The science of ice cream

By Yvonne Baker

iStock_000006293364XSmallWhile you are tucking into your ice cream on the beach this summer, you are actually closer to science than might at first meet the eye. So here – with the help of my Dad, who spent many years developing ice cream – is a quick lowdown on the science of ice cream, with which you can impress your family, amaze your friends and also enjoy yourself checking samples!

Firstly, what is ice cream? Well, scientifically speaking it is a frozen matrix of water, fat (dairy or vegetable), milk proteins, sugars, salt and air, with – interestingly from a physical chemistry side of things – a physical structure including liquid, solid and gas phases. This is because, simultaneously, air cells, ice crystals, fat particles and other components all exist within the continuous liquid phase which binds it all together. Water in the form of ice crystals, fat and air sizes, and relative proportions of these are key to the quality of the ice cream and also determine its storage life.

We have all now seen ice cream being made on a small scale, either in your own kitchen or on various television cooking programmes. The Catalyst article in the National STEM Centre eLibrary even shows you how you can make ice cream without a freezer. However, how is the making of ice cream translated to an industrial scale?  – after all, it would take a lot of domestic ice cream makers to feed Brighton Beach on a sunny day!

Well, this is where what chemical engineers call ‘unit operations’ come in – these are bits of a process which, when linked together in the right combination, transform raw materials into a finished product. For ice cream production, key unit operations include:

  • Formulation and preparation – a typical ice cream formulation includes 10% fat, 12% non-fat milk solids,15% sucrose , 0.5% stabiliser/emulsifier (such as locust bean gum/glycerol monostearate) with water making up the remainder. Importantly, not all of the water in ice cream production is ever completely frozen, so stabilisers are used to achieve texture, meltdown and the storage characteristics required by the end customer.
  • Pasteurisation – as with milk, this involves exposing the mix to a high temperature for a short time (eg 80’C for 25secs) to ensure it is ok to freeze and safe to eat.
  • Homogenisation – emulsifiers are included in the ice cream mix to help destabilise the fat globules during homogenisation where the ice cream mix is forced through a small orifice at high pressure (2000-2500 psi). This reduces the fat globule size (to a few microns) to give a dry stiff texture to ice cream when extruded from a freezer. This then allows the manufacture of the different product formats e.g. cones, tubs, stick products and logs.
  • Ageing/addition of flavours – the mix is cooled below 4C for ageing, standing for a few hours before further processing. This is an essential step to allow the physical interactions to occur to produce the desired end product, such as crystallisation of fat particles. Flavours are added at this stage to avoid heat damage.
  • Freezing and product formation – the aged mix is pumped through a refrigerated cylinder which has a rotating part with sharp blade. The frozen mix is scraped from the cylinder surface at the same time as air is incorporated, and through mixing occurs. The ice cream is extruded at around -5C into the required product form.
  • Hardening and storage – once formed into the desired shape, the ice creams are frozen further (hardened) to around -20’C for storage and distribution. Ideally ice cream products should be kept at the lower (hardened) temperature throughout storage and distribution; this prevents partial melting of the ice crystals, which will form larger crystals when they recrystallize so impacting ‘mouthfeel’. However, in reality, mix formulations and processing techniques have been developed to minimise the adverse effects of recrystallization. Interestingly, soft ice cream outlets (like vans) avoid this problem by buying in sterilised ice cream mix and freezing it on demand; the disadvantage is that storage times are much shorter, and these products must therefore be consumed within a short time.

After all these processes, the ice creams are at last ready to be enjoyed. So, next time you decide to indulge in a Magnum, Cornetto or even a Twister (one of the many ice creams my Dad had a hand in developing as part of his working life), give a quick thought to the many engineers, scientists and others who have helped bring you this little bit of summer heaven, and reflect on the many uses that science has!

Reforms to Science at GCSE and A-level: content delivery and practical skills

By Katy Bloom

The Westminster Education Forum held a series of seminars for a predominantly teacher audience on Thursday 22nd July 2014 about the ‘Reforms to Science at GCSE and A-level: content delivery and practical skills.’ Wave Machine at the National Science Learning Centre

Among the questions raised at the seminar around the new Science GCSE seminar were:

  1. What are the teaching and learning implications posed by the move to new linear GCSEs, with coursework and modules removed?
  2. Does the content of the new Science GCSEs link with the content of the Maths GCSE in a way that will adequately facilitate cross-curricular teaching?
  3. How can Government address concerns that making the content of the GCSEs more challenging has the potential to put pupils off taking up science at GCSE and A-level?
  4. How well will the new GCSEs prepare students for the transition to A-level? Given that ‘triple science’ [TS] – the three individual science GCSEs – consist of more advanced content than the science double award qualification [DS], what steps can schools take to ensure that those studying the double award are not at an unfair disadvantage in preparation for A-levels?

My points on the questions above to the audience were as follows:

  1. There are teaching and learning implications of linear assessment.

It’s not really so helpful to just concentrate on chunks of teaching time, and argue for a two-year versus a three-year GCSE. What we need is bigger curriculum thinking: a five-or even seven year progression that effectively plans over successive stages, where teachers have time to revisit both skills and content.

‘Young’ teachers may have never experienced anything other than modular exams themselves. Similarly, current teachers have been teaching modular curricula for more than 12 years, and have acquired ‘habits’ that go along with that approach. That’s not meant pejoratively, it’s simply a consequence of the past curriculum changes. There is however, a lot of supportive professional development that would benefit teachers making the transition to more synoptic teaching and learning.

  1. Increased demand of both literacy and mathematics

To answer the question of ‘whether the content of the Science GCSE links with that of the Maths GCSE’, with another question: has the Maths GCSE been designed to complement the Science GCSE (or vice versa)? How much co-planning was there? If it has been designed so, it will be much easier, more sensible, and incentivising for maths and science departments to be able to work together to deliver a more seamless education. Equally, what can the science department gain from working with the English department? And do they have the time to do so?

It is the ability of the teachers to absorb these changes and transfer them into suitable learning experiences for their students that is really the challenge. For example, there has not been a wide-scale whole-school approach to numeracy across the curriculum since 2002 (National Strategies). Again, there are professional development implications.

  1. Erm, it’s not about the content.

When you look at the curricula of other countries, they are remarkably similar in cognitive demand at comparable ages. The proposed science GCSE has overall similar science content to the existing one.

We shouldn’t confuse ‘challenge of content’ with what ultimate grade boundaries will be to reduce grade inflation; they are not comparable things.

It is teachers who provide the challenge

It is teachers who provide the transitions between stages

The issue is the quality of the teaching rather than the content of the curriculum.

A key solution is to professionally develop the teaching workforce so that they are able to cope with the constant change

  1. The issue is how teachers in post-16 offer the right transition from different pathways

Does Triple Science  have ‘more advanced content’? I don’t think this is wholly precise. It is true that some concepts are more demanding, but on the whole, triple science has more breadth than double science rather than more complex content.

As such, it is not necessarily an advantage to those who have done it over double science; some post-16 teachers assume their students have come from the double science route, and plan and teach accordingly. However, many colleges are now only enabling triple science pupils with A* /A to take post-16 qualifications, as it is more straightforward for them than the work they would need to put into the transition for those from grade B or below or from double science.

The most disadvantaged are really those double science students who attempt an A level with a C grade from the lower tier, as they have not had the breadth of content of double science higher tier. It might not always be the case – it might be that they can and do succeed with the right transition – but it requires a commitment and willingness from  post-16 teachers to provide this

It is however fair to say that triple science students who are required to take it in double science time are disadvantaged also, and this too has the potential to put students off taking it post-16. This is the key point from Ofsted’s ‘Maintaining Curiosity’ report – it is the lack of sufficient curriculum time and quality of teaching which are the limiting factors to pupils’ success.

A wider perspective is that for some students triple science is right and the depth it allows them motivates them, as they like the challenge, it suits their interests and helps them move to post-16 sciences.  However double science level and content is the right choice for other students , particularly for those who want to spend their curriculum time in other areas i.e. sports, music, arts, humanities before possibly specialising in post-16 science. The needs of the individual student must be considered rather than shoe-horning them into a one-size-fits-all qualification.

Here is the full presentation I made to the Westminster Education Forum;

 

Some of our courses which may prove useful include:
The National STEM Centre’s Practical work hub will also provide inspiration, with quick access to hundreds of resources  and hand picked resource lists linked to areas of the new National Curriculum with added guidance, tips and advice.

Captain Cartwright’s ten killer questions to develop a high performing science department

by  Ed Walsh

Having had some minor part in the recent Science Learning Centre and Ofsted events last month, I was intrigued to be presenting sessions at the SS Great Britain in Bristol. Alas it wasn’t actually on board the boat (breakout sessions in the lifeboats?) but a great venue nevertheless.Brian Cartwright presents Maintaining Curiousity from Ofsted The key note was by Brian Cartwright, HMI’s Science Adviser. It turns out that Brian is no stranger to life on the water, being a keen narrow boat owner.

It wasn’t much later that our paths crossed again, this time at the Annual Science Adviser’s Conference. Although still very much pursuing the ideas behind ‘Maintaining Curiosity’ (and why not?) the presentation now referred to what to look for in a high performing science department.

Ten things to look for when deciding whether a good job is being done by a team of science teachers.

Any insights are Brian’s and any misrepresentations mine.

  1. Is the team being led to place enquiry at the heart of teaching? A school being good or outstanding overall doesn’t mean that this is necessarily in place. An over emphasis on teaching to the exam may lead to good grades but students disillusioned with the subject.
  2. Are students keen to engage with content as well as to develop skills?  The ‘process card’ can be over played: if dull content coverage is mixed with engaging practical work, students may enjoy the latter but not the former. Science has some great ideas and these should be shared effectively.
  3. Is assessment accurate and timely? In other words does it reflect what students need to be mastering and is it scheduled so that both they and teachers can respond to bring about improvements? The problem with end of topic tests is that they’re, well, at the end of the topic.
  4. Do lessons recognise and respond to prior learning? If some students already know a lot about how light is reflected, for example, does the teacher know that and has the lesson design been modified accordingly?
  5. Do lessons challenge students at the limit of their capabilities? Not beyond, but are they being stretched? Even the higher attaining ones.
  6. Do teachers understand the ‘big ideas’ in science and do they connect the detailed content of particular lessons to this overall perspective?
  7. How well are students mastering the skills that underpin the development of scientific understanding over time? For example, are they coming to appreciate the provisional nature of scientific knowledge and how earlier ideas are replaced in due course with more detailed ones?
  8. How regularly can students discover for themselves the relevance of the big ideas? For example, are they developing first hand experience of how to use these concepts as tools to use to make sense of the world?
  9. How well do leaders monitor and evaluate reasons why students follow certain routes post 16? Students who receive a well rounded education will be able to choose from a range of options and not everyone who did well in sciences at GCSE will go on to study those. You would expect that some would, that leaders would know and would have a response.
  10. How much time is allocated to science? There is sometimes an issue here, especially with Triple Science being ‘shoe horned’ into less time than would be a fair share. Usually the first victim is practical work and high attaining students may find that they are on a compressed content delivery programme. They may persist to the extent of securing reasonable grades but then ‘bail out’ from further study of science.

Compared with some of the forms being filled in that I’ve seen, a pretty concise set of pointers. Set to chart a fair course.

To help you implement some of Brian’s top ten actions, I’ve listed below some CPD activities for primary and secondary teachers which may come in useful.

Primary science courses

Preparing for the New Science Curriculum

Assessment and Progression in Primary Science

New and Aspiring Primary Science Specialist

Secondary science courses

Preparing for the New Secondary Science Curriculum

Progression and Attainment in Science

New and Aspiring Heads of Science

A robot called Dave enthuses budding engineers

By Gemma Taylor

This week’s National Women in Engineering Day has personal meaning, as engineering was the gateway through which I left home, went to university, made new friends, had new experiences, and ultimately learned that it was ok to be a girl, and enjoy making, breaking and finding out how things work. As an engineer, and now in my career as a secondary school engineering teacher, I have the privilege and the challenge, of ensuring that the message of today is an everyday experience for the girls in my school.  Dave the robot

Katie, one of my Year 9 engineering students said “engineering is great. I have always loved technology and making things in engineering teaches me more about this topic. It is amazing. Creating products that work is the greatest feeling ever. I am one of three girls in our engineering class and it is wonderful.”

With the current skills shortage in engineering and the wider STEM careers, it has never been more important for students to see apprentices, graduates and professionals working in industry. Whether it is face to face, a company led project, a factory tour, a talk from a visiting speaker, via social media or Skype, these experiences are readily accessible to students in our classrooms. With so much time being dedicated to assessments, marking, and ensuring the outcomes of students, it would be forgivable for teachers to let these experiences slip by. However the difference it makes to students like Katie, could be the catalyst to become tomorrow’s future engineer.

One of the many things we are doing at the National Science Learning Centre is developing ways to help teachers and industry work more closely together. This new scheme is called TIPS (Teacher Industry Partnership Scheme). We’re delighted to be working with CrossRail as one of our first partners. TIPS will benefit teachers by increasing their knowledge about STEM industries, and enable them to draw on authentic industrial examples to contextualise learning in the classroom. With initiatives such as this we’re aiming to help girls such as the ‘Katies’ in my class (and boys too!) continue with their enthusiasm for engineering at university and out into the wider world.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from teaching girls engineering, it’s that nothing engages students more than healthy competition…and a robot called Dave. For the third consecutive year I recently took a group of students to School’s Robot Wars at Bradford University. This year’s robot is the first to be designed and constructed with girls on the team, and unsurprisingly, it’s been the most successful robot we have ever built.

A different Katie (how confusing!) reported “We were given a speed controller and car batteries to control the motors which drove the robot forward and backwards. It was brilliant to make Dave work and in the end he came third which was better than our school had done in any other years. The trip out was awesome and engineering is the best subject ever!”

National Women in Engineering day shines a light on female engineers across the UK, inspiring young girls to think of engineering as a career that is not only open to them, but is also a career in which they can excel. I thoroughly support it!

Telling it like it is – the messages we need to be giving to girls (and boys) about careers in STEM.

By Yvonne Baker

Anyone who knows me for more than five minutes will work out there are three things I really can’t abide – hypocrisy, inconsistency and, more than anything else, feeling patronised. I’m sure I’m not wholly innocent of the first two – if I claimed as much, there would probably be a long line of family, friends and colleagues vying for position to put me right. As for the third, I guess it’s largely up to me what I feel about things, but all too often it’s difficult not to feel vaguely patronised, particularly when it comes to rooms of people talking about women and STEM.Woman working on computerized machine embroidery

That’s why I am so pleased to see more women coming out and telling a different narrative about their life working in STEM fields or studying STEM subjects; a positive and encouraging story of excitement, challenge, fun and achievement rather than the usual chain of issues, barriers, difficulties and setbacks. In this case, it’s Jennifer Purvis working at Lotus who was featured in The Guardian’s Women and Leadership pages on June 16 2014 . She talks engagingly about the excitement of her work and also the satisfaction of being part of a close knit and supportive, even if largely male, team – both things that I certainly experienced in my days working in chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing. She talks positively about encouraging girls to consider careers in engineering which is exactly what we need everyone to do, rather than too often feeding them mixed messages about wanting more girls to study physics and engineering but in the next breath detailing the difficulties that the job (or any job) might entail. Ah but – I hear you say – her father is also an engineer; yes, and we know family influences are important, but that simply demonstrates why we need to get our communication about the positives of engineering better and more effective. After all, what caring parent wants their child to embark on something that people tell them is potentially hostile and fraught with difficulty. No wonder so many children of engineers – male and female – become engineers themselves; they know what a great job it really is.

Certainly for myself and those women I know who have worked in engineering, we couldn’t agree more with Jennifer’s view that engineering is a great place to be. We all need to be communicating better to girls – and their teachers, parents and other influencers – the huge variety of opportunity, environments and activities that the simple word ‘engineering’ can mean. We need to do this honestly and without falling into the trap of trying to ‘feminise’ it in ways which are themselves stereotypical and patronising.

The reason I do the job I have now is that I genuinely want more young people – girls and boys – to understand what a fabulous springboard STEM subjects, such as engineering, can be. This doesn’t mean wanting a world full of engineers – heavens, what a thought! Rather it’s about conveying the excitement, potential, rewards and unbelievable range of opportunities to which a solid grounding in STEM can lead, within a ‘traditional’ STEM career, in emerging technologies or creating the technologies and jobs that don’ yet exist!

It’s great to see some of these messages being reflected in the new #YourLife campaign, and I hope this can provide some real impetus for the positive change we need. So let’s give more air time to Jennifer and others working in these environments who can inspire and engage through positive messages, and let the next generation see the exciting opportunities, rather than hypothetical disadvantages, ahead.

STEM teachers should also a look at our STEM Careers Conference which occurs every year in late June.

 

The Problem with Professional Development.

by Yvonne Baker

I sometimes wonder which profession really is the oldest. You have to say that engineering has a good claim – after all, you can argue that those who discovered the wheel kind of started civilisation off – while medicine probably has a reasonable shout. No doubt teaching is up Computer Engineerthere – someone had to work out quickly how to effectively pass on skills and knowledge to the next generation – while accountants and lawyers were a little later to the party, sitting quietly on the sidelines, taking it all in, working out how they could make a few quid.

Whatever order they arrived in, the key defining factor among these great professions is a lifelong commitment by its members to continuously improving their knowledge and skills, keeping up to date with developments in their fields and ensuring they remain ‘at the top of their game’. This commitment is usually encapsulated in three little letters – “CPD”, shorthand for Continuing Professional Development – so easy to trip off the tongue, but how often do we really consider what this is (or is not), and what does it mean?

A commitment to continuously develop

This is a topic currently close to my heart – both in terms of the ‘day job’ and as a member of the Engineering Council. Engineers, and those teaching young people about engineering and related STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), all operate in fast moving fields. It is often not only the technologies and applications of science that move on so quickly but also, on regular occasions, the underpinning science itself.

When those working in engineering become registered – as Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers or Engineering Technicians – they agree to continually develop their skills and knowledge throughout their careers. Ensuring this happens is the role of the Engineering Institutions – whichever they have chosen as their professional home – and a new code of practice has just been agreed on how to ensure this happens.

For teaching, there is no doubt that the majority of teachers – and certainly those we have the pleasure to work with through the National Science Learning Centre and National STEM Centre – are equally committed to making sure they stay up to date in their chosen fields. After all, how can you effectively inspire and teach young people if you are not up to date with what’s new and exciting in science, technology or maths yourself? Some of these teachers have even taken the step of becoming a Chartered Science Teacher via the ASE, and others are ‘fellows’ of the Primary Science Teaching Trust – both of these recognise a commitment to professional excellence including on-going CPD.

At the same time, despite much discussion, there isn’t any immediate likelihood of a general system across England for ensuring all those teaching STEM have access, support and incentive to engage in regular subject-specific CPD. True, it is part of the Teachers’ Standards in England and the Ofsted framework; as Ofsted themselves point out in ‘Maintaining Curiosity’ – teachers’ engagement with subject-specific CPD has a positive correlation with the effectiveness of science in schools. However, we still have a way to go until this becomes a standard part of Ofsted’s conversation with heads, principals and governors, let alone a strategic discussion within many schools and colleges themselves.

Demonstrate the benefits of ongoing subject-specific CPD

So what is to be done? Firstly, perhaps we all need to be clearer on the benefits of encouraging teachers to engage. Evaluation shows that working with the Science Learning Partnerships or the National Science Learning Centre is not a costly luxury – rather it is something that brings benefits to teachers and young people that schools cannot afford to do without, including better achievement by young people and improved retention of staff. ENTHUSE Award bursaries are there to help make participation possible – thanks to the generosity of supporters including BP, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, there really is no reason for any school to not get involved.

Secondly, we need to be clear that professional development comes in many forms, and all have their place. It is great to see the growing emphasis on school-to-school support across the system and there is clearly much that teachers can learn from their colleagues in other schools as well as those with whom they work directly. We know that many of those who have benefited from working with the National Science Learning Centre, the National STEM Centre, the scientific societies and others spend significant time and effort passing on this ENTHUSE Celebration Awards eveningknowledge to their departments and neighbouring schools. We also know that there are many innovative teachers and schools who have plenty of ideas of their own to pass on. At the same time, it is folly to think that this means there is no place for ‘external support’ – great teachers, engineers, doctors, accountants and others know that without the input of different perspectives, expertise and views, they will not stay for long at the top of their game.

Thirdly, we need to ensure we recognise and celebrate those teachers, technicians and school and college leaders who ‘get it’ about making time and opportunity for STEM-specific professional development and, in doing so, make a massive contribution to young people across the UK. That’s why we are holding the second ENTHUSE Celebration Awards at the House of Commons later this month.

The problem with professional development is that, all too often, it can seem more like a chore than a pleasure, something that consumes time and money but gives little benefit. However, for all teachers it is vital and for those teaching STEM, it is of even more importance. We know how to make STEM-specific professional development effective, impactful and affordable – come and talk to us to find out more.

 

 

The strange allure of numbers

Ed Walsh

In ‘The Little Prince’, the children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the prince visits an asteroid on which a businessman is engaged in the activity of counting the stars.  When questioned about the purpose of this, he is insistent that if only he can count them all then they will be his.  Putting a number to them grants control.  If tagged, they are owned.OfstedLogo

I remember in the mid 1980s going to a presentation by Professor Paul Black at the University of Cardiff.  He introduced us to the idea of numbered levels in the National Curriculum and the notion that such a taxonomy could be used as a way of categorising concepts and processes.  Certain concepts were more complex and would therefore be at a higher level.  A pupil mastering that concept might be at, say, Level 5 as opposed to a pupil who hadn’t and would, therefore, be at a lower level.

At the time it seemed pretty alien and certainly quite different from ways we had thought about progression previously.  We knew that some ideas were more complex than others and that you wouldn’t structure a teaching sequence with the most challenging ideas first.  However the idea of attaching a numbered scale seemed slightly odd.

Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and we’ve mastered levels.  When it was announced that the system of tracking progress through the use of levels was to be dropped, the immediate cheer was closely followed by anxious thoughts of what would be used instead.  Some people even planned to ‘level’ the new programmes of study, so that putting a number on attainment could continue.  Why the enthusiasm?

I think that there are a number of reasons.  Some schools report that parents are keen to continue to receive information in such a way.  It’s not difficult to see why.  Everybody wants their child to do well and there’s security in a numbered scale.  If they were 4c last year and 4a now, they must therefore, be making progress.

There’s also the business of discerning the inspector’s agenda.  What will pass muster?  If a key performance indicator is the number of levels of progress and schools want to show that pupils part way through are ‘on track’, then assessing using levels is attractive.

There’s also the psychology of using a numbered scale.  Learning is actually quite an untidy business.  Pupils learn all kinds of things;

  • some quite thoroughly and others superficially
  • some they retain and some they don’t
  • some they can apply to other contexts and others seem to evade any such usage

Putting a number on it tidies it up – “he’s working at Level 4”.

We’ve learned a lot from levels and it’s important to understand what.  They’ve focused the mind upon steps in progression and that’s important.  Not using levels doesn’t mean pretending that some concepts and skills aren’t more challenging than others.  Teachers still need to know how to alter the level of challenge and how to recognise when something more challenging has been mastered.

I think what’s done it for levels is the ‘mash up’.  We gather evidence of attainment, sometimes quite a lot of it.  It goes in the blender and comes out as an aggregate.  We often do this with tests.  We line up a selection of statements of attainment from a range of levels, and set questions.  Pupils do the test, we mark it and allocate levels based on the score.  Pupils who get a lower score are deemed to have mastered the lower levels tested for and those with a higher score the higher levels as well.  Right?  Well, up to a point.  Sometimes pupils achieving a lower score haven’t necessarily picked up their marks on the questions based on the lower level attainment statements, but from all over the place.  They haven’t necessarily mastered the lower level statements in the same way that they haven’t failed to understand anything about the higher order statements.

Pupils tend to have a spiky profile.  Some things they may ‘get’ and other things, even though nominally at the same level, they don’t get.  As teachers we need to know this – it should inform our planning.

Assessing without levels doesn’t mean not testing, or not recognising higher or lower order outcomes.  It doesn’t mean not reporting to parents or not being accountable for pupils making progress.  What it means is avoiding the mash-up and retaining the spiky profile – because we need the fine detail.

So how do we sell this to Mr and Mrs Ofsted when they drop by for tea and biccies?  The National Science Learning Centre has been developing a CPD event with Ofsted based on the HMI triennial review of science ‘Maintaining Curiosity’.  A common comment from inspectors is that teachers do lots of assessment but then fail to act on it.  Teaching happens, irrespective of the evidence.  One of the sessions at the event is therefore going to be on ‘Assessment without levels’ and has had to be approved by Ofsted.  Key message? Don’t use levels, or anything that looks like levels.  Retain the granularity of assessment evidence.  Use it to inform teaching.

 

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