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Strategies for Assessment of Inquiry Learning in Science

The Strategies for Assessment of Inquiry Learning in Science (SAILS) project was funded under the EU Framework Seventh Programme (2012-2016) to support teachers in adopting inquiry based science education (IBSE) and assessment of inquiry skills and competencies in science at second level across Europe. It involved 12 countries and over 2,500 teachers in developing their inquiry practices in secondary school science classrooms.

The main aim of the SAILS project was to help prepare teachers to teach science through an inquiry approach and be more confident and competent in the assessment of their student’s learning through inquiry. A key feature of the approach taken was to enhance the authentic nature of the assessment process and embed formative assessment approaches.

The teachers on the project found they were then better able to support the learning while gaining a deeper understanding of where their students were in their understanding of science and working scientifically. This approach gave a greater validity and reliability to the assessment evidence obtained and supported both summative and formative assessment practice.


  • Professor Chris Harrison (Principal Investigator)
  • Sally Howard
  • Brian Matthews
  • Jason Harding (CLEAPPSS)
  • Martin Reece

Documents and resources

You can find SAILS resources below.

SAILS units

Training Education Programmes (TEP)



Project status: Completed
SAILS Colour Logo

Principal Investigator


Funding Body: European Union

Amount: £264,197

Period: January 2015 - January 2016