|Attainment Outcomes, Strands & Targets explained
Background for S1-S7 Primary Teachers
1. The Science programme is described in terms of three ATTAINMENT OUTCOMES (the term used in the original guidelines was Key Feature) - Earth and Space, Energy and Forces and Living Things and the Processes of Life. These main areas of learning encompass knowledge and understanding, skills and developing informed attitudes. Lessons and resources related to these Outcomes are colour coded as shown below.
|Energy & Forces
|Living Things & the
Processes of Life
2. 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.
|See Strands & Targets in the 5-14 Guide for Teachers & Managers.
(main area of scientific investigation)
(area of knowledge)
|4. The Curricular structure is outlined below:-
|Earth and Space
|Earth in Space
|Materials from Earth
|Energy and Forces
|Properties and uses of energy
|Conversion and transfer of energy
|Forces and their effects
|Living Things and
the Processes of Life
|Variety and characteristic features
|The processes of life
Interaction of living things with their environment
5. 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. This has been addressed in the examples of teaching resources e.g. from Renfrew by describing what the pupils should learn through the development of the lesson and specific learning outcomes.
6. Investigations occur in many areas of the curriculum but have a particular significance in science due to the nature of the practical activity that is involved.
SKILLS in SCIENCE for Investigating described at Level A to Level F and have been grouped into the THREE strands outlined below :-
Preparing for tasks
understanding the task and planning a practical activity
|undertaking fair testing
|Carrying out tasks
|observing and measuring
|recording findings in a variety of ways
|Reviewing and reporting on tasks
|reporting and presenting
|interpreting and evaluating results and processes
|See also How to carry out investigations in the classroom
7. Attainment Targets have been grouped at six LEVELS OF ATTAINMENT, based on the following description of levels. Note these are also colour coded with those shown in the 5-14 Guide for Teachers & Managers. Click on the Level letters A to F to see the Attainment targets for each of these levels :-
|Almost all pupils by P1 – P3
|Some pupils in P3, and most by P4
|Most pupils by P4 - P6
|Some pupils by P5 - P6, and most by P7
|Some pupils by P7 - S1 and most by S2
In part by some pupils and completed by a few by S2
8. The revised format has been designed as a development of the style that teachers have been using for the past few years with the existing science programme, but differs from the primary format in that it is also similar to an arrangements type document. It has, however, been changed to take account of the advice in the Revised Guidelines on levels of attainment, progression and continuity.
The useful advice presented in the Guide for Teachers and Managers has
9. Account has been taken of the advice in the guidelines to ensure, progression, continuity and coherence hence; For each year, the curriculum is made up of two Groups of Study (linked groups of attainment targets) from each of the three Attainment Outcomes (main areas of scientific investigation), giving a total of six units per year :-
|each Group of Study has the Attainment Strands (big ideas) clearly identified and has no more than two strands per unit
|each Attainment Target (area of knowledge) is described on a single page
10. The page layout ensures that all the relevant information relating to a specific attainment target is displayed on a single web page. Shown below is an example header with an explanation of each of the relevant sections. Further resources, worksheets etc. will be linked from such pages as the information becomes available.