task allow differentiation between students?
- Does the task clearly communicate what is expected?
- Is there a clear description of what students are expected to do?
- Does the task provide explicit marking criteria? Is this supported with a holistic or analytical marking rubric?
- Will the task produce enough evidence to make a sound judgement of students’ achievement?
- Will the task challenge all students?
Marking guidelines: a support document for science teachers (DOCX 47KB) provides examples of marking guidelines which can be used for assessment tasks in Science 7-10 and Stage 6 Science courses.
If you need further assistance with accessibility for any of these resources, please get in touch with us at SecondaryEducationUnit@det.nsw.edu.au