Category Archives: Science

#aseconf science fun for SEND

States of matter.  Use dry ice.  Add flavours.  Engage all senses.

Shadow puppets.  Use gruffalos child as stimulus.  Transparent,  translucent, opaque materials. Animal ear headbands to explore shadows bigger and smaller.  Spectrum glasses.

Science hunters–  engaging through computer  games.  Minecraft. Working with NAS, engaging children once a fortnight.  Has been found to increase social communication skills.  Also helps to show some abstract science concepts and leads to further discussion

Science from the start–  hands on practical activities . Ice play.  Snow dough (cornflour , oil, glitter). Creative workshops, child led, flexible,  sensory.


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#aseconf ofsted

Science more likely to be outstanding when teachers have had science specific training 

Science is a core subject in primary . Broad and balanced curriculum.  Primary schools failing to ensure full coverage of  Nat curric e.g. only one hour a week in the afternoon.  Plan to ensure progression.  Need enough time so children can build up their skills. 

Ofsted do not make judgements before they come to the school.  Judgement made on current outcomes for each year group.

Need to develop skills and progress over time. 

Still a mistrust between primary and secondary around transition.  Schools  need to work together

Teacher assessed parts of ks2 curriculum give  higher outcomes than externally assessed.  New system still bedding  in.  How are you being as accurate as possible?  What progress are children making?

Gcse achievement in English and maths is stable.  Science has gone down with btech gone.  How are courses meeting needs of less able students? 

Short inspections for good schools.  Only a day.  Assuming school is still good.  Looking at self assessment of leadership team.  Will do learning walks.  Not going to interrupt a lesson. as teacher can direct inspector to books or particular children to talk to.  No preferred style of marking. do children understand where they are at and what to do to improve.  What impact?  No preferred frequency of marking.  How effective are your systems? 

Is work at ks3 demanding enough and appropriate? 

Key messages are you challenging the most able?  Disadvantaged?  Most able disadvantaged?  Is provision meeting need? 

No particular method expected for planning,  teaching,  marking or self assessment. They will mage a judgement on safe guarding,  visit lessons, meet with staff, gather parent and pupil views and scrutinise work. 

How well does science curriculum develop understanding and skills?  High quality,  timely,  meaningful experiences to develop skills and understanding. 

 Challenges ahead.  Do leaders have enough knowledge of science to know if curriculum is appropriate and being taught well?

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#aseconf cleapss ideas for primary science

Colour changing uv beads to show uv from the sun.  Bracelets will colour change.  Use sun cream, water, t shirt to show effects on beads. 

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#aseconf ks4 for lower attainers


Context – research shows barriers to learning e.g. poor literacy skills.  Additional resources needed by teachers to support

Edexcel offering 2 entry level qualifications.  Sits below foundation tier. Lots of resources available on line. Gives opportunity to gain qualification to support route to teach with gcse course.

Entry level.  Six papers, do as many times as you like.  At any time. Each unit matched to gcse units.  Foundation tier gcse rebranded as a three year scheme of work.

Key ideas for students to understand, can then build on this understanding for gcse content.

Need to consider how to develop skills in working scientifically.  Get the balance between high expectations and appropriate challenge.  Also be aware literacy may not be a strength,  encourage taking rather than writing to help students develop key ideas. Practice scaffolding and redrafting . Focus on shorter answers on gcse paper,  don’t worry about 6 mark answers – they are aimed at more able students.

Use the course to build confidence for students.  Use of short tests to motivate.

All exam board produced materials can be edited in word.  Helpful as at the moment they are very small and wordy.
Entry level papers written to develop confidence with language of questions.  Provide examples of ‘good’ longer answers.

No practical component that is assessed at entry level.  Core practical in gcse, skills need teaching in entry level to support progress to combined science.

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#ASEConf Exhibition 

A busy afternoon at the conference exhibition in Reading, collecting freebies and doing some networking.

As ever,  I’m looking at the stands as a teacher of  students with SEND, and what might be useful on a limited budget with very little storage space.

Cracking stash from ypo, who took the news that their sand timers needed to be a little more robust due to the way they are used in Special schools rather well.

Fab resources as ever from practical action.

Cleapss have some great things for primary (and mugs and cuddly rabbits if you so wish)

The royal society have seeds and,  more excitingly, really simple microscopes that use your mobile phone… how easy to enlarge and point out features.  Love it.

Cgp are giving all this away for free. Need I say more? Their ks1 discover and learn books look particularly interesting.

Collins are also giving away books. I like  the look of their big cat reading scheme,  but they’ve only got the harder books on display.

Other people I visited include

I hope that is of use.  Apologies for quality of photos, I blame the yellow light in the hotel room.

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