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This way for a Website Guide This way for more on the Investigative Approach

Science Social Subjects
ICT Technology
Health Education
 Home Page Site Guide Investigative Approach
& Teaching Strategies
Strands & Targets in ES Guidelines
Website layout explainedThis is the Home PageSE 3-18 Website Guide

Info about on-line content,
navigation & site layout

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Please note that the ISE site is not presented to you as the finished article. We know there are holes, bits under development, "forthcoming resources" from other agencies etc. etc. which we hope to address in the fullness of time. We hope you like what is there and find it useful and "does what it says on the cliché".


Science wheel for a Curriculum for ExcellenceWhat is SE 3-18 all about?

Primary school teachers do not traditionally have a strong background in science and therefore SE 3-18 (ISE 5-14 & SOLSN) and its forebears were set up to provide support to this group and as well as for those teaching in S1 and S2. Here is a quick run-down on how the SE 3-18 website makes your life easier :-

It has direct links to featured websites, forthcoming CPD, a powerful Planning Spreadsheet,best writing services, which help students in many different tasks, interactive draft outcomes for Science, Social Studies and Health & Wellbeing,  other relevant websites and organisations, a Science Framework for Planning, important local points of interest on the SE 3-18 website and interactive Guidelines for all three components of Environmental Studies (ES) at all attainment levels plus those for Health Education and ICT.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) - the new draft experiences and outcomes


How do the new outcomes relate to what we had before?

The three components of Environmental Studies were Science, Social Subjects and Technology. The Science one was made up of three attainment outcomes, each of which is split up into a number of strands. The strands were then split into attainment targets which each have a code. These may be found in the Interactive Guidelines - via the multi-coloured grid on the Home Page. Each attainment target has also been arranged into an exemplar teaching scheme which we call the Framework for Planning (or via drop down menu). This is made up of 33 groups which have targets which could be taught together at the same time. On the ISE website each attainment target has a Target Menu which has links to a Teacher's Guide, Development of Target, Resources, Homework, Skills, Equipment List, Assessment, CPD & Safety e.g. ES-C1.2 (Earth & Space, Level C, 1st Strand, 2nd target).

We've articulated the new draft experiences and outcomes with the Framework for Planning and the old Science component of the Guidelines where there may be similarities in coverage. Each Target Group has links to where there may be overlap with the new outcomes. This is not to say that these are absolute equivalents but may serve to point towards existing resources that may be suitable or that can be adapted at some stage to suit the demands of CfE. We've completed this on the Planning Spreadsheet and flagged up where appropriate on the Target Groups within the Framework for Planning.

The new draft outcomes have the following code for levels of achievement :-

Levels of Achievement

Early - Pre-school -> P1.
First - -> P4 but earlier for some.
Second - ->P7 but earlier for some.
Third - -> S1 - S3 but earlier for some.
Fourth - ->SCQF Level 4 General.
Senior - -> S4-S6 but earlier for some.

At all times, when you are either surfing through the new draft outcomes, Interactive Guidelines or the Framework for Planning, you can access the relevant Target Menu and access to these links. You can jump easily back and forward between the draft outcomes, the Framework for Planning and the Guidelines, appreciating the relevance all the time of one to the other. This also all comes together in the Planning Spreadsheet.

This is a fundamental part of the SE 3-18 site. On the spreadsheet the Planning Framework sits alongside the Science component of the Interactive Guidelines so you can immediately see how the teaching scheme ties in with the Guidelines or the new draft learning outcomes. If you scan across the spreadsheet the target column remains fixed and you can easily cross-reference with other components, teaching schemes, textbooks, datalogging resources etc.

Logos & Links

The  Home Page layout allows you to quickly access a number of key areas related to the draft learning outcomes and Environmental Studies.

Improving Science Education 5-14 logo Science Education logo - On pages other than the Home Page this links you back to the  Home Page.

SSERC Web Site - You require a User name and password to enter the Members part of the site (different from ISE User name & password).

Latest News -  ISE    CPD Get all the latest developments and up-to-the-minute news about ISE 5-14 & CPD element of ISE 5-14.
Coming events What's happening?
If you want larger text overall then here is how to do it Changing the Browser Font Size on the ISE 5-14 Website
An Investigative Approach to Science

An investigation is one of the types of practical activity involved in learning. Investigating in primary science means carrying out a fair test to explore some of the children's own ideas on how the natural or man made world works.  An investigation is largely determined by the children with many possible routes and outcomes.

What is an Investigation? Teaching how to investigate A possible approach Planning for a fair test Development Team

Formative Assessment - Key components of an investigative approach are to match the intended outcomes of the learning activities to the current knowledge and understanding of pupils, including an exploration of their misconceptions. These investigative processes and the informed reactions to the
identified difficulties and needs of the pupils, rather than the application of test items, are seen as central to formative assessment as a process (paraphrased from DIAGNOSTIC AND FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT IN THE SCOTTISH CLASSROOM by Professor Mary Simpson, Faculty of Education, University of Edinburgh, 1999.

Interactive Guidelines

Interactive GuidelinesThe table opposite describes & exemplifies six colour-coded Attainment levels in the three components of the Environmental Studies 5-14 Guidelines plus those for Health Education and ICT.

The Science component of the Guidelines, at each attainment level contains 3 (colour-coded) Attainment Outcomes.

 Earth &  Space  <- access pathway through groups here (Word). This way for the Key Ideas.
 Energy & Forces    <- access pathway through groups here (Word). This way for the Key Ideas.
 Living Things & the Processes of Life  <- access pathway through groups here (Word).  This way for the Key Ideas.

They contain the main areas of learning and encompass knowledge and understanding, skills and developing informed attitudes.

Each of the three Attainment Outcomes has three Strands , each of which reflects the ‘big idea’ in each of the major areas of scientific investigation. The Strands are described & exemplified by Attainment Targets  which represent ‘areas of knowledge’. These are codified e.g. ES-A1.1 (ES - Earth & Space, Level A, 1st strand, 1st target).

Target codes are used to identify individual targets within the terms of reference of ISE 5-14 to provide a measure of consistency between the Guidelines and planning/resource material. ISE 5-14 would point out that they are advisory and should not be seen as representing a nationally agreed codification.

Science Framework for Planning

This has been addressed in the examples of teaching resources in a drop-down menu which describes the Science Framework for Planning. For the visually impaired we have offered a larger text equivalent menu.

For the live links to the Target groups please access the drop-down menu on the  Home Page

Target Groups & Menus

Each Target Group now has:-

  • links to the Target Menus or back to the Guidelines.

  • information about progression to Future Learning within Environmental Studies 5-14, Standard Grade and Int. 1 Units (Chemistry, Physics & Biology).

The Social Studies Guidelines link to this NGfL material. It has been produced to support teachers in gathering and interpreting evidence in classroom assessment. It is hoped that it will encourage the development of consistent approaches to assessment within schools and across clusters of schools. Teachers may also find the material helpful in planning effective programmes of study as well as providing a useful resource when selecting appropriate methodologies within social subjects.

This is the icon for a Target menuOn either the Interactive Guidelines or the Target Group the red button links to a Target menu - this contains all info relevant to this particular target. It is important to recognise that the Attainment Targets are not precise and finite but represent an area of content coverage which can be further described and developed using learning outcomes.

Searching and the Renfrewshire Science Pack

Some of the results of a search may come up with pages which are from the Renfrewshire Science Pack Materials (RSPM).
They are flagged up by a RED message (seen below) and a different Target Menu
This is the Target Menu icon for the Renfrewshire Science Pack header with P1-P7 or S1-S2 recommended. The RSPM Framework for Planning groups the Attainment Targets in a different order compared to the Revised Framework for Planning which was devised as a result of the ISE 5-14 Project. The Revised Framework should be used unless your teaching scheme specifically uses the RSPM. The common factor between both Frameworks is the Attainment Target itself from the Environmental Studies Guidelines e.g. ES-A2.3. If you want to get to the Target Menu within the Revised Framework for Planning click on this Target Code then the Target MenuThis is the Target Menu icon for the Revised Framework for Planning link there.

Renfrewshire Science Pack Materials - For materials related to the new Planning Framework click
Target Code for the Interactive Guidelines then click the link to the Target menu there.

This shows how to access the Renfrewshire Science Pack SheetRenfrewshire Science Pack references are also on the Planning Spreadsheet via the wee tag to the "Renfrew" sheet at the bottom left of the the screen. Alternatively you can enter this parallel universe via Group 1 at :-

We haven't put links to the Renfrew materials on the rest of the site as it may be confusing if pages are linked between the two Planning Frameworks. Another clue as to whether a page is from the Renfrewshire Science pack is in the URL on the address bar at the top of the screen.

URL of a page from the Renfrewshire Science Pack showing "The Plan"  A page from the Renfrewshire Science Pack

URL of a page from the Revised Framework for Planning (ISE 5-14) showing "New Plan" A page from the Revised Framework for Planning (ISE 5-14)

Renfrewshire Science Pack Materials - For materials related to the new Planning Framework click
Target Code for the Interactive Guidelines then click the link to the Target menu there.
This is the Target Menu This is the Target Menu Target Menu icons
Development of Target  Teacher's Guide Resources Homework
Skills Equipment List
for Target
Assessment CPD Safety

The icons or words link you to the specific information related to the Target shown. The background colour relates to the attainment level of the Target.

Attainment Levels

Attainment Targets have been grouped at six Attainment levels, based on the following description of levels. Note these are also colour coded. Click on the Level letters A to F to see the Attainment targets for Knowledge & Understanding in Science for each of these levels :-


Attainable by
A Almost all pupils by P1 – P3
B Some pupils in P3, and most by P4
C Most pupils by P4 - P6
D Some pupils by P5 - P6, and most by P7
E Some pupils by P7 - S1 and most by S2

In part by some pupils and completed by a few by S2


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