planet earth and beyond  : Introduction

The 1995 science assessments included three extended assessment tasks and five brief knowledge tasks related to Planet Earth and Beyond.

One of the extended tasks and four of the brief knowledge tasks were completely or largely the same for year 4 and year 8 students. Two further extended tasks were attempted only by year 4 students, and one brief knowledge task was attempted only by year 8 students. All of the tasks are released tasks, described in detail here.

Each extended task occupies one page. The information provided includes the supplies available to, the task instructions and questions, and a table showing the percentages of students performing at identified levels on each task component or aspect.

The final page of the chapter presents the five brief knowledge tasks and student responses to them. A sixth task, relating to scientific processes and attempted only by year 8 students, is also included on that page since there is no better place to include it in this report.

Averaged across the five tasks attempted by both year 4 and year 8 students, 47 percent of year 8 students produced correct or highly rated responses, compared to 27 percent of year 4 students. This shows that year 8 students possessed substantially greater skill and knowledge in this curriculum strand.