Followers of my blog know that I like APP. That’s not to say that I don’t realise its limitations and problems, and I know it has got a lot of bad press because of the way some schools have chosen to implement it. I still maintain that APP has a lot going for it – especially when it comes to developing students as scientists, and for consistency of assessment data between primary and secondary.
However I’d recommend schools to maintain familiarity with the statutory level descriptors and their use. Teachers will have to use these descriptors at the end of each key stage, and therefore be confident in any judgements they make. APP levels will provide evidence of the general level that a student is working at and their development as a ‘scientist’ but they are not statutory.
My advice would be for teachers to use the National Curriculum level descriptors to assess some of their work, or to be conversant with the statements and how APP descriptors work alongside them.