Improving literacy and mathematical skills in science

This set of resources supports Heads of department and classroom teachers in improving students' literacy and mathematical skills in science.  These resources accompany the Triple Science Support guide to literacy and mathematical skills in science.

The Triple Science Support intervention guides and supporting resources are packed full of ideas and examples of evidence-based good practice, and will support you in going beyond short term, bolt on interventions to look at issues such as progression, tracking progress and how best to structure learning so students gain a deep, long term understanding of the science.

Links and Resources

Triple Science Case Study: Collaboration with the Maths Department

From the Triple Science Support Programme, this case study illustrates how a school's science and mathematics departments collaborated to increase the time available for students taking triple science and so increased the level of attainment for students.

Key learning points include:
• consideration of the impact on other groups if a higher percentage of students are selected to do triple science,
• close collaboration between science and mathematics departments to ensure the selection process works,
• opportunities to go on to post-16 science courses should remain open regardless of which pathway students follow at GCSE, and
• that groups should have continuity of teachers over the duration of the course

publication year
2010 to date

1 file

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Guide to maths for scientists

This guide to mathematics for scientists,  from Edexcel, outlines the content that students will have covered in their mathematics lessons throughout KS3 and KS4. Teachers can use this guide to help them understand how different areas are approached in mathematics, and therefore support their teaching of mathematical content in science lessons. The content is split into distinct mathematical concepts. Each chapter takes teachers through the terminology used in that area, as well as examples to show teachers the methods students should be familiar with when solving mathematical problems.

publication year
2010 to date

1 file

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Linear Assessment Chapter 5: Strengthening Mathematical Skills in Science

The activities in this chapter of the Linear Assessment ibook allow teachers to:

• Identify the mathematical demands of triple science
• Strengthen graphical representation skills
• Select ways to encourage students to effectively interpret data

publication year
2010 to date

7 files

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Enhancing Numeracy in Triple Science

From the Triple Science Support Programme, this resource looks at key aspects of numeracy which have been shown to limit the progress and outcomes of students at GCSE and explores how students’ skills can be developed during the delivery of triple science.

Each page contains activities which enable a teacher to explore and reflect on different aspects of numeracy that are important in science so as to enable teachers to develop a curriculum which is effective and appropriate.

Some activities could be used to stimulate discussion and development with a science department meeting.

publication year
2010 to date

15 files

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Enhancing literacy in triple science

This book has been produced to support the delivery of triple science. Three of the chapters focus on the development of the literacy skills students need in order to be successful in triple science at GCSE. The final chapter, Next Steps and Evaluation, recognises the importance of planning a course of action and subsequently evaluating the impact on students’ progress.

publication year
2010 to date

0 files

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SEP: Learning Skills for Science 14-16

This collection aims to enhance the quality of science teaching and learning by providing teachers with:

  • activities which develop students’ scientific communication skills
  • resources and pedagogy that can be easily integrated into a variety of scientific subjects
  • flexible teaching and assessment tasks suitable for different levels of students and a variety of learning styles.

Materials are written for 14-16 year old students. Each set of resources look at six different skill areas.

Skill area 1 - Information retrieval from books, library, experts and internet.

Skill area 2 - Listening and observing in presentations and to video.

Skill area 3 - Scientific reading of articles and textbooks.

Skill area 4 - Data representation by symbols, diagrams, graphs and tables.

Skill area 5 - Scientific writing of reports, case studies, papers, abstracts and bibliographies.

Skill area 6 - Knowledge presentation by oral presentation, multimedia and poster.

publication year
2000 - 2009

1 file

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Scientific Writing

There are plenty of useful resources here for teachers who are focusing on helping their students in developing general skills in scientific writing.

publication year
2000 - 2009

10 files

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Developing Writing in Science

These materials consist of general guidance on developing writing, and then for each of the areas of explanatory, argument and descriptive writing there is the teacher guidance file which provides strategies for teachers using appropriate resources.

publication year
2000 - 2009

10 files

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Linear Assessment Chapter 4: Strengthening Literacy in Science

This chapter from the Linear Assessment ibook focuses on strengthening literacy in science. The activities allow teachers to:

• Analyse command words
• Develop the use of talk to support science learning and independence
• Develop the use of reading to support science learning
• Develop the use of writing in science

This iBook, produced by the Science Learning Centres for the Triple Science Support Programme, has been designed to help teachers to develop their delivery of Triple Science so that students are successful in examinations which involve linear assessment

publication year
2010 to date

10 files

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